Tracing your roots at Newry and Mourne Museum

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Friday, February 27th, 2015
Community, Old Newry
Newry and Mourne Museum recently hosted a group from Kilkeel looking to explore their family history.

Members of the Tracing Your Mourne Roots Group pictured with Shane McGivern at Newry and Mourne Museum

Shane McGivern, Collections Research Assistant at the Museum gave the group a talk about the Collections held at the Museum. The Reside Collection and the Hugh Irvine Collection were discussed, both of which are rich in genealogical value. The Reside Collection contains material dating from 1715 to the 1990s and is wide ranging. Among the Reside papers relating to Kilkeel are estate records connected to the Kilmorey family. These records include a valuation of the Mourne estate giving the names of heads of households for 48 townlands in the Mourne district. As the earliest surviving Census is the 1901 Irish Census, this volume is a very useful substitute giving an insight into the pre-Famine population in Mourne. The Hugh Irvine Collection is also a highly valuable resource for anyone tracing their family tree. The Collection is the life work of Hugh Irvine who was well known in the area as Principal of Kilkeel High School. The collection includes many photographs, postcards and original items such as receipts and a rare Poor Law Rate Book from 1854. The most significant part of this work are the cards which contain information on the majority of families from the region around Kilkeel. Hugh meticulously accumulated information on each family from various sources spanning over 200 years of history. The information in these cards has been sourced from various original documents such as Leases, Church Registers, Valuations, Militia Lists, the 1803 Agricultural Census and Poor Law Rate Books. Noreen Cunningham, Museum Curator, said, ‚ÄúThis has been a wonderful opportunity to showcase the extensive resources that the Museum has for studying your family and local history in the Mourne area.” If you are interested in finding out about your own local and family history call the Museum on 028 3031 3173 or email
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