Monday, 21 March 2016

FREE course - Empire: the Controversies of British Imperialism

This is another excellent course from FutureLearn. And again, it is completely free and just started today.

This is a 6-week course run by the University of Exeter and explores the British Empire through six inter-related themes - money, violence, race, religion, gender, and propaganda. Here's what they say about the course:
You’ll get to hear the stories of the fascinating individuals who contributed to both its rise and fall. Along the way, you’ll be able to debate the questions these themes raise with learners from around the world, and draw your own conclusions.
This course has been created by experts from the Centre for Imperial and Global History at the University of Exeter. The Centre brings together the strong research expertise of the University’s imperial historians. It comprises one of the largest groups of imperial and global historians currently working in the UK.
The lead educator for this course is Richard Toye - Professor of Modern History and author of several acclaimed books, including “Churchill’s Empire: the World That Made Him and the World He Made.” Richard has provided a taste of this course in his post for the FutureLearn blog: “Why is the British Empire still so controversial?
Richard and his colleagues won’t be able to join the discussions themselves or respond to individual comments, but the course encourages a strong learning community. The learning is focussed around debate and discussion - supporting other learners, sharing your own experience and knowledge, and listening to new perspectives. We hope that you will enjoy interacting with and learning from each other in this way.
You can start to explore the Empire and find out more about the Centre for Imperial and Global History on its blog, Imperial & Global Forum, or by following @ExeterCIGH on Twitter.
This course has been commended by the Royal Historical Society, as part of the Public History Prize 2015, in the Web and Digital Category.

If you are enjoying the related course on Irish Lives in War & Revolution, then you will certainly enjoy this course too. No requirements are necessary and anyone is free to sign up. 

Discover some more about your ancestors and the times they lived in by joining up today.

Monday, 7 March 2016

FREE course on modern Irish history (1912-1923) starts March 14th

As mentioned in a previous post, a completely free online course starts on March 14th so sign up now.

Irish Lives in War and Revolution: Exploring Ireland's History 1912-1923 is created by Trinity College Dublin and organised through FutureLearn.  It runs for 6 weeks and you can join at any time but best to catch it right from the start.

The period between 1912-1923 is characterised by 3 Wars and a Rising - the Great War, the Easter Rising, the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War. Each of these events left a mark on the people who lived through them (our ancestors) and we are still trying to understand what happened and how it influenced who we are today. 

This course first ran last year and asks some pretty tough questions: How do people experience war and revolution? How does political change, violence, total war, affect life in its most basic ways? 

Looking at Ireland through war and revolution, this course considers these and other questions about Irish life between 1912 and 1923. The course looks beyond the familiar names and the famous faces – the traditional histories can tell us about them. Instead, it explores how the events that shaped the nature of modern Ireland were experienced by the people who lived through them or in spite of them.

There will be a mixture of course material including review articles, videos, quizzes, discussion points, chat rooms, surveys, reflections from academics, and of course homework assignments! You are encouraged to spend a few hours each week on the course material.

See you there!

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

FREE Access to newly indexed Irish Catholic Church Records

This announcement has just been made by Eneclann about the newly indexed Irish Catholic Parish Register records. These records are now ready to use and can be accessed for free for the next week (from March 1 to March 8) at starting at 9am GMT Tuesday March 1st.

10 Million Irish Catholic Parish Records Free Forever To Search Online

  • Records span 200 years of Irish history (1670-1900), contain 40 million names, cover 1000 parishes across all 32 counties of Ireland
  • Collection forms the most important resource for Irish ancestors prior to the 1901 census, allowing researchers to trace their roots back to Pre-Famine Ireland
  • Reveal how Great Famine halved the number of Catholic baptisms
  • Findmypast makes entire Irish collection of over 110 million records free from Tuesday 1st of March until Tuesday 8th March

Leading family history site, Findmypast, has announced today the online release of over 10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers as part of their ongoing commitment to making Irish family history easier and more accessible than ever before. Fully indexed for the first time, the registers form one of the most important record collections for Irish family history and are free to search forever.

Spanning over 200 years of Ireland’s history from 1671-1900, the Irish Catholic Parish Registers contain over 40 million names from over 1,000 parishes and cover 97% of the entire island of Ireland, both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

This is the first time that National Library of Ireland’s collection of Irish Catholic Registers has been fully indexed with images to the original documents linked online. The records can now be searched by name, year and place, allowing relatives and historians the opportunity to make all important links between generations with the baptism records and between families with the marriage registers.

The indexing of these important documents also allows researchers to witness the devastating effects of the Great Famine (1845-1852) first hand. Using the records to examine baptism rates in pre and post Famine Ireland has revealed that the number of children baptised across the whole of Ireland dropped by more 50% in the decade that followed. Across all 32 counties, 2,408,694 baptisms were recorded from 1835-1844, while 1,109,062 baptisms were recorded between 1851 and 1860, a difference of more than 1,299,000 baptisms.

The records also reveal the worst affected regions, with counties Limerick, Wexford, Roscommon and Kilkenny seeing the most dramatic drops in baptism rates.

To celebrate the release of this essential collection, Findmypast is also making its entire archive of over 110 million Irish records, the largest available anywhere online, FREE from 9am Tuesday 1st March to 9am on Tuesday 8th March. Findmypast is home to the most comprehensive online collection of Irish family history records with millions of exclusive records, published in partnership with The National Archives of Ireland, The National Archives UK, and a host of other local, county and national archives.

Brian Donovan, Irish records expert at Findmypast said:

“This important publication marks a further step in Findmypast’s commitment to making Irish family history more accessible. In less than 5 years, we have made over 110 million records (with 300 million names) available online for the first time. Irish research has been transformed from the select pursuit of the few, to a fun and relatively easy hobby for the many. The Irish story of hardship, migration and opportunity is a global story, and in partnership with the cultural institutions around the world we are bringing the fragments of their lives within reach”.

Spokespeople from Findmypast will be available for comment.

For further information or to register interest for access to the collection please contact:

Brian Donovan, email: Tel: +353 (0)86 6486262

Niall Cullen, email: Tel: +353 (0)86 0833380