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Dublin

Links


dublinheritage.ie - A useful starting point to see where you can find records - compiled by the Dublin City Libraries

Irish Genealogy - This site is still growing but has a large number of parish records.  I have found a few records here and hope to find more in time.  There are also links to other sources.

Irish census - courtesy of the National Archives of Ireland you are now able to search the 1901 and 1911 Irish census for free - images too.  The page has links to the rest of the National Archives site with its wealth of resources.

National Library of Ireland - The National Library has many digitised resources as well as its massive manuscript collection.  

Wikipedia - for the overview of the history of Dublin.

About Trinity - Trinity College's own version of its history

Top ten tourist attractions to see in Dublin - this page on the Irish Central website lists the top ten things to see and provides many useful links to information about them.

Dublin.ie - the official site for the city.  Not much use on historical stuff but if you are visiting Dublin a good resource.

Dublin Town - a more commercial site  for visitors to Dublin - what's on, etc.


I have never been to Ireland and therefore Dublin so I have no concept of what the city is like at all.  Therefore I feel somewhat daunted by the prospect of compiling this page.  A quick search of possible sites to link to did not really bring up anything more personal than the extremely useful national institutions.  Maybe the mistake is in trying to tackle the whole city - and in fact I shall be compiling a couple of more particular pages on the parts of Dublin where my husband's ancestors lived - the posher parts I think.

For me though, Dublin means James Joyce, the centre of Irish republicanism, Trinity College (one of the British Isles' most prestigious universities) and not a lot more.  From the paintings and photographs I have chosen to represent the city on this page it looks a gracious city on a river near the sea - a little like London in that sense I think.  As you can see I am shamefully ignorant and will not attempt to tell you what kind of a city it is here - for this you should maybe read James Joyce.   I shall provide just a very brief outline - the salient points from Wikipedia.  I will try to provide more detail for my proposed pages on Rathmines and Dun Loaghaire - the two parts of Dublin of interest to the Meyrick clan (well as discovered so far).

Trinity College Dublin - College Green as painted by Barton Rose Maynard  and also photographed ca 1900.  Several of the male Merricks studied here.

O'Connell Street, Dublin painted by Simon Goldberg in 1962

The name Dublin comes from the Gaelic 'dubhlinn' which means  'black pool' and refers to the deep pool formed where the Poddle Stream met the River Liffey.  It seems that there was an early Christian settlement here, but it was really the Vikings who founded the city in 841 AD.  They ruled the city until a Norman invasion in 1169 and from then on it (and an eastern strip of Ireland) was under British rule, although there were attempts by the native Irish and also the Scots to take it over.  (The picture at right is of the Norman town.  The Tudors, however, conquered the whole of Ireland, with Dublin as its capital.  Elizabeth cemented its importance by founding Trinity College.

The town continued to grow in spite of half its population dying in the plague of 1649.  In Georgian times, it was, for a brief time the second largest city in the British Empire and the fifth largest in Europe.   In 1759 the Guinness Brewery was established in the city and has been a major employer ever since.

In the nineteenth century, however, after the Act of Union of 1800, in which the government of Ireland was taken back to Westminster, Dublin declined.  There were no heavy industries that would enable it to participate in the Industrial Revolution - Belfast grew more in this time.

Added to this was the destruction that occurred during the Troubles and the Irish Civil War.  Eventually though Dublin was restored as the capital of the new Republic of Ireland.  In recent times it has seen great prosperity and much rebuilding, followed by desperate economic times.  Currently the worst of these seem to be over.

Throughout its history Dublin has continued to be a centre of culture and education and has attracted the brightest and the best of the Irish people.

Trinity College

Many of the Nason and Merrick ancestors were students at Trinity College, Dublin.  I guess if you were part of the landed gentry then this is where you were expected to be educated.

It is one of Europe's most respected universities, being one of Britain's seven 'old' universities.  It was founded by Queen Elizabeth in 1592 and counts amongst its alumni great names such as Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Bram Stoker and countless other scientists, doctors,politicians ...  Although it was founded as one of the means of spreading Protestantism to Ireland, by the eighteenth century Catholics were able to be admitted to the university albeit with some restrictions.  These restrictions are, of course, long gone.

It now has some 17,000 students and covers and area of 47 acres in the centre of Dublin.  It's beautiful old library houses The Book of Kells - Ireland's most famous medieval treasure and also has a fascinating Zoological Museum.