Updated: Oct 23
All week I've been meaning to take a picture of the Lego model of the Library. It's really amazing. If you check out the back, you can see the stairs leading to the Reading Room with the individual desks. You can also see the microfilm reading room with tiny little readers.
As everyone is scurrying around to finish their research, I had a chance to work on some of my own research. I had ordered both books and manuscripts from the Library and headed over at 9:30 to the Main Reading Room. I had four books waiting for me.
The Irish Revenue Police is a recent book (2018) by Jim Herlihy who has written numerous books on the Royal Irish Constabulary and the Dublin Metropolitan Police.
Another book, From Rosclogher to Rooskey covers the area where my Johnstons lived. The author is Lorcán Ó Rúnaí and the book was published in 1996. I’ve tried to find a (reasonably priced) copy to purchase, but haven’t been successful yet. Still looking.
The Downshire Estate in Ireland 1801 - 1845 by W. A. Maguire is doctoral thesis on the management of estates in Ireland. Fascinating, but again, not time to go through the entire book. I just picked up key passages. I passed the book on to Pat T who is here in Dublin and moving on with me to Belfast. She is researching her Wicklow ancestors from the Blessington estate (owned by the Marquis of Downshire). Pat planned to work with the Downshire estate records at PRONI. Always check PRONI for estate papers even if your ancestor was in the Republic. The landlord might have owned property anywhere in Ireland or the papers might have been donated to PRONI.
The final book was the Ordnance Survey Name Book for Leitrim. People complain all of the time about multiple spellings, not only names but also places. John Donovan, an Irish scholar was brought in during the 1830s to standardize placenames, and this book is a transcription of his notebooks listing alternative spellings, including the origin of the Irish name. From his research he identified a “standard” spelling (not that everyone used the standard spelling).
I spent the afternoon in the Manuscript Reading Room looking at various documents. Two were from the Genealogical Office (now part of the Library) and were notes from various genealogists who had been researching various families prior to the Fire in 1922. These files include handwritten notes on little pieces of paper, written on both sides. One file included a folded document and when I (very carefully) unfolded it, the chart was about 30 - 40 inches long! You never know what you're going to find when working in manuscripts!
As everyone is heading out tomorrow, tonight we had our final group dinner. The restaurant was Darwins and the food was great, as were the fun and games. While we were enjoying dessert, the waiter asked if anyone was celebrating (well, we all were) and brought out, hats, and wigs for everyone. It was a blast and will be long remembered.
So farewell to Dublin for now...I know everyone wants to come back. Six of us are on to Belfast tomorrow to meet up with the rest of the group.
A final reflection from Joan...
The last document I saw on this trip included a reference to my Flanagan ancestor’s Townland: Pluckerstown in Co. Kildare.
It was a printed announcement of estates in Co. Kildare that would be sold to pay off the owner’s debts. It’s not dated but the information suggests it was printed in the early 1850’s. A handwritten note says the rent for the 8 cottiers living in Pluckerstown will be raised from 10 shilling a year to 1 pound 10 shillings a year. Triple the rent - although another note says the rent hadn’t been raised in 50 years! Apart from the Revision/Cancelled Books that’s the first original 19th century document I have ever found for Pluckerstown, which I think is where my great grandfather was born. And it isn’t online. This is why I travel to Ireland. And what a satisfying way to end this my time in Dublin.
Each day this week has brought me bits that I can use for my ancestry work; however, today, our last full day has been my biggest 'ah ha' moment. Although I had done both a zoom and a face-to-face meeting with genealogists from the Irish Family History Centre, I signed up for another 1/2-hour face-to-face meeting. I did this because I do use DNA to fill out my tree explorations and was told that Kayleigh had a real way with DNA. I am so very glad I met with her! She showed me how to use google maps to insert my DNA matches and Frain families from the census, tithe applotment books, and wills and deeds, to name just a few sources. This graphical tool will allow me to see migration patterns and confirm if I'm on the right track.
To wrap up the day and the trip, Donna took us all out for dinner. We had a private room and got to pick from yummy choices; the only downside was although we had great fun, it was the end of our trip. Tomorrow, most, including myself, are headed to explore family townlands and even for a lucky few, family holdings.
Thanks to all who shared their experience...and to Kathleen for all of her photographs.