Irish Famine Data & Map

The Irish Famine Project has an all Ireland map showing the effects of the Great Hunger or Famine on population between 1841 and 1851.

Just came across an interesting site, The Irish Famine Project

This site has maps of all the Irish civil parishes and shows you the percentage drop in population in each area.

I subscribe to Irish Central and get inundated with various news related to Ireland. Most I don’t read, but occasionally there is something that is a genealogical gem, like the article on The Irish Famine project. So I persevere with all the rest. Any new developments in Irish genealogy do get reported on this site, so it is worth hanging in there.

This site has an interactive map, so you can look at specific civil parishes and see the decrease in population from 1841 to 1851, due to deaths and immigration.  Over a million people died and over a million emigrated during The Great Hunger.

I looked up the population numbers in some of the areas my ancestors came from in Co Tipperary:

Thurles 10,284 pre-Famine and 7,848 after a decrease of 24%

Moyne 2,584 pre and 1,759 after -32%

Drom 2,025 pre and 1,400 after -31%

Moykarky 1,493 pre and 780 after -48%

Loughmore West 2,471 pre and 1,565 after -37%

Fin Dwyer at is doing a series of podcasts on The Famine at the moment. Can’t recommend his podcasts enough. He is a great researcher and his podcasts are interesting and hugely informative.

Place Name Abbreviations in Victorian (Australia) Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Abbreviations used in Victorian (Australian) vital records.

In birth, marriage and death records in Victoria, Australia, place names are most often abbreviated. These abbreviations can be somewhat cryptic and idiosyncratic. As I was researching my family history I made a list of these place names and abbreviations.

The PDF file is my compilation. If you click on the link below a PDF file should open up. Let me know if it doesn’t.

eBook Placenames & Abbreviations 13 June 2011

They may be of help in locating your ancestors in Victoria. If you find any mistakes or additions please let me know.


DNA Testing Fanning DNA Project

Have you hit a brick wall in your genealogical research? Or do you want to confirm your paper trail results? Consider DNA testing! There are points in everyone’s research, particularly along the patriarchal line, where DNA testing can be very helpful. Family Tree DNA products and prices are listed here. They do have specials every now and again, as these tests are not cheap.

The largest Fanning/Fannin DNA project available is hosted by Family Tree DNA at . If you are interested in DNA testing to aid your genealogical research, please check out this project and contact the admin team for questions.

At Family Tree DNA they are particularly interested in getting more Australian male Fannings to test. The more people who get their DNA tested for genealogical research the more connections can be made.


Irish Manuscripts Commission

The Irish Manuscripts Commission has a number of old, interesting, out of print Irish manuscripts that are free and good for investigating early family history.


The Irish Manuscripts Commission has a lot of old Irish books online and free. These include the Calendar of Ormond  Deeds, The Book of Survey & Distribution and The Civil Survey and many other interesting books that could be useful for  genealogy in early periods. They plan to add more titles.

1641 Irish Depositions

Link to view 1641 Irish Depositions taken regarding the rebellion of Oct 1641.

I have just come across a link to the 1641 Depositions held in Trinity College Library in Dublin Ireland. These were statements mostly by Protestants regarding the rebellious activities of Irish Catholics around the time of the Oct 1641 rebellion where the rebels attempted to take over Dublin Castle.

One of the surviving medieval towers at Dublin...
One of the surviving medieval towers at Dublin Castle.

There are a number of Fannings mentioned in them different depositions. The surname is spelled Ffanning, Fanning or FFanninge.

It is possible to look at the original often illegible documents. But there are also transcripts of these papers below which is just as well.

So far I have come across Edmond Ffanning in 1642, Dominick Ffanning 1646 and a John Ffanning 1642. Dominick Fanning, the Mayor of Limerick, who was executed by Cromwell features in many as a rebel.

You can register for free and also save any you are looking at.

The link is 1641 Depositions.

Results of Cromwellian Settlement in Co Tipperary Ireland

Tipperary Library’s Local Studies site has many Tipperary Historical Journals online free out of print issues. The Cromwellian Settlement of Tipperary by J.G. Simms is very informative and gives a background to the unrest and strife which followed in Co Tipperary.

