What’s on the horizon?
The Irish Genealogical Research Society (www.irishancestors.ie) has just brought out a very handy “Research Update” bringing together all the promises of future online records made at the recent “Back To Our Past” event. So …
The National Archives’ collaboration with FamilySearch will shortly produce transcripts and online images of NAI’s surviving fragments of the 1821-1851 censuses, and early next year all of their 19th-century testamentary records and Valuation Office records. Rootsireland will (finally) be adding to its transcripts of Wexford parish registers. And PRONI aim to add all the Valuation Office revision books for areas now in the North.
But by far the most significant change is the upgrade planned for the Dept of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s site, irishgenealogy.ie. Before the end of this year, we’re told, it will publish the full General Register Office database of its indexes of births, marriages and deaths. Even if this were only a separate copy of the years transcribed already at FamilySearch.org, it would be significant –having a second bite of the cherry doubles your chances of avoiding transcription mistakes. But it will provide much more than a cross-check for FamilySearch. The database includes the GRO’s own indexes of 25 years of birth records with the mothers’ maiden surnames added, from 1903 to 1927. These were never microfilmed by the Mormons and so have not been available before now outside the GRO Research Room. At a stroke, it will be possible to reconstruct entire families over an extra quarter of a century. And what’s more, the word is that the indexes will continue well past the 1958 cut-off point of the FamilySearch records.
Of course, every gift horse must have its teeth counted: we still have to trudge up to Werburgh St. (with a heavy heart and a full set of thermals) in order to get at all the details in each record. Ah well.