Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Was your ancestor in the original IRA?

The Irish Defence Force website Military Archives (www.militaryarchives.ie) is to soon add a major collection to its online holdings in the form of the Bureau of Military History (1913-21) project, which gathered 1773 witness statements to help gather "the history of the movement for the formation of the Irish Volunteers on 25th November 1913, to the 11th July 1921". Additional material will also be added in the form of photographs, contemporary publications, audio recordings and more.

From the site:

The establishment of the Bureau gave individuals involved a chance to record their own stories. Members of groups such as the Irish Volunteers and subsequently the IRA, Cumann na mBan, the IRB, Sinn Féin, the Irish Citizen Army, relatives of deceased individuals and people not associated with any specific organisation were sought out to provide as broad a range as possible to the collection.

Although the full collection has yet to go online, an index to those who helped with the project is now available at www.militaryarchives.ie/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/The_Bureau_of_Military_History_1913-1921_Index_to_Contributors_01.pdf.

A newspaper story on the project, produced in association with the National Archives of Ireland, is in today's Irish Times at www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0103/1224309736108.html. The article also mentions that the site will also be releasing applications by those who believed they were entitled to a pension, having fought for the Irish Free State during the civil war - this would seem to be the project I first got wind of at Who Do You Think You Are Live in 2009, and subsequently reported in Practical Family History magazine (Spring 2009, issue 138).

(With thanks to the Guild of One Name Studies via Twitter @GuildOneName)

Chris

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