English: Castles of Munster: Ardfinnan, Tipper...
Ardfinnan Castle, Co Tipperary was built by Prince John in 1185. It was garrisoned by Cromwellian troops throughout the 1650’s.


English: Castles of Munster: Burncourt, Tipper...
Burncourt Castle Co Tipperary was destroyed in 1650 by its owner Sir Richard Everard to prevent its occupation by Cromwellian troops.

The Cromwellian Settlement of Tipperary by J.G.Simms can be read here at the Tipperary Library site. It is very interesting and informative. There are many out of print issues online here as well.

“The result of the Cromwellian settlement was that by 1660 at the end of the Commonwealth regime virtually all Tipperary was in the possession of Protestants” and according to Simms “the foundations of much later strife were laid in the Cromwellian settlement.”

There are quite a lot of out of print Tipperary Historical Journal articles which can be read online free through the Tipperary Library Local Studies site.

Name Variations and Peculiarities in Irish Vital Records

This eBook describes many surname and christian name variations and peculiarities and may help you find that elusive Irish ancestor in birth, death and marriage records.

Varieties and Synonymes of Surnames and Christian Names in Ireland Robert Mathson

Varieties and Synonymes of Surnames and Christian Names in Ireland” by Robert Matheson could help in tracing Irish ancestors in parish records. It can be viewed online.

The many Christian and surname variations in Irish records can make finding the right one diffficult.

These name variations are not just in spelling. Entirely different names are sometimes used synonymously by the same person or by members of the same family.

One of my gggrandfathers was sometimes called Bryan and at other times Bernard. In this book I discovered that Bryan was the anglecised Irish form of the English name Bernard.

Name Variations Ireland p9

Name variations ireland p10

Name Variations Ireland p11 Name Variations Ireland 12 Name Variations Ireland 13 Name Variations Ireland 14 Name Variations Ireland 15

Name Variations Ireland 12

Name Variations Ireland 13 Name Variations Ireland 14 Name Variations Ireland 15

Name Variations Ireland p16

Name Variations Ireland p17 Name Variations Ireland p18

Name Variations Ireland p19 Name Variations Ireland p20

Name Variations Ireland p21 Name Variations Ireland p22 Name Variations Ireland p23 Name Variations Ireland p24 Name Variations Ireland p25 Name Variations Ireland p26 Name Variations Ireland p27 Name Variations Ireland p28


Name Variations Ireland p29 Name Variations Ireland p30

There is a section in this book called “Alphabetical List of Surnames with their Varieties and synonymes” which gives the variant surnames.

Fanning surname variations in Ireland
Fanning variant surnames in Ireland and also in Australia.


Free Irish Genealogy eBooks

A list of many free ebooks on Irish genealogy and family history. Easy to read online and copy. Mostly written in the 19th century but some earlier.

This site has a wonderful list of free eBooks for Irish family history.  They are not under copyright as they are old. Some gems here. Good reading on a rainy day.

There are nearly 350 eBooks listed at this site with links. Most are 19th century with some from the previous century.

On this site the eBooks are grouped under the following headings:

* History of Ireland* Local History* Guidebooks* Irish Diaspora – General* Irish Diaspora- North America* Family Histories* Disputed Inheritance Cases* Irish-American Family Histories* Irish-Canadian Family Histories* Irish Genealogy Sources

Some of the titles which look interesting are:

The History of Ireland 1844

Slaters Directory 1846

Irish Local Names Explained

The Irish In America

Irish Emigration to the United States

Biographical History of the American Irish In Chicago

The Irish in Australia

The Story of the Irish in Argentina

Irish Colonists in New York

***Varieties and Synonymes of Surnames and Christian Names in Ireland

Below are two pages from one book which relate to Fannings

index to prerogatve wills ireland p161 faninge
Index to Prerogative Wills Ireland Sir Arthur Vicars 1897 p161
index to prerogative wills of ireland Fannin p162
Index to Prerogative Wills Ireland Sir Arthur Edward Vicars 1897 p162


The 1866 Post Office Directory Victoria Australia

This Victorian Post Office Directory, from Google Books, gives the details of many Victorian towns and their inhabitants in 1866. Gold Offices and a Squatters Directory and transport details are included.

