Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Ulster Gaelic Voices

Ulster Gaelic Voices presents a unique record of 1930s native speakers from the lost Gaeltachtaí
of Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Derry, Louth and Tyrone, as well as recordings of renowned storytellers from the Donegal Gaeltacht. The recordings provide a fascinating insight into the rich linguistic and cultural heritage of another day - its folklore, myth, legend and song. Each recording is accompanied by a transcription, an English translation and a brief introduction.

Now available in An Ceathrú Póilí, An Chultúrlann and Queen's University Bookshop.
Ulster Gaelic Voices is available on Amazon.co.uk and Litríocht.com
(check both for the best bargain!)

Ulster Gaelic Voices, Bailiúchán Doegen 1931, Róise Ní Bhaoill, ISBN 978-0-9555081-1-0, 366pp, £22

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Will Transcripts from Coleraine and District

Thirty-one Will Transcripts from Coleraine and District, 1634-1832

In this volume, Mr. Forrest makes available the names of hundreds of Scots-Irish and their descendants who settled in the Lower Bann valley in and around the town of Coleraine in County Londonderry during the Ulster plantation. Coleraine was an important port during the Ulster plantation and many families that emigrated from Scotland in the seventeenth century entered into north Ulster through this important gate-way.

Mr. Forrest has trawled the vast archives of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland [and the Registry of Deeds] to make available the wills of thirty-one testators who were residents of Coleraine town and district from 1634-1832. In Ireland, as in other countries, wills are one of the most fruitful sources of genealogical information. Wills are a particular rich source for the family historian as they provide detailed information about family relationships and are clear indicators of the economic and social status of the deceased.

Link to purchase as an E-book: Ulster Heritage E-books

Friday, 27 August 2010

County Tyrone Bluegrass Festival

One of Europes biggest Bluegrass festivals, the Bluegrass Music Festival at the Ulster American Folk Park attracts some of the worlds best known Bluegrass bands. The event takes place from 3rd - 5th September and tickets are now on sale. For further information visit www.nmni.com/bluegrass

Organisers of one of Europes biggest Bluegrass festivals are looking forward to a weekend of some of the worlds best known Bluegrass bands.

From 3rd to 5th September, the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, County Tyrone will once again be host to the Appalachian & Bluegrass Music Festival, now in its 19th year.

Three-time winner of Best Female Vocalist at the International Bluegrass Music Awards, Dale Ann Bradley, will be one of the headline acts at this years event. Dale Ann won the hearts of thousands when she performed at the Festival back in 2004 and she makes a welcome return to the Folk Park next month. Also headlining is renowned Appalachian musician and Grammy award-winner David Holt with his band The Lightning Bolts as well as former Emerging Artist of the Year at the International Bluegrass Music Awards, The Gibson Brothers.

Organiser Richard Hurst said the Bluegrass Music festival continues to attract world-class performers. We are delighted to announce a top line-up of local and international acts for the Bluegrass Festival. We have wanted David Holt to perform at the museum for many years and are delighted to be welcoming him for the 2010 festival. Dale Ann Bradley is a Bluegrass phenomenon in the U.S.A. and we are very much looking forward to her performances over the weekend.

As well as afternoon performances throughout the museum and evening concerts in the marquee, we will once again be offering visitors instrument workshops, a Bluegrass Camp for Kids and the ever-popular McAuley Music Lectures. This award-winning festival offers something for everyone, all in the unique surroundings of the Ulster American Folk Park, said Mr Hurst.

Other acts performing at the Festival include local bands Northern Exposure and Broken String Band as well as Czech Republic group Blackjack. Other bands from the United States include The Mighty Gospel Inspirations, Water Tower Bucket Boys, Cedar Hill and Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters.

The festival runs from 3rd to 5th September at the Ulster American Folk Park, part of National Museums Northern Ireland. For further information and full programme details, visit www.nmni.com/bluegrass. Tickets for the evening concerts and weekend passes are now on sale and early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. Prior booking for the instrument workshops and Bluegrass Camp for Kids is essential.

Link here: Ulster American Folk Park

Monday, 23 August 2010

Duffy's Cut Irish Immigrants Story

(this is a fascinating and growing story about a group of Irish immigrants with Ulster connections and their tragic story.)

It was murder, pure and simple. That was the verdict this week of Dr. William Watson, who has been leading the excavation of the Duffy’s Cut Irish immigrants site in Malvern, Pa.

The site, which adjoins a present day commuter rail line, is the last resting place of an estimated 57 Irish railroad workers who met their maker back in 1832.

