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Genealogy This Week - 25 September 2010

Our weekly compilation of interesting new tools, resources and stories for genealogists. This week, we focus on some interesting resources for people tracing their Scottish and Irish ancestries:

How to Find Local Scottish Libraries – As genealogists quickly discover, local libraries are an invaluable source of information about our ancestors (see 50 Best Genealogy Brickwall Solutions to find out how). Unfortunately, trying to track down the library that is closest to where your ancestor lived can often be a chore. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just consult an online map of the region and simply click on the library that was closest to your ancestor’s home? Well, if are fortunate to have ancestors from Scotland, then this is exactly what you can do. The website Scotland’s Information has an excellent interactive map identifying the location of every library in Scotland. You simply bore down on the map until you find the library you want. Click on the library and you will be shown the detailed location of the library, hours of operation, website address, email contact and more. This is an extremely useful tool for anyone with Scottish ancestors. [Scotland Library Locator]

Ask a Scottish Librarian a Genealogy Question – Here is another great genealogy brick wall solution for anyone with Scottish ancestors. The Scottish Library and Information Council has just launched a new online reference service called Ask Scotland. Users can submit questions to Scottish librarians via an online enquiry form. A qualified librarian will respond within 48 hours. This service is free. The user interface on the website is clean and simple to use. There is even a live chat option to ask questions in real time. Obviously, you have to do your own genealogy research, but this is a great resource to help get you pointed in the right direction. [Ask Scotland]

Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations – The good news for anyone wanting to trace their Irish ancestry is that Irish genealogy records are generally well organized. As the name would imply, the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO) is the umbrella organisation for Irish genealogy. This site has the latest news on Irish genealogy and a bookstore devoted to all things on Irish genealogy. [Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations]

National Archives of Ireland – This is a good place for anyone to start their Irish genealogy research. This site gives you access to the 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses as well as wills and testaments, parish records, marriage licenses, etc. This site is well organized and has entire sections strictly devoted to genealogists researching their ancestors. [National Archives of Ireland]

Irish Genealogy – This is another Irish government website for anyone wanting to trace their Irish genealogy. This site has a great collection of historic church records. Access is free. [Irish Genealogy]

Irish Health Services Executive – This is the official Irish government website for ordering online birth, adoption, still birth, marriage and death certificates. The cost is €10 plus postage per certificate. One thing to note for anyone ordering historical certificates is that you don’t get a photocopy of the actual entry in the Register. Instead, you get a legal transcription of the original. Presumably, legal transcriptions are less prone to errors than most transcriptions, but it would be nice to access the original handwritten record. [Irish BMD Certificates]

Ireland Historic Registry of Deeds Index Project – This is a cooperative project where contributors index the names that appear in the historical ‘memorial’ books at the Irish Registry of Deeds. The records go back as far as 1709 and include land transactions as well as some wills. The index can be browsed by family name. Access is free. [Irish Historic Registry of Deeds]

Irish Newspaper ArchivesIrish Newspaper Archives has the most complete collection of historic Irish newspapers. A total of 17 newspapers going back as far as 1763 can be searched online. Access to this site is by subscription. This site mainly serves libraries and institutions, but they do have subscription rates for genealogists if you contact them. [Irish Newspaper Archives]

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