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New ethnicity feature on Ancestry

Ancestry has released a new ethnicity feature which separates your DNA by parent. I’ve just looked at mine and, well, it’s not what I expected. So what is surprising me is that I have known Scottish and Welsh ancestry on my mother’s side, and no known from either on my father’s side, which due to…

1921 Census (England/Wales)

It may be Nollaig na mBán in Ireland today but it’s genealogy Christmas in England and Wales. The 1921 census has been exclusively released on Findmypast. It was taken in June of that year. This census was the first after World War I and saw some slight changes to format notably: Employer’s name and place…

International Literacy Day

UNESCO designates 8th September every year as International Literacy Day. It promotes the importance of literacy as a human right. Who among us doesn’t love getting caught up in a great novel? In this modern world, very few activities still require your full attention, we’re always on our phones or something, but reading is still…

St Patrick’s Day 2021

St Patrick’s Day 2021

As we approach a second St Patrick’s day still beset by a terrible pandemic, albeit with light on the horizon, I wanted to focus on a collection of records that are relevant for our large diaspora. 80 million people around the world claim Irish heritage and half of that number are in the USA. I’ve…

New Research published

The Irish Genealogist for 2020 has been published this week. It goes out to all members of the Irish Genealogical Research Society. I’m delighted to see my own article in it. My One-Name Study of the Ure families of Ireland represents more than a decade of research into this surname, which is more commonly found…

Know your history & geography

Many of us are researching our ancestry from a great distance. We might not easily be able to travel to the location our ancestors lived and see the local landscape. This may be for many reasons but it’s especially true at the moment, when Covid-19 means we are safer limiting our movements. The above marriage…

Ode to a great-great grandmother

For lots of our ancestors, we don’t know what they look like, or what they liked to read or eat. We can look them up in records and gain some information. One of my great-great grandmothers was called Anne Rourke (though her surname is variably spelled in different records). She was born during the Great…