The dig has been going on in what is another summer season with evidence steadily pointing to the hand of others in the deaths of the men who, according to Watson, are buried in a mass grave that has only been partially excavated.

“We have found two more bodies and their skulls show signs of a violent death,” Dr. Watson, of nearby Immaculata University, told the Echo Tuesday.

The men suffered very bad blows to the head,” said Watson, while one of the skulls had what appears to be a bullet hole.

Watson said that coffins used to bury the men also had far more nails than would be usually needed, this to make sure that efforts to examine the bodies at the time of the deaths would be all the more difficult.

Watson said that the newly discovered remains would be examined by forensic experts in the coming days.

“This is going to rewrite Chester County history,” said Watson, referring to the county just outside Philadelphia where Duffy’s Cut is situated.

The new bodies were found about 30 feet from where the remains an Irish railroad worker identified as John Ruddy was discovered last year.

Watson said that the discoveries pointed to an historical cover-up.

“This was a case of murder and a cover-up and it is just as ugly as we had theorized. We know there was something. What we have found is the echo of something horrible in the valley 178 years ago,” he said.

“These men are crying out for justice,” he said.

During excavation at Duffy’s Cut, which have been ongoing since 2004, a treasure trove of artifacts including belt buckles, coins, eating utensils, buttons, pickaxes, various kinds of spikes and nails and a portion of rail track have been found at the roughly one acre site.

From the start of his work, Watson, who teaches history at Immaculata, expressed the belief that some of the Irish workers at Duffy’s Cut might have been buried alive during the stage of cholera known as cold cholera. At this point in the disease’s lethal progress, it is possible to appear dead, though the individual is still alive.

Beyond that, he has long held the view that some of the men died more suddenly at the hands of local Nativist gangs. That view is now taking firm hold in Watson’s excavation team.

Separately, Watson’s team has uncovered records for the arrivals of eight ships in Philadelphia at the time, all carrying immigrants from Ireland. Most of them were natives of counties Tyrone, Derry and John Ruddy’s native Donegal.

The latest discovery has prompted considerable media interest in the Duffy’s Cut dig.

“We’re now expecting CNN to visit the site,” said Watson.

Article from the Irish Echo and was written by Ray O'Hanlon.

Hamiltons of Kype, Avondale, Lanarkshire

The Hamiltons of Kype in Avondale, Lanarkshire

by Edgar M. Bralley

The Hamiltons are one of the most dynamic families, not only in Ulster, but in Scotland and other parts of the UK. DNA testing have shown the Hamiltons to be a bona fide Norman origin family, as their oral history maintained. The recently completed study of the Hamiltons of Kype, in Lanarkshire, is welcomed addition to the growing body of historical research into the fascinating family.

The ancestry of the Hamiltons of Kype in Lanarkshire, Scotland is now available with the publication of this E-book by Edgar Bralley. Working with other scholars, relying on previously-published books and manuscripts, and undertaking a careful examination of the Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, testaments and other primary source materials, he has been able to prove a lineage which connects this cadet to the most senior lines of the Hamilton family. In addition, the book contains charts, illustrations, photographs, and is fully-indexed and every word searchable. It contains a veritable goldmine of data on the history of Avondale and the families who lived there. A must-read for anyone interested in Lanarkshire history and genealogy.

This is the first publication of this massive work. It contains 97 letterhead-size pages plus a detailed 17-page index.

To purchase The Hamiltons of Kype in Lanakrshire, Scotland visit this link:

Ulster Heritage E-book.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Ulster Surnames, McDaneil

McDaniel is a common surname across Ulster. It is almost always a anglicised form of the Gaelic surname of Mac Dónaill and can be either Irish or Scottish in origin. The root name is Dónall which means 'world mighty' and it is a very old and very common Gaelic personal name. Many of the McDaniel families participating in the Ulster Heritage DNA Project have matches to men surnamed McDonald, McDonnell, etc., showing how one Gaelic name will often have multiple anglicised forms.

Some of the McDonnell in Ulster additional will have matches to the historic Gaelic Clan, Clann Mhic Dhónaill, or Clan Donnell as they are often called in Ireland. They were a Gallóglaigh and Redshank clan found in great numbers in the Glens of Antrim, but also in other parts of Ulster. There is also native Irish McDaniels that descend from the Fermanagh clan Kelly. It is also good to keep in mind when doing family history that many McDaniels will not have any known clan connections and will be the descendants of a man named Dónaill whose sons took his name, a case of simply patronymics. McDaniel, McDonnell, and McDonald is one of the most numerous surnames across Ulster.

