The biggest obstacle to research in GO manuscripts is the lack of a single, comprehensive index, though this has been mitigated to some extent by the recent work of Virginia Wade McAnlis (see below). Many attempts have been made over the centuries of the office's existence to produce a complete index; the result has been a proliferation of partial indexes, each covering some of the collection, none covering it all. These are dealt with below. In addition, the policy used in the creation of manuscripts appears to have become somewhat inconsistent from the 1940s. Before then only the earliest and most heterogeneous manuscripts had been numbered in a single series, with each of the other groups simply having its own volume numbers, 'Lords' Entries, Vol. 2' or 'Registered Pedigrees, Vol. 12', for example. The laudable attempt to produce a consistent numbering system, beginning at GO 1 and moving through the collection, seems to have given rise to the piecemeal addition of material that was more properly the preserve of nli. The subsequent transfers to the library and renumbering of remaining material produced a virtual collapse of the system in the upper numbers: no manuscripts exist for many of the numbers between 600 and 800. The numerical list of manuscripts at www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/records/genealogical reflects the present situation, with titles no longer in the office given in brackets. In recent years Virginia Wade McAnlis has taken on the task of creating a consolidated index for Genealogical Office manuscripts, working from the microfilm copies available through the Family History Centres of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons. This work, in four volumes, is available at the nli (Ir 9291 c 11/1) and online at www.nli.ie/en/heraldry-cataloguesand- databases.aspx. The McAnlis index brings together the references from the indexes numbered as GO Mss. 117, 148, 255-60, 386, 422-3 and 470. Details of these are found below. In addition to the page references included in these indexes, McAnlis also includes microfilm references for the Latter-Day Saints collection.
See also Hayes's Manuscript Sources (sources.nli.ie). This indexes the Registered
Pedigrees, GO 800-822, and Fisher Mss. (GO 280-85).