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Monday, 15 September 2014

IrishGenealogy to upload abridged version of indexes

After the unceremonial and cruelly swift removal of the much-heralded 'enhanced' version of Ireland's civil registration indexes amid privacy concerns on 18 July, the state-managed IrishGenealogy.ie is preparing to upload an abridged version of the collection.

The eagle-eyed among you will have already noticed that the home page was updated a few days ago with the message: "Civil Indexes temporarily unavailable & it is hoped to restore certain indexes in the near future."

After querying this, Irish Genealogy News has been told by the Department for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht that it "is in the process of finalising a number of issues regarding the placing of the historic civil indexes on-line. The Department hopes to complete this process in the near future."

My understanding is that the civil servants are playing it safe this time round and will be uploading records according to the Data Commissioner's 'approved' definition of 'historical records'. What we will have, therefore, is access to the birth indexes up to 100 years ago, the marriage indexes up to 75 years ago, and the death records up to 50 years ago.

In this format, the indexes are already primed and good to go, and have been for a couple of weeks. I don't believe there's any technical reason for any further delay so let's hope they get on with it.

In summary, here's what I'm expecting to appear:

Births Index – all entries registered from 1864 to 1913. Entries up to 1899 record only the child's name, year of birth and registration district. From 1900 to 1913, the mother's maiden name and the child's actual birth date are additionally provided in the majority of cases (the early years are rather inconsistent). All entries from 1864 have a Group Registration Number.

Marriages Index – all entries registered from 1845/1864 to 1943. Up to 1912, the bride and groom are recorded separately by name, registration district, quarter/year of marriage, page and volume number, and a Group Registration Number. From 1913 onwards, the bride and groom are recorded as a couple, together with registration district and date of marriage. These later marriage records are identified only with a Group Registration Number. (In fact, some pre-1913 marriages are recorded in this 'couple' format, but it's not been done consistently.)

Deaths Index – all entries registered from 1864 to 1963. Up to 1923, the deceased is recorded in the index by name, calculated age and registration district. From 1924, the entry records the name, registration district and the deceased's age as stated on the death certificate. All entries from 1864 have a Group Registration Number.