Ulster Heritage Haplogroups August 2010

There are over 1,600 families now participating in the Ulster Heritage DNA Project. As expected, the most numerous haplogroup is the R1b1b2. As families in this group upgrade so they can further explore their haplgroup, most become the Ulster norm of R1b1b2a1b5 or the downstream haplogroup of R1b1b2a1b5b, which is also known as the 'Niall of the Nine Hostages' haplgroup.

The I1 and subsets of I haplogroups also have substantial presence in the results. Some of the I haplogroups represent indigenous families in the UK and Ireland, while others have Norse and other continental Europe origins.

The most unique haplogroup to show up yet in an Ulster family is the 'A' from County Antrim.

The R1b1b2a1b5 haplogroup is common across Ulster then east into Argyll, and includes many families with Aryshire and Gallowayshire origins in Ulster.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Portballintrae Sunset

From the very talented camera and eye of Nevin Taggart comes the two recent photos above of a beautiful sunset seen at Portballintrae, County Antrim. Portballintrae is the anglicised form of Port Bhaile an Trá, or 'port of the beach settlement.' It is in one of the most beautiful spots in Northern Ireland and is located very near Dunluce Castle and the Giant's Causeway. It was off the coast at Portballintrae that a team of divers located the greatest find of Spanish Armada treasure ever recovered from a sunken ship. The Spanish ship Girona's gold is now on display in the Ulster Museum in Belfast.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Henry, O'Henry, McHenry, Hendry

One of the more successful Ulster family DNA project is the Henry Surname Project. The project is researching the anglicised surnames of Henry; Hendry; O'Henry; McHenry and their variations. The project has already located several Henry families, among the the Henrys of the Bann Valley, which have Highland Scot origins, and the Henrys of Bushmills, which is a sept of the Ó Catháin family.

Renee Hendry Greene has reconfigured the results charts for the project web site. Each participant name is also linked to his lineage and to the lineages of the group to which he belongs. If you see any problems with your information, please e-mail Renee at hendry@usit.net.

The Project's three results charts that are accessible from the Results link at the web site:


There are 173 participants, including several with variations of the Henry name - Hendry and Hendren. Several participants took advantage of the July sale on extending markers and so there is some new data available in some groups.

Several family groups are shaping up nicely - many going back to Ireland or Scotland. Two participants who have been in the project for a while now have matches for the first time.

The very capable administrators are Doris Noland Parton, who created the Henry project is busy keeping up with developments in the project.

Renee Greene is the premier HENDRY expert and is also assisting with reviewing lineages for new members. Lind below:

Monday, 2 August 2010

Donegal On Line Magazine

The new issue of Donegal's online News magazine is now available, just use the links below to access it.

Fáilte go ríomhiris Dún na nGall i dTeagmháil. Tá an ríomhiris seo ina pháirt de Thionscnamh Diaspóra Dhún na nGall. Tá Dún na nGall ag síneadh amach agus ag nascú le daoine ar fud an domhain a bhfuil gaol nó suim acu leis an chondae. Cuirtear an ríomhiris seo chuig daoine i ngach cearn den domhan.

Seol an ríomhiris seo chuig duine ar bith a mbeadh suim acu ann, le do thoil. Beidh fáilte roimh thuairimí, ráitis nó eolas don ríomhiris. Tá an eagrán is deireannaí don e-iris le fáil le léamh nó íoslodáil ó suíomh idirlín Bord Forbartha Chontae Dhún na nGall - http://www.donegalcdb.ie/ ag an nasc seo a leanas:


Chun tuilleadh eolais ar Chontae Dhún na nGall nó ar Tionscnamh Diaspóra Dhún na nGall, dean teagmháil le Maria Nic Fheargusa ag maria.ferguson@donegalcoco.ie nó le Róisín Nic Giolla Bhríde ag rmcbride@donegalcoco.ie.

Welcome to the Donegal in Touch e-zine. This e-zine is part of the Donegal Diaspora Project. Through this project Donegal is reaching out and connecting with people in all parts of the world who have a connection to or interest in Donegal. This e-zine is sent to people in all parts of the world.

Please feel free to pass this e-zine on to others that you feel might be interested in it. Any views, comments or contributions to the e-zine are very welcome. The latest edition of the e-zine can be viewed or downloaded via the Donegal County Development Board website - http://www.donegalcdb.ie/ using the following link:


For further information on Donegal or on the Donegal Diaspora Project, please contact Maria Ferguson at maria.ferguson@donegalcoco.ie or Roisin McBride at rmcbride@donegalcoco.ie.