Prepping for a Research Trip to Ireland: The research plan continues

©2015 - Blair Archival Research

©2015 – Blair Archival Research

 

As mentioned in a previous blog post I am preparing to go to Ireland to do research this Fall. Since my first stop will be Belfast my main focus at the moment has been on the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland – PRONI.

They have a great website and an e-catalogue that I have been searching. The other online catalogue being searched is Sources at the National Library of Ireland because they have some information in that database that can be found in PRONI.

When you do research in Ireland you need to research in Dublin, Belfast, England and sometimes Scotland for your Irish ancestors. They may not have lived in all those places but records pertaining to them may be found in the repositories of these countries.

Sources is the online version of the Hayes Manuscripts. In the early 1940s Richard Hayes started an indexing and cataloguing project that would encompass 30 countries. He was going to source all the documents that related to Ireland and have a single place to search for them. You can read more about it here.

Thanks to Richard Hayes we have a wonderful resource to search for records relating to Ireland and her people. The records could be found in repositories around the world including PRONI. A search of several surnames provided links to documents I want to examine at PRONI.

Now I only have one full day and several hours to do research at PRONI. There is no way to get a readers ticket prior to my visit. Therefore there is no way to pre-order documents I want to examine before I actually get there.

When I get to PRONI I will be researching with military precision so that I can access all the information I need. Just to double check I emailed PRONI and they confirmed that there was no way to pre-order copies before my visit. Copies can be ordered and mailed to me but there is a £15.50 search fee plus copy charges for every document I want copied. Since the exchange rate is not very good at the moment this option is financially unfeasible.

In the reading room five documents can be ordered at a time and it takes 20 minutes to get the documents. Reading the website I have learned that a photocopy order form will have to be filled out for each document. Once the copies are ordered the next five documents can be requested. Since there is 20 minutes to wait for the orders to arrive the forms can be filled out while I’m waiting.

To date I have about 27 documents to view and about 10 microfilms to search. The documents are almost certainly related to my family. This can be deduced from the catalogue reference description. The microfilms are church records and finding something is less certain.

So my research plan for PRONI is almost complete. All that is left is to tidy up the cutting and pasting I have been doing from the online catalogues. This is a great way to make sure you have all the right information to order the documents.

Next are the research plans for the Dublin repositories!

©2015 – Blair Archival Research

The Toomey Family: Ireland to Australia and Back Again

Mark Anthony Toomey was born in Dublin in 1844 to Mark Toomey and Jane Kelly. He married Julia Adelaide Bourne in 1868 at St. Peter’s church in Dublin. She was from a respected legal family. When his daughter was born in 1875 he was a wine merchant.

Mark Anthony was very active in Freemasonry and was initiated in Commercial Lodge No. 245 in 1871 in Dublin. In 1878 he was installed as Worshipful Master of this Lodge. He was also a Life Governor of both the male and female Masonic Orphan Schools in Ireland.

There were six children in the family: Mark born 1869 and died in 1871; Louisa Alice born 1871; Mark born 1873; Jane born 1875; Walter Bourne born 1878 and Richard Fenton born 1880. The children were all born in Dublin.

 

AMandJAToomeyfamilyphoto

Mark Anthony Toomey got into what was described as “financial trouble” over a debt he had guaranteed and could not pay. This was an offence you could go to prison for and two of his Bourne brother in laws suggested he went to Australia. According to family lore he left for Sydney in 1883. There is a letter dated 2 March 1880 that suggests it may have been closer to 1880. If this is the case then the reason Julia and family did not go with him at the time could have been because she was carrying their son Richard.

When Mark Anthony arrived in Sydney he hired a Chinese girl to look after the house and then Julia and family joined him.

Julia and the children joined Mark Anthony in 1890. They left London on 5 February 1890 and arrived in Sydney on 27 March 1890. They were on the Coromandel which originated in Greenock Scotland. Julia could not settle in Australia and did not like the Chinese help so she went back to Dublin. She left her son Mark behind. Julia wanted to leave Jane in Australia because Jane wanted to stay but Mark Anthony said no girls.

