Historic Ordnance Survey Ireland Maps Online

Anyone who does research of any kind knows how important maps are to the process. Ordnance Survey Ireland has put historic maps online and they are searchable for free. The website says “Between 1829 and 1842 Ordnance Survey Ireland completed the first ever large-scale survey of an entire country”.

There are three series currently online:

6 inch mapping series (1:10,560) colour 1837-1842
6 inch mapping series (1:10,560) greyscale 1837-1842
25 inch mapping series (1:2,500) greyscale 1888-1913

On the first page you can choose to either browse the maps or look at Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary which is in PDF format. This gives you the location and a brief history of towns and townlands in Ireland.

When you first go into browse the maps you get a full image of Ireland. If you click on the province or area of interest it will get bigger.

On the right hand side there is a menu. If you click the mouse on pan you will have the ability to move the image around. Search will help you find a specific place. The easiest way is to click on search, chose by county, pick your county name and then enter a town, locality, townland or historic parish name. You have several to choose from in the drop down menus.

There is also choice of maps. A hybrid map which shows a satellite map with the buildings and roads filled in and then overlaid on top. Ortho 2005, 2000 and 1995 are satellite maps created in those years. A historic map which is in colour and a historic map in black and white are the last two options. You also have the ability to do a modern map overlay which places a historic map over the modern image.

Historic Layers allows you to choose different features and to apply them to the map. The features are: environmental such as brewery, gas works and quarry; or genealogical such as churches, burial grounds or a military barracks. These only apply to the historic 6 and 25 inch maps.

The historic layers can be difficult to see on the maps. The writing is in burgundy. This makes it tricky to see if the map is zoomed out or if looking at a city map. They are easier to read if you use the black and white historic map. Try turning on all the choices and see what can be found in your place of interest. This will give you a good idea of what the area was like.

If you click on reset view it takes you back to the full image of Ireland. You also have the option to purchase hardcopy maps.

So go in and have a look as you never know what you may find.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell (1887-1916)

My Great Grand Uncle was Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell. Gibson Leitch was the name of the doctor who helped bring Horace into the world. This is a Scottish naming practice that is not heard of very often. Horace was born in Glasgow Scotland and was the ninth child of the union of John Sheddens Campbell and Janet Waddell Ross. He was actually John’s seventeenth child.

In 1909 Horace and his brother Frank left Scotland for an adventure in the wilderness of British Columbia Canada. He is found on the 1911 Canadian census with the occupation “Surveyor in the woods” and was living in the Vancouver Power company camp in Nanaimo Renfrew District.

Not much is known of Horace’s adventures in Canada but when the First World War began he signed up almost immediately. Horace signed up with the 29th Vancouver Battalion in November 1914. The Battalion was part of the Second Canadian Contingent and this in turn was part of the 6th Brigade.

These soldiers did a lot of fighting in and around the French and Flemish borders. Horace went to Trench Warfare School and in the field was promoted to Corporal.

According to his attestation papers Horace was 6 ft 1 ½ in tall and weighed 173 lbs. He had a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair.

Horace never returned from the war. On June 8, 1916 he lost his life as a result of the Battle of Mount Sorrel in Belgium which was fought from 2-13 of June 1916. June 3rd must have been an active day because a lot of his comrades lost their lives on that day. Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

All that was left for his mother was a picture of his grave in Belgium. Horace is buried with the other soldiers who lost their lives in Belgium at the Reninghelst New Military Cemetery.

A search for Horace on the internet provides his information on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Canadian Great War Project Database.

As with so many men of that time period Horace’s life was cut short as a result of the First World War. They will not be forgotten.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

Salt Lake City, Computerized Family History and Genealogy Conference, National Genealogical Society Conference and Ontario Genealogical Society Conference

Whew! It has been a dizzying month!

It started with my first trip to Salt Lake City which is a trip I have always wanted to make. The preparations began late last year when I started going through all my family history data and creating my “To Do List” which was made easier by my genealogy computer program. My “To Do List” was 38 pages long and I completed every item on that list during my 11 days in Salt Lake City.

The opportunity to do research in the Family History Library is something I would recommend everyone endeavour to do at least once. I spent all of my time on floor B2 which is the British research floor. This includes England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. I had microfilms, microfiche and books relating to these countries available at my finger tips. Some I had to order ahead of time from the Vault but they were waiting for me when I arrived.

Everyone was so friendly and helpful. A smile and a greeting awaited me as I arrived and left the library every day. It was open every day but Sunday so the obvious thing to do is to take a tour of the city on Sunday. It started with a performance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. A sight to behold and a sound to hear, then a tour of the city from mountain top to valley. We even did a tour of the Great Salt Lake in the afternoon.

Brigham Young University was holding a conference called Computerized Family History and Genealogy which they normally hold in Provo but thankfully because of the large numbers of people attending the National Genealogical Society conference they decided to hold it in Salt Lake City. As a result I got the chance to attend this two day event. They introduced me to so much technology that I do not know if I will be able to keep up with it all.

The NGS conference started on Wednesday so there was more new information and announcements as well as meeting old friends and new. The attendance numbers were approximately 2700 which were great. The marketplace had an additional section this time; it covered genealogy technology and is known as GENTECH.

There was a special event on Thursday night “A Celebration of Family History” held at the LDS Conference Centre. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed. I will say for me the highlight was the vignette of the Clan McCloud and then moving into the bag pipes and the hymn Amazing Grace. It brought tears to my eyes. David McCullough also spoke very eloquently about history and family. You can view pictures and the video vignettes here.

Ten days after I got home was the start of the OGS conference. During this time I did the final preparation work on my presentations. I was a speaker at this conference as well as an attendee.

I had the privilege of speaking at the Ontario Library Association pre conference day and at the OGS conference. The Ontario Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists was holding an Ask a Professional free consultation service and a panel discussion both of which I participated in. Again there was more new information, announcements, meeting old friends and new.

This conference finished a week ago Sunday and I am still trying to catch up with everything including my sleep. One thing is certain; I want to go back to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library!

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

Hayes Manuscript now Online at the National Library of Ireland

Anyone who does Irish research ought to examine Hayes Manuscripts. These books are the result of a massive indexing project. Richard J. Hayes was the National Library Director who started the project in 1941.

Hayes wanted the library to catalogue all the data relating to Ireland or the Irish for all periods around the world. The final project was called “Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation”. It was completed in 1965 and there was a supplement in 1975. According to the National Library of Ireland’s website this resulted in “23 substantial volumes, containing over 17,000 pages of records.”

To use these indexes you had to go to a national, university or very large library. In the Toronto area I know there is a copy at Robart’s Library in the University of Toronto.

The earliest record in these indexes is 1785 and the records cover about 200 years. The digitization project started in late 2007 and it is now available online for free.

What exactly can you find in Sources? According to the National Library of Ireland’s website it is the following:

“All of the National Library’s manuscripts catalogued up to the 1980s; Irish manuscripts held in other libraries and archives in Ireland and worldwide, listed between the 1940s and the 1970s; articles, reviews and other content that appeared in over 150 Irish periodicals up to 1969.” There is also a link to download a list of the journals that are included in the collection.

If you find an article you would like a copy of you can order it through the library’s Copying Services. You can contact the Reprographics Department to find out the cost of the copying.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

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