Historian hands over
wealth of genealogical information
A wealth of historical material which should
prove invaluable to people tracing their ancestors has been handed over to
the Carlow Genealogical Centre.
Included in this latest acquisition is a
complete record of all the birth and marriage records in the county from
the mid-18th century to 1900 containing hundreds of thousands of names.
This extensive collection, all on microfilm is
a copy of the detailed compilation of all such records in the country
which was carried out by the Mormons in Ireland in the 1950’s.
The material also includes various indexes of
the births, deaths and marriage registers in the county, as well as almost
2,500 genealogical enquiries from all over the world. The enquiries in
themselves provide material which the Carlow organisation would not have
possibly had, especially when cross-referenced with local resources.
The person who has handed over this extensive
collection is local historian Michael Purcell, who has spent almost 35
years collecting items of historical and genealogical material relating to
“My uncle waited until he was 98 years of age
before he handed over his lifetime collection. I don’t think I am going to
be around that long so now is as good a time as any to hand over the
collection,” Michael joked.
“I was always interested in history and
genealogy in particular. I also believe that a properly run genealogical
centre, as we now have in Carlow, will prove an invaluable attraction for
tourists, especially from the US,” said Michael.
The Genealogical Centre, which is run by
Carlow Heritage Family Research Limited, a company supported by the local
authority, already has an indexed collection of all births, marriages and
deaths from the Catholic churches throughout the county, which took over
three years to compile.
"This has all been coordinated by genealogist
Mary Moore and the centre probably provides the best service of its kind
in the country because of its state of the art computer system. This is
due to the foresight of County Secretary, Jim Kearney, who has also acted
as secretary of Carlow Heritage Family Research for the past five years,”
Also included in the material was a microfilm
of the birth and marriage parish records for County Laois, which was
handed over to the Rossmore Development Group. “It is hoped this will act
as catalyst for the establishment of a genealogical centre in the Killeshin
area to serve all of County Laois, which at the moment is serviced by a
centre in Offaly,” Michael pointed out.
Michael Purcell - Monday, October 08, 2001 -
MEET MICHAEL PURCELL OF CARLOW, IRELAND
The Nationalist 19th July 1996
the true "Quiet Man". He wears many hats, however he is not so quiet when it
comes to heritage and genealogy. His title is Coordinator of the Heritage
Society and Projects of Carlow, Ireland. If you are looking for your
ancestors in the Carlow-Wexford area, he is the man to see. If you can find
him. He is involved in many projects, such as the Holy Angeles, a school for
children of special needs or maybe you can find him Sunday evening
collecting bread at the food stores, which he gives to families in need or
the elderly. Better yet, just ask for him at City Hall or the Chamber of
him by asking the City Clerk, who made some phone calls and located him at
an old convent where he was overseeing a project. We walked over to the
convent to meet him and chased him around town to extract some genealogy
information. We have gotten more form him than any computer could give us.
It is called personal attention and education. His enthusiasm spills over
and you absorb, and soon share his love of Irish history, heritage, Carlow
Town, County Carlow and Ireland as a whole.
walking through an old graveyard can be an excursion with Michael. It was
1991 when we walked into the County Clerks office to find Michael. We now
count him among our most treasured friends. I wish I could let you know more
of what he does but that is the quiet part of the man. He is a mover and a
shaker and gets the job done ...quietly. He is a national treasure!
Walter O'Hayre of Phoenix, Arizona, representatives of the International
Sister Cities Organisation, are presented with copies of “Carlow in
old picture postcards" and "The Carlow Gentry,' by UDC chairman Walter
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