By Seamus Smith, Ballinacree, December 2020
As the year 2020 draws to a close we reflect on the changes that have happened in our lives due to Covid 19. We remember the people that passed away or were ill or lost their jobs because of the disease and the people that were lonely or isolated due the restrictions placed upon them.
We in the Historical Society were unable to hold our talks in the usual way but we were able to work online in bringing you “Wild and Wonderful”, a look at some of the wildflowers and plants growing in the area. This was our project for Heritage week. There is ongoing work in updating the list and taking of photographs which will continue into 2021. https://ballinacreehistory.com/a-to-z/
History tells us that we were not alone in overcoming adversity. Exactly 175 years ago in 1845 the blight attacked our ancestor’s potato crop and had a devastating effect on the lives of the people for many years. At the end of 2019 we published an article on the famine and the areas recovery from it. https://ballinacreehistory.com/the-great-famine/
Many of our ancestors were evicted from their farms and homes in the past, not just during the famine but also in the years before and after. We intend to write an article in the future on these evictions and also other land issues. Renting a piece of land was often the only source of food and to be evicted left people barely able to survive. If any of our readers has any information on this we would greatly appreciate you sharing it with us. An example of such an eviction and the resulting consequences is detailed in our article “Murder at Tubrid” https://ballinacreehistory.com/murder-at-tubrid/
Down through the years we have received requests for assistance, through our guestbook and through personal visits, in tracing the ancestors who lived in the area. (Some of these were published on our old website and the more recent ones on this site). We are more than happy to oblige. 2020 was challenging in that personal visits especially foreign visitors were curtailed due to the restrictions. We did however have some contacts (Some were not published at the sender’s request). Since our early days when the website was started more and more genealogical information has been published online. The full 1911 and 1901 census and partial census data from earlier years, the parish records, the military archives and many more have been published online. These are of great benefit to the researcher but can be a bit restrictive when not familiar with the area or its place names. In these instances the Historical Society or other locals can be of assistance.
Over the years many visitors to the site have provided valuable assistance to the Historical Society. We welcome all pieces of information; even the smallest piece of information told to you by parents / grandparents can provide a link and connection to other information. We thank all these people for their assistance and look forward to working together in the future.