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Criminal Irish in Britain ›

26 February, 2013

When it comes to family history research having a black sheep in the family can be a boon. Legal records offer another route to find ancestors who inexplicably manage to avoid the census.  The bureaucracy of the legal system gives us access to information that is often lacking in other records.  There are usually physical descriptions of prisoners and a… Read more ›

Famous Family Trees: Daniel Day Lewis ›

21 February, 2013

Not for the first time Oscar buzz surrounds Daniel Day-Lewis.  His powerful performance in Lincoln has already earned him a Bafta and this weekend we’re crossing our fingers at the findmypast office for an Oscar win. The Day-Lewis family has strong links with both Ireland and England.  Over the generations the family has moved back and forth across the Irish… Read more ›

The Men of the WW1 Wills ›

12 February, 2013

The men in the WWI records left their belongings to their mothers, fathers, sisters and aunts more often than they left them to wives.  Very few of the records mention specific bequests, they can have had little to leave behind other than the wages owed to them by the army.  These small legacies were not the only mark they made.… Read more ›

Famous Family Trees: Imelda May ›

5 February, 2013

Rock-a-billy songstress Imelda May is held firmly in the hearts of her old neighbours in the Liberties in inner city Dublin.  Fiercely proud of her Dublin roots, they all may be surprised to learn that her family is from all four corners of Ireland.   Imelda’s parents are first and second generation Dubliners.  Her father’s family came from Longford and… Read more ›

Starring Tom Lefroy as Mr Darcy ›

28 January, 2013

Today is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  Famous for her witty observations of provincial English gentry society Austen undoubtedly looked to friends, family, neighbours and visitors for inspiration.  The question remains how much of her personal life, wishes and dreams she brought into her work. One young Irish man’s influence on Austen’s work… Read more ›

Christmas in Ireland ›

20 December, 2012

What makes Christmas, Christmas?  Some of our traditions go back to the earliest days of Christianity others are more recent introductions. In medieval times Christmas was equal amounts religious solemnity and pagan-inspired revelry.  Advent, the four weeks before Christmas, was a fast period, meaning no dairy, meat or eggs.  For most people it wasn’t too difficult to abstain.  Only the… Read more ›

The Green Redcoats ›

14 December, 2012

There are over 10,000 Irishmen recorded in the Kilmainham Pension records and they represent the ordinary men who signed up to serve with the British Army in Ireland during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.  Many, as is revealed by the documents, were illiterate labourers and probably joined the army as it offered a secure income and the chance… Read more ›

A fit Object of His Majesty’s Royal Bounty ›

10 December, 2012

We conceive it unreasonable, that such Persons who have faithfully served Us in Our Army, whilst their Health and Strength continued, should, when by Age, Wounds or other Infirmities, they are disabled from serving Us any longer, be discharged without any Care be taken for their future Subsistence After receiving a Royal Charter from Charles II in 1679 the Royal… Read more ›

The Irish Brontës ›

23 November, 2012

Charlotte Brontë, the celebrated British author, had strong links to Ireland.

Irish convicts Down Under – the good and the bad ›

12 November, 2012

We take a look at two examples of the good and the bad of Irish convicts who were sent Down Under.

The Irish in Britain ›

5 November, 2012

A quick look at some really interesting statistics on the Irish in Britain up to 1914.

Small Lives – Photographs of Irish Childhood 1860-1970 ›

26 October, 2012

Our own Aoife O’Connor, editor of Small Lives – Photographs of Irish Childhood 1860-1970, talks about two of the fascinating stories which emerged from the book during her research.