Friday, May 15, 2015

FindMyPast: Dublin Workhouses, Newspapers and more

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at

This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 2.5 million fascinating Dublin Workhouse records that highlight the devastating impact the great famine had on Irish society. This week’s additions also include baptism and burial records from the English county of Nottinghamshire, birth, marriage and death Index records from Australia’s Northern Territory and millions of historic British newspaper articles.
Dublin Workhouses Records
Containing over 1.5 million records, the Dublin Workhouses Admission & Discharge Registers 1840-1919 list the details of those who passed through the workhouses of the North and South Dublin Unions. Levels of poverty in Ireland were far higher than in England and the workhouse was often an inescapable part of life that would have touched many, if not most Dublin families. The North and South Dublin Unions were among the busiest in Ireland, not simply because they were in the capital but because they often took in paupers from across the country. This was especially true during the years of the Great Famine in the 1840s when crowds of desperate, starving people came to Dublin from all over the country. Given the lack of 19th century census material in Ireland, the registers will be an incredibly valuable resource to those with Irish ancestors. Dublin was the largest point of embarkation from Ireland during the 19th century era of mass Catholic migration and a significant number of those who emigrated would have passed through these workhouses.   

Each record includes a transcript and an image of the original document. Entries list arrivals at the workhouse with details of their age, occupation, religion, any illnesses or infirmities, other family members, original parish and condition when they arrived (usually describing clothes or cleanliness).
Containing nearly 900,000 records, the Dublin Poor Law Unions Board of Guardians Minute Books from the National Archives of Ireland contain fascinating records of meetings held by the Board of Guardians of four Dublin workhouses. The Board of Guardians oversaw the running of the poor law unions as well as the hiring of teachers, staff and contractors. Guardians were elected by those who paid the taxes that funded poor law relief.

Each record contains a transcript and an image of the original handwritten minutes. The amount of information contained in the image can be considerable. The minute books recorded what was said at each meeting of the Board of Guardians, including correspondence and contracts but also individual cases that came before the Board. These include the day-to-day running of the workhouses, disciplinary matters concerning both staff and inmates, individual case histories, foundling children’s fostering and upkeep and the hiring of foster mothers and wet nurses. Later minute books follow a strict format to ensure that suitable care was taken about health provisions and deserted children. For the poor the Union provided the only social security available, as without a public health system, the workhouse hospitals were often the only health care that they had access to. A browse function is also available. 

British newspapers
Over 2.2 million new articles have been added to Findmypast’s collection of historic British newspapers. The latest additions include 11 brand new titles including the Glasgow Sentinel, Lincolnshire Advertiser, Kentish Advertiser, Sheffield Iris, and the Yorkshire Early Bird. Substantial updates to existing titles include over 109,000 new articles from the Newcastle Journal and over 92,000 Birmingham Daily Gazette articles.
Nottinghamshire Records
Over 14,000 burial records and over 5000 baptism records have been added to our collection of Nottinghamshire parish records. Both the Nottinghamshire Baptisms and Nottinghamshire Burials consist of transcripts provided by the Nottinghamshire Family History Society. 

The Baptism records date from 1538 to 1980 can include the child’s name, religious denomination, church, baptism date, residence, parent’s names and father’s occupation. The Burial records date from 1539 to 1905 and can include the deceased’s name, religious denomination, age at death, burial date, burial place, and any additional notes. Notes can include information about their marital status, cause of death, occupation or more biographical details.    
Northern Territory Index records
Over 5,600 birth, marriage and death index records from Australia’s northern territory have also been added. The indexes were compiled using certificates held and administered by the Northern Territory Government’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice.

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Mocavo, Genes Reunited, The British Newspaper Archive amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and doing detailed historical research.  

In April 2003 Findmypast was the first to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England and Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, the company has digitised records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States.

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