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30 July 2010

IRISH STEW POT

     In honor of the lazy, hazy days of summer, this week's post will be an Irish stew--a bit of this and that, news and links, buzz and gossip.
     Buzz and gossip first! The Irish Family History Foundation introduced its new Advanced Search pilot (and a new pricing system to go with it). According to the IFHF, "The Advanced Search adds a number of fields to the search criteria for Birth/Baptism and Marriage records and changes the way you pay to view the full details of these records."
     For Births/Baptisms, it is now possible to add a mother's first name and surname to the standard search fields. The Marriage database has added search fields for the first name and surnames of the spouse, father, and mother. This Advanced Search is available on a pilot basis for the following counties only: Antrim, Cavan, Derry, Down, Dublin, Fermanagh, Galway West, Kildare, Kilkenny, Leitrim, North amd South Tipperary, Tyrone, and Westmeath.
      Be aware that a separate pricing system is in effect  for buying a record that you find through using the Advanced Search. If more than one record is returned using the search, you must buy the WHOLE lot. A reduced rate, yes, but the new bulk pricing system did disappoint me a bit. I was so excited to begin to narrow down my results and, thereby, to stop spending on records that proved to be irrelevant to my family--only to find that I will still be forced to purchase records that do not pertain to my family. Still, the new features should help many an Irish family historican. The link to the IFHF is below.
     The other news that has been buzzing around the Irish genealogical community is the anticipated Irish "certificate of heritage." The Irish government has announced that this certificate should be available by the end of 2010 and will provide the bearer with travel and tourist discounts.  The certificate will be given to those who can prove some Irish ancestry, but the standard will not be as stringent as that required for Irish citizenship. Currently, Irish citizenship is available to those with an Irish-born grandparent. Some lawmakers have proposed extending citizenship to those claiming ancestry through great-grandparents. See link below.
    The genealogical significance of my last link might not be readily apparent, but, to me, it epitomizes the "out of the box" approach we must take as Irish family historians when conducting our research. It is an article by Kathryn M. Rudy on "Measuring Medieval Dirt." Ms. Rudy describes how the wear and tear on medieval manuscripts and on museum floor tiles can reveal clues about the people who used the manuscripts and the museums. Like Ms. Rudy, we must often look up from the records and notice the other clues our ancestors have left for us in their stories, their photos, their possessions, and their lives. I would like to thank "Ray" from the Fermanagh Gold Rootsweb mailing list for recommending this interesting article.
     Now, go enjoy that dip in the pool or the cool seashore breezes!
LINKS:
INFORMATION ON IRISH CITIZENSHIP
IFHF ADVANCED SEARCH INFORMATION
NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE RE: EXTENDING IRISH CITIZENSHIP
MEASURING MEDIEVAL DIRT BY KATHRYN M. RUDY