I’m a little late this week with the blog. I got back from Birmingham (IGHR) on Saturday and my daughter arrived on Sunday for a few days. Now I need to catch up.
One of the sites I worked on last week was AskAboutIreland.ie. According to their website, “AskAboutIreland and the Cultural Heritage Project is an initiative of public libraries together with local museums and archives in the digitisation and online publication of the original, the unusual and the unique material from their local studies' collections to create a national Internet resource for culture.” The main interest for genealogists is Griffith’s Valuation and although I’d glanced at this site in the past, I hadn’t spent much time here since I had a subscription to Origins.net for Griffith’s Valuation research. In most of my previous blogs when I’ve referred to Griffith’s I’ve mentioned Origins.net as website with both the index and the images of Griffith’s. AskAboutIreland.ie also has the images and maps and but the big benefit is that it’s free! The image of the Valuation prints with a watermark in the background (Copyright All Rights Reserved) but that shouldn’t be a problem. One interesting aspect is the ability of individuals to upload information about the individual in a specific record. The website states, “You can now upload your own information, photos, audios and videos to the details of each Griffith's Valuation record. Please click the grey upload button to start your own upload.” You do have to register (free) to be able to upload, however none of the records I viewed had uploaded information.
I was very impressed with the quality of the maps on this site. When you click on “map” from the desired entry, you are taken to the general area and may have to scan a bit to find the specific location. You can zoom in and out and move the center of the map around. These maps present the six-inch series created by the Ordnance Survey at the same time as Griffith's Valuation, including the dividing lines between valuations. What is unique, is that the Ordnance Survey maps overlay a contemporary Google map and by using the slider at the upper right you can control the transparency between the two maps allowing you to see where the roads fall today.
I’m still digging around to other features on the site. The Reading Room contains articles on history and allows you to search by county for information, including ebooks. The History and Heritage section includes information on Irish folklore, and manor houses and the poor law unions, as well as Irish Genealogy. Other than Griffith’s, this is not a database site to search for specific individuals, but it contains a wealth of historical and social information to help understand the lives of your ancestors. I hope you’ll explore it.