Headstones as Postcards from the Past

Notes below

These are the prompts used during the talk and not an exact script.

Nick Maxwell (www.wordwell.com) recommended that we focus on 'harder' topics in local history and archaeology, citing Tom Dunne's book (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rebellions-Memoir-Memory-1798-ebook/dp/B006ZOYNL...) as an example of high quality history writing. Keep this in mind when telling stories of the past. Read more »

Community Genealogy & Historic Graves

Presented to the IGRS AGM in London in May 2013.




Community Genealogy and Historic Graveyard Surveys 

in Ireland 


A sense of discovery is a key part of our engagement with Historic Graveyards – this sign on a side road in Co. Kilkenny, near Thomastown, is the first hint of the presence of an historic graveyard.

slide3 Read more »

Putting People First in Cork

For the last two months we have been working with community groups throughout South and East Cork with the support of the Ireland XO animator for SECAD, Grace Fox and with the cooperation of Cork County Council.We have about 4 weeks of fieldwork and recording Read more »

Dowsing and historic graveyards

Dick Eastman is intrigued by the possibility of using dowsing to find forgotten graves. Reading his post I am reminded of a colleague telling me they used dowsing to layout a trench in an historic graveyard excavation in Wales. They needed to avoid a buried foundation and used dowsing to detect, mark and avoid the foundations. Now, field archaeologists are very sceptical, often by nature and always by training. We believe it when we see it! Therefore I am not certain my good friend and colleague was not pulling my leg and maybe we should try and replicate his experience. Read more »

How-to Signup to Become a Transcriber


A short video showing how to signup and become a member of the Historic Graves website and project. Read more »

Video of rubbings in Shanrahan, Co. Tipperary, and a very fine headstone


Under the shadow of the Knockmealdowns Tony & Mark took to the recording of the graveyards of south Tipperary like ducks to water. Mark is a geographer and Tony a retired builder so they both had a strong spatial sense and a tidy approach to dealing with paperwork.

This video shows the lads doing their first newsprint rubbing in Shanrahan graveyard. The group of graveyards from Newcastle, Tubrid and Shanrahan have a distinctive iconography of carving in the tympanum (top part of headstone). Common motifs in the Arma Christi headstones are the Pillar on which Our Lord was scourged entwined with the rope which bound him and this is clearly seen in the rubbing. Read more »

Search by Stonecutter

As we work with community groups around the country one of our main aims to track the different stonecutters who have worked in Ireland. We record the carved grave memorials by geotagged photo and database record sheets always taking care to record the stonemason/cutter if they have signed their work.

We can now search the Historic Graves database for stonecutter/stonemason in the Family Search view http://historicgraves.com/familysearch. Read more »

A celebration in Duhallow

There was great turnout in the fabulously appointed James O’Keefe Institute in Newmarket, Co. Cork for an evening of storytelling and the celebration of a five month long partnership between the IRD Duhallow and the Historic Graves Project. The IRD Duhallow is a rural development company which covers the area of north west Cork and south east Kerry which supports initiatives directed towards the generation of enterprise for the benefit and welfare of communities. Read more »

Historic Graves and the IRD Duhallow

Shane Lehane reflects on the exhibition and story telling night held in the James O'Keeffe institute in Newmarket Co. Cork at the conclusion of 5 month long collaboration between the Historic Graves Project and the local Rural development Company IRD Duhallow. A series of lectures on the care and conservation of graveyards was followed by field surveys in up to 20 local historic graveyards. The exhibition includes aerial photographs, rubbings of the iconography from the recorded headstones and stories about the people and the places. Read more »

5 Most Read Posts From 2012

The Historic Graves Project have had a very busy and exciting 2012 working with rural and urban communities to record their historic graveyards. The database of graveyards, memorials and stories is growing rapidly and new entries are being added everyday. The national map is filling up and you can explore and search the databse freely as communities add their survey records. Read more »

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