Irish Roots

May 31st, 2010

John Grenham

Sometimes the best way to write about advances in access to records is just to list them:

Ennis Roman Catholic parish, with the collaboration of The Clare Roots Society, have made all of their 19th-century records freely searchable on-line, at www.ennisparish.com/genealogy/. The on-line search is quite basic, but the parish has also made it possible to download the entire set of transcripts as MS Excel files, so it is possible to play with them off-line. They are not full transcripts, excluding place names, witnesses and the like, but they are a wonderful short cut. If only more parishes would do the same.

The Belfast General Register Office (www.groni.gov.uk) search room has made available a digital transcript of all births from 1864 in areas now in Northern Ireland, searchable in particular by motherís maiden name. So, it is now possible to reconstruct entire families in minutes. The transcripts are only available in the search room for the moment. Marriage records are also to be digitised. Why in the name of all thatís holy can our own General Register Office not do something similar?

The index to Bureau of Military History interviews is now also on-line, at http://url.ie/6ay1 . The Bureau was set up in 1947 to gather source material for the history of the movement for Independence from 1913 to 1921. Its main achievement was the collection of almost 1800 interviews with participants in the Irish Volunteers and the War of Independence. The index is quite detailed and the interviews themselves are superb sources of local and family history. The repository holding them, the Military Archives, has just re-opened to the public.

If all of this is not enough, the full 1901 census goes live at www.census.nationalarchives.ie on Thursday next, June 3rd. And www.irishgenealogy.ie is also about to expand.



Comments and suggestions are welcome, to irishrootsatirishtimes.com.

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