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More Book Shopping!

February 26, 2011

I’ve been having a bit of a book buying frenzy, and I’ve been conducting this frenzy in a mixture of on and off-line purchases.  Here are some of the items I have  bought recently.  It began when I located a burial index for my great-great-great grandmother, Abigail Pritchard (Abagail Hanna in the index), buried in the Church of Ireland cemetery in Carnmoney, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, in 1873.  A search for gravestone inscriptions or cemetery listings brought me to the North of Ireland Family History Society website, where I found (and purchased) a few items:

Carved in StoneCarved in Stone

According to the NIFHS website, Carved in Stone is:

A Record of Memorials in the ancient graveyard around the Church of the Holy Evangelists (Church of Ireland) at Carnmoney, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim. Originally published in book form in 1994 by the Belfast Branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society, the Society now makes it available in 2009 for the first time on CD in searchable PDF format.

The CD contains inscriptions, a location map, section maps, a list of place names mentioned, several relevant articles, illustrations and photographs. There were burials in this Parish for hundreds of years and the earliest death recorded is 1692 with many other inscriptions from the 18th Century onwards.

I’m very excited about this one.  Review to follow.

The Hidden GraveyardThe second item I purchased from the NIFHS was really a ‘fail safe’ ‘insurance’ purchase – The Hidden Graveyard – Carnmoney Parish Church.

The website describes this one as:

The Newtownabbey Branch has, after a number of years of dedicated research, produced a new book entitled “The Hidden Graveyard”. This 144 page book records gravestone inscriptions from Graveyard No. 1 at Carnmoney Parish Church, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim. This section of the graveyard is across Church Road and ‘hidden’ down a lane. A form of mapping for each section of the graveyard is included, making it easy to locate a particular grave. Photographs, both black and white and colour add further interest. The memorials span more than 100 years from the 1860s to the 1960s, and include mention of folk who died overseas. Also recorded are Memorials inside the church, Commonwealth War Graves, and the Garden of Remembrance. The book contains an index of all surnames appearing on headstones and an index of place names mentioned. It has been noticed that some inscriptions, read with some difficulty at the time of recording, have now completely disappeared due to weathering.

If my GGG Grandmother is not buried in the first, perhaps she is buried in the second.  And of course, I’m hoping that I will find more than just one individual recorded in these transcripts.  If the family were in the area for several generations, there’s a better than average chance that they will be buried in one or the other of these cemeteries.

The Ballymoney Northern Herald and Ulster General AdvertiserLastly, and just for the fun of it, I ordered The Ballymoney Northern Herald and Ulster General Advertiser – a book containing Birth, Marriage and Death entries from 1860-1863 – a bit like a lucky dip – you never know what you might find.

The prompt email I received from the friendly Journal Despatch Officer informed me that my items were despatched on 21 February and would arrive in seven to ten days.  And counting!

My next foray into book buying occurred today on my way home from work, when I stopped in at the State Library Bookshop – much as I did on the first book shopping spree recorded here.  This time I was somewhat more restrained (more by time and budget than self-control).  I found a lovely book about Ireland with lots of colour photos from 1988 in the second hand library book section for $4.  It doesn’t have photos of any of the places that I know of that my ancestors came from, but it has lots of information about Irish culture, language and history, brought forward to the ‘present day’ of 22 years ago.  That one is called All Ireland – a catalogue of everything Irish edited by Jonathon Moore and published in 1988 by The Apple Press (ISBN: 1-85076-083-7).

But that’s not all (naturally).  I found several ‘wishlist’ books, and was getting hurried so the shop could close before I had properly decided – but I came home with these:

Exiled the Port Arthur Convict Photographs


Exiled – the Port Arthur convict photographs text by Edwin Barnard, published by the National Library of Australia 2010 (ISBN: 97806-42277091(pbk)).  The National Library of Australia website says this about Exiled:

The Port Arthur convict photographs are a remarkable record of the men who were sent from Britain to serve time in Australia between the 1820s and the 1850s. Exiled: The Port Arthur Convict Photographs takes some of these portraits and combines them with biographies of the men—and their female partners—based on transportation records, trial documents, official correspondence, prison files, local and overseas newspaper reports and eyewitness accounts. The result is a fascinating insight into an often misunderstood part of Australia’s story, in which these reluctant pioneers become individuals born with strengths and weaknesses; who had hopes and dreams; celebrated victories and mourned tragedies; and made good decisions and bad. In short, they turn out to be men and women very much like ourselves.

I was drawn to the photographs – it’s my picture book thing in full flight again.  The other illustrations and the layout of this book are visually glorious.  There is a vignette of the life of the convicts in the photographs, but also about life in Tasmania at the time and convict life in particular.  I will enjoy reading this one. Review to follow.

Shattered Anzacs - living with the scars of warAnd lastly for today, another on my ANZAC theme:  Shattered Anzacs – living with the scars of war by Marina Larsson, published by University of New South Wales Press, 2009 (978 1 921410 55 0 (pbk)).  Once again I’m examining the experience of war from the perspective of those at home – this time though, they are at home AFTER the war.  And so are the 90 000 soldiers who returned wounded.  I will review this one too, in the fullness of time.

I will leave my Amazon book buying spree for another post (perhaps when the books arrive).  Suffice to say that I will have something to read when I finish the final chapter of the Forsyte Saga, which is what I am currently reading.  Even when I read fiction I appear to be delving into genealogy and history.


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