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Researcher's Choice

The Valuation Office (lower right corner) in the Irish Life Centre

Today was the first day of rain since I arrived! The weather here has been warm with bright sunshine most days. Very unlike typical Irish weather in October (not complaining). It wasn't every a heavy rain...just a "soft rain."

Researcher were heading in multiple directions today. There was both a morning and afternoon group headed to the Valuation Office. It is a small office that since COVID has been limited to four researchers. For a number of years they have been in the process of digitizing the Revision Books. These books are the follow on to Griffith's Valuation and allow you to trace the occupany of the property that appears in Griffith's up to the 1980s. When the name changed, it usually signified a life event such as a death or emigration. If the surname doesn't change the land likely remained in the family, which can lead you to living cousins. It's one of my favorite repositories as almost everyone can find something if their family was in Ireland between 1846 and 1964.

The digitization project has been going on for a long time, and even the material already digitized can only be accessed in their facility in the Irish Life Building. Eventually they plan to make it available online, but not until everything is digitized. The manager told me last week that he hopes that will happen as early as late 2024. Not a's Irish time.😀 It will be wonderful when it happens as I think it's one of the last major collections that overseas researchers are waiting for. The Revision Books for the six counties of Northern Ireland have been accessible on the PRONI website for a number of years.

Besides the Valuation Office, people returned to the National Archives, the National Library and a few went out to the RCBL again. Here are some comments from today.

Pat said:

I had found a possible helpful will document through the online calendar of wills. When we visited the National Archives, I requested the file, hoping it would be available by the end of the week. Much to my surprise, it was brought to me within 15 minutes. When I reviewed it, the slim handwritten document provided information about ownership of the land into the 20th century, named 2 additional siblings of the deceased, and identified the recurring Flood family members as cousins. Hooray!

Lisa also visited the Archives

I had a great day today at the National Archives looking through the estate records of the Martin family and I was able to find some members of my family listed as lessees. Yesterday was also fantastic at the RCBL where I found marriage and baptisms for some of my McGauley and Whitney lines.

Kelsey is doing a one name study on the individuals in her townlands and mapping the information...a great exercise. Mapping may help you see possible relationships.

I’m at the point in my research where I am trying to reconstruct families in specific townlands in Sligo based on DNA matches. I knew my visit to the VO would be very informative and I was right! Now I need to take the information I gathered today and try to compile and map it out for analysis. The fun part!

Kira had done her homework before the trip, and arranged an appointment at the Freemason's Hall which is just across the street from the Buswells Hotel where we are staying.

Took a hop, skip, and a jump across the street from our hotel to research at the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland Library. If you find your ancestor's name in the membership lists of a local lodge (available online on Ancestry), you may then read through that lodge's meeting minutes and correspondence, held in their Dublin archives. I had 3 lodges to sift through (10 folders of papers), and wouldn't you know it, but all my discoveries happened in the very first folder! I'm still not positive I found my ancestor, but it's showing promise, and certainly supported my hypothesis about this branch of the family. The experience was quite fun, and I had the entire museum to myself while researching! In the afternoon, I returned to the National Library to finish off 2 rolls of microfilm that included rent rolls for the land my tenant farmers lived on. It may have revealed the name of my 5th great grandfather! Then, I headed down the block to the Manuscripts Room to skim through correspondence and account receipts in an estate record, but ran out of time before uncovering any relative info. All in all, an amazing day!

A good day! Happy Hunting!

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