Celebrating friendships, stories and discoveries along the way

Friday, March 14, 2014

MSOG March Meeting - Checking Family Genealogy for Medical History

Last Saturday afternoon I attended the March meeting of the Middlesex Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists (MSOG) with my friend and genealogy colleague Sharon Daly at the Acton Memorial Library. Carol Bosworth and Mary Hasselman led a fascinating presentation entitled "Checking Family Genealogy for Medical History." Researching the medical history of our ancestors is vital for to gain knowledge of illnesses and disorders that may present in our family medical history. Carol presented a family chart commonly used by doctors that diagrams family relationships and health conditions to assist in the diagnosis and prevention of illnesses in the family. We also had a fascinating discussion of archaic medical terms and their modern-day definitions to assist in research of the illnesses and conditions that plagued our ancestors.

The Massachusetts Society of Genealogists (MSOG) has five chapters and meets monthly, with the Middlesex Chapter events occurring at public libraries in Acton, Lexington, or Sudbury. For additional information about the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists please visit their website at http://www.massachusettssocietyofgenealogists.org/index.php.

Irish History and Genealogy Seminar hosted by TIARA and NEHGS

Last Saturday morning I attended the annual Irish History and Genealogy Seminar co-hosted by The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA) and the New England Historic and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) at the NEHGS library on Newbury Street in Boston. TIARA founder Marie Daly and author Christopher Kline were the highlighted presenters for the seminar.

Marie Daly led an excellent presentation on Irish research on the FamilySearch website, familysearch.org. Currently there are eight databases available for online research at familysearch.org:
  • Ireland Births and Baptisms, 1620-1881
  • Ireland Marriages, 1619-1898
  • Ireland, Deaths, 1864-1870
  • Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes, 1854-1958
  • Ireland, Calendar of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1920
  • Ireland, Landed Estate Court Files, 1850-1885
  • Ireland, Prison Registers, 1790-1924
  • Ireland, Tithe Applotment Books, 1814-1855

In addition to these robust online resources there are also a range of microfilm selections available through the Family History Library catalog, including:
  • General Valuation Revision Lists
  • Civil Registration Records
  • Church Records
  • Betham’s Will Abstracts

Other Irish records in the FHL catalog include deeds, school records, probate abstracts, freeholder’s lists, estate papers, and genealogical and heraldic records. For additional information Marie suggests consulting a wiki by Evva Benson, "Lesser Known Irish Sources at the Family History Library," located on the FamilySearch.org website at https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Lesser_Known_Irish_Sources_at_the_Family_History_Library.

Microfilms can be ordered through the familysearch.org website and delivered to a family history center for viewing. The cost to borrow a film for three months (short-term) is $7.50.

Christopher Kline, author of the book Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America's First Sports Hero, gave a fascinating and rousing presentation on the life and career of Irish hero and boxing legend John L. Sullivan, a native of Boston. For additional information about Christopher Kline and ordering information for his book please visit http://www.christopherklein.com/Home_Page.html and http://strongboybook.com.

For additional information about TIARA and upcoming events please visit the TIARA website at http://tiara.ie. For additional information about NEHGS please visit their website at http://www.americanancestors.org.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

TIARA Family History Session - Online Irish Research with Janis Duffy

On Sunday I attended a special Family History event held by the Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA) at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton. Janis Duffy, a former president of TIARA, led a session entitled "Researching Online: The Good, Bad and The Ugly!" Her presentation targeted selected websites for Irish genealogical research and demonstrated effective use of the sites. Three of the websites, Ancestry.com, Irish Origins, and Roots Ireland, are subscription sites which offer a range of genealogical records, including the 1901 and 1911 censuses, Griffith's valuation, and passenger records; others, such as Ask About Ireland (Griffith's Valuation), Family Search (multiple collections), and National Archives of Ireland (1901 and 1911 censuses) are free. In addition, TIARA lists an excellent selection of Irish research websites on their Links page. Many of the presented websites are listed on the Links page of this site.

TIARA hosts frequent Irish genealogy events and trips during the year.

For additional information about TIARA please visit their website at http://www.tiara.ie.