Monday, 25 March 2013

Lots of goodies coming soon from FindMyPast Ireland

At the St Patrick's Festival Irish Family History Centre in Dublin the weekend before last, Brian Donovan, CEO of FindMyPast Ireland, gave me an update on the digitisation work the company has been doing and what we can expect on the subscription site in the not-too-distant future.

To backtrack to last November, you may remember reading on Irish Genealogy News about the exciting programme of releases planned by the National Archives of Ireland (news story here)... Well, FindMyPast Ireland (FMPI) has been busy carrying out the digitisation and indexing of five of those collections and they will be released, as each project finishes, over the course of the next six months.

In the past, FMPI has digitised and indexed collections for the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) under an arrangement that allows the commercial organisation to put them online and charge a fee for a five-year period. In a shift from that traditional digitise-and-charge structure, FMPI will be releasing these five collections on FMPI with free access. They will also be freely available on the NAI's Genealogy website.

The five collections are as follows:

  • All extant 19th-century census returns/fragments
  • Prerogative Courts: Will and Grant indexes and marriage licence bonds pre-1858
  • Diocesan Courts: Will and Grant indexes and marriage licence bonds pre-1858
  • Census Search Forms: These relate to searches made in the early 20th-century of the 1841-1851 census returns to establish the age of persons applying for Old Age Pensions
  • Pre-Griffiths Valuation books: These are the 'initial' survey books – the field and house books prepared before the Household survey was carried out.
These are not the only new collections that FMPI are working on, however. The company has a total of 40million records scheduled for release over the next 18 months. Of these, ten collections will be going online on the same 'fee charged' terms as FMPI subscribers are accustomed to.

Here's a taster of some of these:  

School Registers: These are the surviving pupil registers held by the NAI. There are around 1,000 of them and the majority date from the period 1860 to the 1920s.

Catholic Qualification Rolls: These 18th-century rolls include details of about 50,000 people vetted by the authorities who wanted to engage in certain activities ie trades or occupations. As Roman Catholics they had to be 'approved' in advance.  

Kiltallagh Burial Registers: Transcribed Baptism and Marriage records for this Roman Catholic parish in Co Roscommon were added to last month. The transcribed Burial registers will complete the site's line-up for this parish and its catchment area, which includes some townlands in Co Mayo.  

Records from the North West: Transcriptions of parish registers from the North West of Ireland (plus many other types of records), the work of David Elliott.  

Church records from Annaclone parish: Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland and Presbyterian registers from the parish of Annaclone in Co Down are being digitally imaged and indexed. While the indexes will also be published on the website of a local group, only will have the index AND images.

Seems we've got plenty to look forward to!!