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Wexford Town May 23, 2010

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.
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Wow – what a nice voice !  Fair play to Selina O’Leary and Liz Connors who will shortly perform at New York’s famous Carnegie Hall.

Genealogy rocks ! March 5, 2010

Posted by Rambling Man in Emigration, General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.
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One of my favourite pastimes at the moment (when I have time to pass), is genealogy. I’ve been building my family tree on the fabulous free site www.geni.com for the past 3 years and each day I find something new or something to update.

On one side of the family, I can go back to 1790 and on the other to the 1820s. Once I knew or could guess pretty much who was who, and had all the people in place, my search centered on finding out as much as I could about the times they lived in and what they would be like – maps, photos, websites, history … I can’t get enough of it.

So here’s my top 10 tips to researching your Irish ancestors and what to do or not do in some cases …

1) Sign up to www.geni.com – it’s awesome ! Links between people and stuff like that are easier to define when seen in tree format.

2) Visit the Irish Times website – here. They have a great family history section and while there are no listings on it, they have several indexes and links to where to begin looking.

3) Visit the 1911 census online here and the 1901 census (partial) online here. Bare in mind that ages of people in this census can vary wildly from their actual age.

4) If possible, visit the church where you think your relative may have been baptised or married. You may or may not have luck – it depends on the priest who holds the paper records. Some priests are not cooperative !! And some even hint at being paid !

5) The best cert to get is a marriage cert, in my opinion. It gives the couples names (+maiden name) and addresses, their fathers names and professions and the names of witnesses. All these are great in building a picture of where to look next.

6) Go visit the graveyards of the parish in which you think you relative might have died. If you locate a grave, the priest will have a death cert and you can work back from there.

7) If possible, and although it’s a complete racket, and the indexes are assways, visit the General Records office in Abbey Street in Dublin – online here. It can be invaluable – this office has birth, marriage and death records of everyone registered in Ireland since 1864. But because a lot of names were common – e.g. John Murphy – you might find 5 John Murphy’s in the index in the same area in the same year and not know which is your relative. You cannot look at the originals and its €4 a time to get a cert which (in my case) often turns out to be a complete different person.

8) Ellis Island records – free search – online here, is invaluable for researching ancestors who went to the United States. Lucky them ! Be sure and check the ship’s manifest document – also available – for invaluable information like who the immigrant was going to meet !

9) Interview older members of your family – on camcorder if possible. Don’t fire questions at them but talk around to the subject you want to talk about.

10) Register at www.geni.com – did I mention its awesome ?

PS : I found it strange yesterday when I realised I was an Irishman researching his American ancestors as opposed to an American researching his Irish ones ! Funny little planet this …

Senseless tragedy in Wexford April 29, 2008

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.
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Senseless, gutless and so very sad … you just never know what’s going on with people …


Weekend Sports Review February 11, 2008

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish, Sports.
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A few things caught my eye this weekend on the sports fields and off …

Fair play to the Manchester City fans for keeping quiet and respecting the minutes silence at the football derby game on Sunday.  The fact that the authorities gave out free United and City scarves before the game led to the proper atmosphere being observed.  Unfortunately on the field, United were beaten and are in serious need of a good striker … their management blames it on fatigue and whereas they may have a point, it then doesn’t make sense to bring the entire squad on money making midweek friendlies to play some team in the United Arab Emirates in the middle of the season !

It was another gloriously honourable defeat for the Irish rugby team in Paris (still a defeat though right ?) as they came close to beating the French …. ah, we just love it when we ‘nearly’ do something.  They played like turkeys in the first half and only got going in the second.  Another ten minutes and we’ve’d ‘ad ’em !  or maybe not.  The worrying fact for me is, now that there has been a bit of a performance, people’s expectations will grow, re-pressurising the players.  And let me say the backs were poor again on Sunday.  Fair enough they were missing 2 regulars (Horgan and D’Arcy) and the in-form wing wasn’t even in the squad (Bowe) but the reason they came back at the French was the forwards.  They mauled them up and down the pitch and were first to the ball in the breakdown.

The Cork hurlers and footballers look like they will not be participating in the league or championship in 2008, which is a great shame.  A good summary of the dispute can be found here … let’s hope it gets resolved before next weekend.  On the upside, it’s one less team for my own native county, Wexford, to be hammered by.  But having said that the yella bellies beat Waterford yesterday which will provide me with oh so much  ammunition for friends and work colleagues alike – they’ll be only too glad to see the back of me !  (not long now)

And finally, if reports in this morning’s Irish Examiner are to be believed (cough) then Geovanni Trappatoni has been apppointed the Irish football manager and the successor to Stephen Staunton’s miserable regime a full 150 odd days after the latter mercifully got the sack !  If its true, that is such a coup for the suits in Merrion Square and a fantastic figure to spearhead the international team’s efforts.  Here’s hoping Signore Trappatoni doesn’t get pissed off too quickly with Fawlty Towers the FAI and their unbelievable special  way of doing things … all together now Óle, óle, óle …

Pere Charles salvage faces delays November 6, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.
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The wreck of the ill fated Pere Charles fishing trawler is due to be salvaged about now and what remains of the vessel and contents raised to a platform barge, some 4 miles off Hook Head in Co.Wexford.

There are however some delays in the operation as a dispute arose between the Irish Coast Guard and the company tasked with raising the boat.  It seems the wreck is upside down on the sea bed with one view being to turn it before it is raised, while the salvagers themselves favour raising the boat in an upturned state.

I think that this situation must be handled very tactfully as there were 5 men on that trawler who drowned – none of whose remains have ever been recovered.  To raise the boat in an upside-down manner – and it’s being raised to determine whether there are any bodies on board -would surely lead to whatever (if anything) was onboard, falling out on its way to the surface.

I sincerely hope that the families of the victims of this sea tragedy find some closure from this week’s events.