Advertisement from The Victorian Post Office Directory 1866

The Victoria Post Office Directory 1866 gives an amazing snapshot of life in Victoria in 1866. Gold had been discovered in Victoria in 1851 and the population went from 80,000 to 500,000 in 1860.

The Victoria Post Office Directory 1866 by H. Wise can be viewed and searched online in Google Books.

I think it could help with deciphering the place name abbreviations in the Victorian Birth, Marriage and Death records in the Pioneer Index, which covers the period 1838 to 1888. Some of these towns don’t exist today or have had name changes, so looking through this list may help identify possible place names for records.

At the beginning of this directory there are also calendars for the years 1866-67.

It goes on to cover the names and addresses,and sometimes occupations and businesses of people in the Melbourne area.

Then the following towns inhabitant’s details are included:

Aitken’s Gap, Albury, Amherst, Ashby, Avenel, Avoca, Bacchus Marsh, Ballan, Ballarat, Beechworth, Benalla, Beveridge, Bourke, Broadford, Broadmeadows, Browns, Bungaree, Bunniyong, Burrambeet, Carisbrook, Castlemaine, Chiltern,Chilwell, Christmas Town, Clunes Coghill’s Creek, ,Coomoora, Corowa, Creswick, Daylsford, Deniliquin, Digger’s Rest, Donnybrook, Dowling, Duck Ponds, Dunolly, Echuca, Eltham, Essendon, Euroa, Evelyn, Everton, Flemington, Forest, Franklinford, Fryers Town, Gap, Geelong,Gisborne, Glenlyon, Gordon, Guildford, Heathcote, Heidelberg, Hepburn, Huntley, Inglewood, Joyce’s Creek, Keilor, Kilmore, Kingston, Kyneton, Lauriston, Learmonth, Lexton, Little Swamp, Lilydale, Loddon, Majorca, Maldon, Malmsbury, Maryborough, Melton, Miner’s Rest, Moonee Ponds, Moorabool, Mornington, Myrniong, Newtown, Pentridge, Pyalong, Queenstown, Rutherglen, Sandhurst, Scarsdale, Seymour, Smeaton, Smythesdale, Springs, Spring Creek, Springfield, Stanley, Stoney Creek, Sunbury, Talbot, Tallarook, Tarnagulla, Tarrawinge, Templestowe, Vaughan, Violet Town, Wadonga, Wahgungah, Wallan, Wangaratta, Warrenheip, Wimmera, Woodend, Woods Point, Wooragee, Yandoit and Yackandandah.

It also  lists Gold Offices on the Gold Fields at Ararat, Avoca, Ballarat, Beaufort, Beechworth, Benalla, Blackwood, Castlemaine, Creswick, Daylesford, Dunolly, Heathcote, Chiltern, Jamieson, Majorca, Maldon, Maryborough, Morse’s Creek, Sandhurst, Smythesdale, Stawell, Talbot, Tarnagulla, Wood’s Point and Yackandandah..

After this is a Squatting Directory for Victoria in 1866.

There are coach times from Melbourne to many locations. From Bourke St to Kilmore took 5 hours.

The Travellers Road Guide gives distances from Melbourne and means of transport available.

To get to Clunes from Melbourne involved going by rail to Ballarat and then by coach whereas to get to Alberton taking a steamer to Part Albert was necessary. Distances from Melbourne are given from most locations.

Another section called “General Information about Country District” gives distances, nearby towns, often populations and services and sometimes alternative names.

At the end of the book are many advertisements for a variety of services and products which give some insight into life in Victoria in 1866.

Hotel Advertisement from The Victorian Post Office Directory 1866

The Post Office Directory of Victoria Australia 1869 Index to Post Towns

The 1869 Post Office Directory of Victoria Australia lists the names of post towns with their abbreviations and alternative names.

These town names and abbreviations are from the 1869 Post Office Directory of Victoria which you can read and search on Google Books.