It's another one of those weeks, when ideas for the blog are at a low point, so I turn again to Geneabloggers for ideas. Since it's coming upon that time of year for travel, I thought I'd give you some ideas about why you want to visit Ireland, either to do research (don't forget about the Dublin Research Trip in October) or to just visit the beautiful country.
If you're planning to do research, you might want to start in Dublin, even if your ancestors were from Ulster. Remember, Ireland wasn't split until 1922, so there is a great deal of information for all of Ireland in Dublin.
The National Library of Ireland is worth a trip even if you don't plan to research. Located on Kildare Street, just a few blocks from Trinity College and Grafton Street, the Library opened in 1890. It was built in the classical style and designed by an architect from Cork, Thomas Deane. It is also just across the courtyard from The National Museum. Unlike many libraries you might be used to working in, this is a closed stack library. First of all, you will need a reader's ticket to obtain material. Using the catalog, you complete a request form indicating your reader's number and desk number and the material will be brought to your desk. There is a Genealogy Advisory Service to help you get started on the mezzanine level, which is also where the microfilm reading room is located. Microfilms of Roman Catholic church records are now self service.
The National Archives of Ireland is about a 15 minute walk from the Library. It is located in a modern office style building at the end of Bishop Street. A reader's ticket is also required here. The Archives (also with a Genealogy Advisory Service) contains a large microfilm collection which includes Griffith's Valuation, the Tithe Applotments, 1901 and 1911 census records and Will Calendars (now online) as well as some of the surviving Church of Ireland records. The Archives also houses estate papers, and state documents in manuscript form, which again, will have to be requested, and then brought to your desk.
The Valuation Office is one of my favorite places. Located in the Irish Life Centre on Lower Abbey Street across the Liffey, it houses the Revision or Cancelled Books from Griffith's Valuation. Remember, Griffith's was a tax list and therefore had to be kept up to date so there was a record of the correct person to pay the taxes. As changes occurred, names were crossed off and the new information written in (each year in a different color ink). After a number of years, the most recent information was transcribed into a new book and the old book was "cancelled." Although some of these books have been microfilmed and are available at the LDS, working with the originals allows you to see the colors making it much easier to follow.
Also located in Irish Life Centre is the General Register Office. This is where you can obtain copies of birth, death and marriage certificates from 1864 (1845 for Protestant marriages). Unfortunately this is not the most research friendly facility. You should do all of your index searches on FamilySearch prior to arriving as they charge to use the index books onsite (€2 for a specific search covering up to 5 years or €20 for all day). With the specific information (type of record, name, registration district, year and quarter, volume and page) you can request a photocopy of the record for €4. Here's the catch…you can only request 5 per day. Frequently you will have multiple candidates for a particular search and you won't know if you have the correct certificate until you receive it. If it's wrong, you then request the next one. If you're traveling with friends take them with you, so each of you can get five certificates. If not, plan to visit the GRO each day.
If you're in Dublin for research, don't forget to take some time off. One of my favorite tours is an Historical Walking Tour of Dublin. There's also Trinity College and the Book of Kells. Walking down the Liffy across from the Custom House you'll find the Famine Memorial and the Tall Ship Dublin Famine Museum on the Jenny Johnston.
Enjoy both your research and the wonderful sights of Dublin. Happy Hunting!
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