Friday, 28 February 2014

PRONI's April lecture series

From PRONI ( in Belfast:

PRONI is delighted to release details of its forthcoming new lecture series in April 2014, which will be delivered by PRONI staff. These talks will provide excellent insight and tips on using PRONI sources.

The context of these talks will begin on the battlefields of the American Civil War, where we will learn about Irish émigrés involved in this conflict. We will explore these peoples’ letters sent home to loved ones, that reveal their aspirations and reservations on life as emigrants.

The series will continue by examining the suffering inflicted upon the population of Ireland during the Great Famine of 1845 to 1852. This talk will explain how the drastic action of emigration became the only option for many faced with this situation.

A wider discussion on the historical experiences of the poor in society shall follow. This talk will touch upon past attempts to relieve poverty, as well as provide tips on unearthing these peoples’ family stories from archival documents.

The series concludes with an overview of the work that transformed the lower River Bann from an uncontrollable waterway prone to flooding into a navigable commercial route. The major arterial drainage scheme on the Bann is well documented by PRONI sources. This talk will illuminate this, as well as touch upon significant archaeological discoveries unearthed during the works.

2nd April
Irish voices from the American Civil War by Brett Irwin

9th April
Hungry for change-the effect of the Famine on Irish migration by Ann McVeigh

23rd April
Experiences of the Poor and Excluded by Glynn Kelso

30th April
The River Bann: a view from the archives by Lorraine Burke

WHERE: All workshops will be held at PRONI
WHEN: Wednesdays from 1pm to 2pm
HOW MUCH: Admission is FREE but booking is essential. Please contact PRONI at to reserve your place.

(With thanks to Gavin McMahon)


My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.

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