I went back to the National Library today, the only major repository that’s open on Saturday. I got there a little after 9:30 when it opened and it seemed that the next thing I knew, they were ringing the bell for closing at 1:00. I sat in this beautiful room today...in the back right corner. I actually started at one of the front desks, but the skylight caused so much glare on my screen that I moved. In searching various catalogs, and the Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation, ed Richard J Hayes (11 volumes, 1965, and 3 supplementary volumes, 1975) and Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation: Articles in Irish Periodicals (9 volumes, 1970) I had found a number of articles that I thought might help in some of my research. If you’ve researched at a large library or in Salt Lake City you’re probably familiar with the Hayes Collection. If not, check out the FamilySearch Wiki page on this resource. The exciting news is that the National Library has put this difficult to find resource online. Titled Sources, you can access it through their website.
Yesterday, as I wrote about, I found three wills in the Betham collection for Boates. According to the Sir Arthur Vicars’ Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland there was a fourth will in 1681 for a Godfrey Boate. Unfortunately, the transcripts in the Betham collection are not indexed prior to 1700, and although I checked three microfilms, I couldn’t find the last one. When I searched in Sources, there was the listing. It had been transcribed in the Irish Genealogist in 1947. Sure enough, I requested the issue and bingo!
Periodicals are a great resource, but unfortunately they are time consuming to deal with. Most have an index for the particular volume, but if it is a long running periodical, and it doesn’t have a consolidated index, you need to go through each volume individually. I did that one time in Salt Lake City, going through each of the volumes of LaFayette, The History & Genealogy of Fayette County, PA and just before closing, I found the abstract of my great grandparents marriage license...talk about doing the Happy Dance!
Well, today I was going through various publications I had identified through Sources and I have to admit to getting a little sidetracked. I would find the article I was looking for, then browse through the publication to see what else was interesting. I found a great article titled “Notes on the History of Belleek Pottery” in a 1973 edition of the Donegal Annual. My grandmother’s family was from north Leitrim, quite close to Belleek (in Fermanagh) and I have inherited a number of pieces of china that date to the very early days, probably around the 1870s.
Well, as I said, before I knew it, the Library was closing. Sometimes it’s good to just browse...you never know what you might find.