 

JaneToomey1Walter Bourne Toomey returned to Australia via Canada. He arrived in Montreal in 1907 and arrived in Sydney in 1909. It is believed that Richard returned to Australia in 1911. The female lines were the only ones to remain in Ireland.

On arrival in New South Wales Mark Anthony joined the Freemasons. In 1885 he helped to form Lodge Hiram No. 41 and was elected Secretary. In 1887 he was made Grand Secretary and also held the position of Deputy Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales. He was a member of the Leinster Marine Royal Arch Chapter No. 266.

 

AMandJAToomeyfamilyphoto-002Mark Anthony Toomey died in Sydney on 29 March 1916. He died at the home of his son Mark Toomey at Rubyville, Church Street, Chatswood. The funeral was at the Church of England Cemetery Gore Hill.

Julia lived in the home of her daughter Jane and her family. She retired to her bed to die when she was 60 and did not die until she was 91. She died in 1932 in Rathmines Co. Dublin.

Julia Adelaide Bourne Toomey is buried in St. Nahi’s Cemetery in Dundrum Co. Dublin. The headstone reads: In Loving Memory of our parents Mark Toomey who died 21st March 1916 aged 72 and his wife Julia Adalaide (daughter of the late Walter Bourne of Taney House in this Parish) who died 9th April 1932 aged 91 “Peace Perfect Peace”with loved ones far away. This must have been put up by their daughter’s as the sons were all in Australia at this time. Mark Anthony Toomey is actually buried in Sydney Australia.

Mark Anthony and Julia Adelaide only lived together for about 14 years. They spent more than double that living apart from each other. If Julia had not returned to Ireland then I might not be here writing their story.

© 2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Lantern Slides digitized by Church of Ireland Representative Church Body Library

In the Irish Times on 4 Jun 2013 there is an article called “Newly discovered images of Edwardian Dublin’s Herbert Park Expo.” Lantern slides were found that include the expo and several other areas around Ireland such as Belfast and Newtown County Mayo. The Expo was a World’s Fair and one of the images is of a building with Canada written on it. I wonder if that was the Canadian exhibit at the Expo. These are lovely images.

The Church of Ireland Representative Church Body Library have digitized these images and made them available on their Archive of the Month page for June.

After you have viewed a slide show you can view the images again and find labels attached. Not many can identify the people in the images but they are interesting and focus on a particular time in Ireland.

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

New Irish records to be released later this year

This morning I attended Brian Donovan’s lecture entitled “Landlords and Tenants: Irish Land and Estate Records for Irish Family History Research.” As usual Brian did not disappoint. The lecture was great and very informative. He also provided some good background information into the records.

He did announce that some new records are going to be put on Findmypast and on the National Archives of Ireland website.

It looks like we can look forward to seeing records relating to church records, original wills, workhouse registers, school pupil rolls and all pre 1901 census survivors and search forms should be available in the next 12 months. The pre 1901 census suvivors and search forms and the will indexes will be available for free on the National Archives of Ireland website.

In the next six months the Field & House books will be availalbe for free from the National Archives of Ireland.

These records will help Irish researchers to find out more about their family history. The land records in particular can be invaluable.

©2013 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

Irish Life & Lore An archive of Irish voices

Irish Life & Lore An archive of Irish voices” is a website offering an interesting service. They have captured “…over 3,000 voices …. as they discuss their own lives and histories, along with personal and family experiences of events in Irish national and social history.”

You can purchase a CD or download a MP3 of the recordings. The MP3’s cost around €7.00. You can browse or search the catalogue online. The catalogue can be searched by county name, non-county collection or keyword.

The keywords under browse are Ancient monuments; Funeral undertaking; Gardaí Siochána; 1916; ESB [Electric Supply Board]; World War One; Blacksmithing: Missionaries; Smuggling; World War Two; GAA [Gaelic Athletic Association]; and Gaelic football.

They provide a service to help people “Record and Preserve Your Family Voices.”

Some of their recordings have been turned into books.

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved

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