Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Irish Times Archives - Free Access

By: Ann Rabinowitz

One of the periodic niceties which occur periodically in the genealogical world is the sometimes temporary access to be gained to newspaper and other archives.  The latest one, the archives of “The Irish Times”, was brought to my attention by Joy Rich, editor of “Dorot” which is published by the JGS (NY). 

Free access is provided to “The Irish Times” in honor of their 150th Anniversary (1859-2009
).  The access is from March 31, 2009 – April 4, 2009 and search can be conducted by text or date.   

The range of items in the paper is amazing and one can find articles, adverts, legal announcements and trials, births, marriages, and deaths, school graduations along with photographs, information on organizations and their activities, and many other things.

Very often, researchers do not bother to look at the regular town newspaper where their families lived for Jewish-related news.  It is often thought that only the Yiddish or Jewish papers will have such information.  Not necessarily true and “The Irish Times” is a good example.

As I often do, I searched for the YODAIKEN family and found Samuel Yodaiken whom I have written about previously on the Blog.  He is mentioned quite a number of times in pieces relating to theft of automobile and bicycle tires from his business and subsequent arrest of the perpetrators.  This was in the early decades of the 20th Century when apparently rubber products such as tires were a big business. 

Further, I found a poem by his son, the well-known writer Leslie Herbert Yodaiken (later Daiken) which I had not seen previously and which was published in the Saturday, November 25, 1939 edition of the paper: 

"Lament From the Banks of the Uz"
(For "Nichevo.")

A LYRIC moon powdered the Carpathian night
Peace with each cockerow came into the market square;
Your shabby nags-caparisoned with light!
Your sentries slept.  The Monster was not there.
A golden cupola dazzled in the sun
Like a recovered glory of Byzantium.

Across the splashing czardas, muted slow
I seem to hear the brittle break of bones,
Where every day's a "Traurig Sonntag" now
Spilt, spelt as "Blood Sunday" on the stones-
An Irishman has painted well the scene
And your inoffensive helpless gabardine.

Curs lap up the blood and leave no traces.
O gipsy folk, O Jews of Uzhorod,
What has become of your exalted faces
Crying in stony places to your God,
Apocalyptic agony and loss
Your crucifixion on the crooked-cross?

Roll on Death's Caravan!  Comrade ghosts will greet you
Where the shade of Masaryk presides Ceann Comhairle.
Deputies, Czech and Pole and Ethiop, will meet you,
And Basque and Catalan (arrived a little early).
Along these trackways desperately trod
Roll on Tzigane and Jew of Uzhorod.

Leslie’s graduation (with photograph) from Trinity College in 1933 was located along with notices of his participation in dramatic performances and other matters.  Another listing was the birth of Samuel’s grandson Jonathan in 1964 which stated when and where he was born and who his parents were.  There were also obits for various people which gave the name of the cemetery where the deceased was buried which I had not known before.  One of these was for my uncle Abe whose death date I did not have.

Another interesting find was one for Arnold Yodaiken who was listed as follows in a legal advert:

Public Dance Halls Act, 1935

Take Notice that ARNOLD YODAIKEN, of 66 Chaworth Place, South Circular road, Dublin, intends to Apply at the Metropolitan District Court, Court No. 3,Morgan Place, Dublin, on Thursday the 28th day of September 1950, at 10.30 a.m., for a Dance Licence in respect of the premises known as Greeville Hall, Dolphin's Barn, South Circular road, Dublin.  HARRIS & LEON,Solicitors for the Applicant, 2 St.Andrew street, Dublin.

Many other Irish Jewish families as well as others from around the world were to be found in the archives and it is well-worth searching for them. 

Not only were their personal family information to look for, but there was historical information available in the articles as well.  A valuable article, “An Irishman’s Diary” appeared in the Thursday, May 29, 2008 edition of the paper, (available here), and told of a fascinating walking tour of Jewish Dublin.

All in all, the search was quite rewarding and I am going to continue my sleuthing in the archives until the very last day!

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