Tag Archives: Ireland

5 days of free access to ALL Irish records

Excellent news for all of us researching our Irish ancestors. Leading family history website, Findmypast, has just announced that they will be making their entire collection of Irish records free for five days to help budding genealogists uncover their Irish heritage ahead of St Patrick’s Day 2017.

From today, Monday 13th March, until 11.59pm (GMT) Friday 17th March, ALL 116 million records within Findmypast’s Irish collection will be completely free to search and explore, providing family historians from around the globe with the opportunity to learn more about the lives of their Irish ancestors.
This includes free access to;
·         Over 10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers
·         Over 15 million Census, Land & Substitute records including the 1901 and 1911 censuses
·         Over 30 million detailed Court & Prison Records
·         Over 33 million Irish newspaper articles spanning the years 1708 to 1956
·         Over 7.3 million Dog Licences
·         Over 24 million Irish Passenger Lists
·         Over 2.4 million workhouse & poor law records
·         Over1.4 million Irish Quaker records
·         Over 350,000 records from World War 1, the Easter Rising & more
·         Landed Estates Court records featuring details of over 500,000 tenants residing on estates all over Ireland
·         The complete Griffith’s Valuation
·         Over 2.3 million Social History & Directory Records, including the most comprehensive online collection of national directories, dating back to 1814
·         Indexes to Irish wills dating from 1270 – 1858

I’m really hoping to have some time to go through over the new few days as I have lots of holes in my Irish ancestry and this could really help.

10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers to be released by Findmypast

Leading family history site, Findmypast, announced today at Rootstech that it will launch 10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers, one of the most important Irish record collections, in March 2016.

Covering over 200 years from 1671-1900 and over 1,000 parishes, Findmypast has worked to transcribe the National Library of Ireland’s online image collection of 3,500 baptism and marriage registers. This is the first time that the collection has been indexed with the images linked online, making the search much easier and the records more accessible. As a result, family historians will now be able to make all important links between generations with the baptism records and between families with the marriage registers.  These essential records cover the entire island of Ireland, both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Ben Bennett, Executive Vice-President North America and International for Findmypast said:

“The Irish Parish Registers will be a gold mine for anyone with Irish heritage. The 10 million baptism and marriage records will help even more people to trace their Irish ancestors.  In addition to being able to search this valuable collection, customers with family trees on Findmypast will benefit from leads that automatically connect the records related to their family directly to their trees.  The Catholic Parish Registers are a hugely important addition to Findmypast’s Irish collection, the largest and most comprehensive source for online Irish family history research.”

National Archives of Ireland, Findmypast and FamilySearch partnership to bring decades of lost Irish history online

I really struggle with researching my Irish family history so I was excited about this press release I received today:

The National Archives of Ireland and leading Irish family history website findmypast today announced the release of an extensive series of records that will prove an invaluable resource for anyone tracing Irish ancestry.  The records, which include over 600,000 names from pre-1901 Irish census records, are now available to access for free on findmypast and the National Archives website (genealogy.nationalarchives.ie). The launch of the Irish Census records forms part of findmypast’s 100in100 promise to launch 100 record sets in 100 days.

This is the first free-to-access launch resulting from an innovative partnership between findmypast, the National Archives of Ireland, and FamilySearch.org. Millions more essential family history records will be released in the coming months under the terms of the partnership, which represents a fruitful collaboration between a national cultural institution and private sector genealogy suppliers. The partnership allows people in Ireland and abroad to have free access to records relating to their Irish roots, which were not previously available online.

Irish family histories are notoriously difficult to trace, owing to the destruction of the Public Record Office in Dublin in 1922. On the 30th June 1922 two huge explosions rocked the Record Office, causing a fire that destroyed millions of records – and with them hundreds of years of Irish history. These included a substantial number of Irish census records from the 19th century.
The surviving records open an online archive of Irish history to everyone interested in tracing an Irish heritage. The records cover three decades, 1821-1851, and include the surviving Irish census records from 1821-1851, and census search forms from 1841 & 1851.

Ireland census 1821-1851
Every ten years a census of the Irish population was taken between 1821 and 1911 and, luckily for Irish family historians, the manuscript returns for each household survived the 1922 fire for all 32 counties for 1901 and 1911. The new records add to the existing census and include information pre-dating 1901, with data sets covering some parts of the country now available from 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851. The 1821 census is a particular highlight for family historians, as it records all members of the families documented.

Ireland census search forms 1841 & 1851
These records are comprised of search forms used to corroborate the validity of pension claims made in 1908 and are extracted from the 1841 & 1851 census, which were subsequently destroyed in the fire. They represent a very useful link to pre-famine Ireland, and also list the applicant’s details and all of the information available from the census records – including other family members present on census night.

To learn more about the records and to access them free of charge visit The National Archives of Ireland or findmypast.  The records will be available shortly on FamilySearch.org.

Free Griffith’s Valuation records

I was recommended a great free source for Griffith’s Valuation at www.askaboutireland.ie

By searching ‘Matthew Young Waterford’ I was able find the following:

Tenant – Matthew Young

House and garden

value of land 12 shillings

Landlord – Board of Works

County – Waterford

Barony – Decies without Drum

Union – Waterford

Parish – Killea

Townland – Dunmore


Griffiths Valuation of Ireland

I’ve heard of the Griffiths Valuation of Ireland before and I know they can be quite useful for family historians but that’s all I know.

Somehow I came across the following reference for Killea, County Waterford –

Young Matthew Dunmore Killea Waterford

no dates or amount just an entry

I’m sure this is significant I’m just not sure what it really means or how I can find out more. Presumably it relates to Matthew Young (1786-1855)  who was a Commander in the Royal Navy. Another thing to add to my ‘to do’ list.


How to use the British Newspaper Archive

I rarely buy family history magazines anymore but whilst we were on holiday last month I picked up one to read. There was an article about the British Newspaper Archive which sounded interesting so I signed up online and received 15 free credits (which equated to 3 page views).

I tried a couple of simple searches with no luck and was pretty disappointed at the results which seemed illegible. The original newspapers are scanned, converted to a JPEG2000 format for archive purposes, and then run through an optical character recognition (OCR) process which creates the electronic text. This means that the text isn’t read by a human so the words are made live on the website even if they don’t make sense, i.e. ‘MISS SELINA RANCE,n ttends bhtre Gret Lodon Serio-Comic. treet, ‘ Continued Engagement of the Universil Favourites and ge, ou Star Duettists.’ So you need to do a bit of detective work!

I then tried some searches for some of the middle and upper class members of my tree, in particular Selina Elizabeth Courtenay Mansel, as I noticed I didn’t have a date of her marriage to Alfred Young.

On the second page of results was for a notice of their marriage in the Hampshire Telegraph, dated Saturday 27 July 1850:

Young-Mansel  On the 16th inst., at the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas, Galway, by the Rev J Macready , Alfred Young Esq. Lieutenant R.N. grandson of the late Bishop of Clonfert , to Selina Elizabeth Courtenay, only child of Captain Thomas Mansel, R.N. , and grandchild of the late Sir William Mansel , Bart., of Iscoed, Wales.

I’m really glad I persevered with searching as I doubt I would ever have found a record of their marriage. I can see how easy it would be to become addicted to this site! I also found an entry for the death of Admiral Thomas Mansel in the Morning Post, 7th April 1869.