An exciting thing just happened in the world of Irish genealogy- over 10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers have been indexed and published online, and there are multiple sites offering free access to these parish records during the month of March. The folks over at Findmypast are celebrating by offering free access to Irish records through March 8th and the Ancestry websites are doing the same throughout the month of March.
The collection includes 10 million new Irish Catholic Parish Registers that include names, dates and information on marriages, baptisms and burials. The part that makes this new collection so exciting is that the registers are now fully indexed, meaning it is possible to search by name and other information. The registers dates from 1671 until 1900, and represent more than 40 million names. It is very likely that anyone with Irish ancestors might be able to find some connection here, as the collection spans over 1,000 parishes in 97% of Ireland (including Northern Ireland parishes).
For many people it can be a struggle to sift through Irish history in an attempt to find out more about their ancestors and family line. Whether it is from too many people having the same surname, issues during immigration, or missing records, it is often hard to find what can feel like a needle in a haystack. For others, figuring out where to start might just be the hardest part.
Irish records are often missing key pieces of information, or missing entirely, largely due to a massive fire in 1922 that burned all of the Census information from the four Irish censuses between 1821 and 1851. The parish registers however might help to fill in the blanks for those who have come across stumbling blocks before.
With 80 million Irish records, Findmypast claims to have the most comprehensive collection of Irish records anywhere on the Internet, and is celebrating the release and categorization of the Parish Registers by offering free search and access to all Irish records this week. Remember, you only have until March 8th to access all of the Irish records for free on Findmypast.
Throughout the month of March, the Irish Parish Registers and other Irish Records are also available to view for free on Ancestry.co.uk. Ancestry is considered the world’s largest genealogy source, and has 55 million Irish records, as well as a country office in Ireland.
Have you tried tracing your Irish heritage before? Do you think these new records will help you for future searches? Let us know!