April 2010

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

Bourne Family Research

My Bourne family has left a lot of really good records behind. I have been lucky for the most part with my research into this family. Walter Bourne and his son Walter were solicitors in Dublin and both held the post of Clerk of the Crown for the Queen’s Bench and Deputy Clerk of the Crown for the northeast circuit. Walter junior took on the job after his father retired.

The family lived in Taney parish, Dundrum, Dublin County. They also lived and worked in Harcourt Street Dublin.

A very good book was researched by Mary A. Strange and Elizabeth B. Fitzgerald and written by Mary A. Strange in 1970 called “The Bourne(s) Families of Ireland” I had the great privilege of getting to know her and she sent me a copy of her book. Mary’s book covers the research of her Bourne(s) family as well as others that she believed were connected but she had not been able to make that connection yet.

The book is divided into three parts one on the different locations where the Bourne ancestors of Hannah Maria (Maxwell) Bourne lived and the other relating to Hannah Maria (Maxwell) Bourne and her descendents. Mary and Elizabeth were connected to Hannah Maria (Maxwell) Bourne. The last part is related to the pedigrees of Dr. Lorton Wilson. My Bourne family was included in the last part of the book.

No connection has yet been made between my Bourne line and Mary’s but I am still researching. New records come up every day. I am researching parish registers and writing down all names that may relate to Bourne. So far I have come up with Bourne, Bourn, Bourns, Bournes, Byrne, Burne, Burn, Bryn and Bowrn. I believe this wall can be broken down it will just take a little time and perseverance.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

The Toomey Name Game

My Toomey family has not made research into this line very easy. The first known ancestor is Anthony Toomey; his son is Mark and the next generation is where all the trouble begins. Mark named two of his sons Mark and Mark Anthony and both of these boys lived into adulthood.

Mark Toomey’s grandchildren include three Mark Anthony Toomey’s and one Mark Toomey. There are several other Mark Anthony’s but these come from Mark’s daughters so they have different surnames. The next generation has two Mark Anthony Toomey’s and two Mark Toomey’s and so the naming practice goes. In my database I have five Mark and nine Mark Anthony Toomey’s and most of them were born in the mid to late 19th century.

At least I know that if I come across a Mark or Mark Anthony Toomey the chances that they are connected to my family is good. The problem comes in differentiating between them in the records such as city directories. This is where the next family link comes into play. A lot of the Toomey men were solicitors. So it is not that easy to figure out which Mark Anthony Toomey Solicitor is the one I am researching in the city directory.

Now I sit with my list of Mark and Mark Anthony Toomey’s with their dates of birth and death and their address, if the address can be found on civil registration records and directly linked to them. Every one is noted and I try to see if they can fit into any of the information currently relating to them.

This problem is one that keeps growing but it not insurmountable. It just takes a little patience and a lot of detail work to make sure the information is connected to the right Mark or Mark Anthony Toomey. Thank goodness the family did not start using Anthony or Anthony Mark as names or we could be in a lot more trouble.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research