Friday 21 May 2010

Carlow or West Cork ancestors?

If you've got ancestors from Carlow or West Cork, Wednesday 16th June could be the day you knock down a few brick walls.

Church records from these areas will be launched online at on that date, joining the existing line up of Dublin and Kerry records.

Monday 17 May 2010

1901 census of Ireland online on 3rd June

The National Archives will be releasing the 1901 census of Ireland online and free on Thursday 3rd June.

Now isn't that the best news you've heard all year?!

You'll be able to search the census index, and view images of the census returns, at

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Online Civil Registration Index - fault continues

Unfortunately, the fault which has been affecting the online index to Ireland's civil registration records for the last two weeks (see news report of 28 April) has not yet been corrected. In fact, the results returned by the site's search facility seem to be getting more bizarre. Clearly the 'location' filters are completely scrambled. The birth of one of my cousins, for example, is currently showing up as registered in South Australia when the happy event actually took place in Dublin!

The good news is that engineers are working on the problem. The bad news is that it may take the entire month to reload the Irish collection so that it functions properly.

Thursday 6 May 2010

Dublin Family History Event - 8 May 2010

This Saturday, 8th May, there's an Irish genealogy event being held in Dublin.

Some of the reasearch team for Who Do You Think You Are will be providing answers in two 2-hour sessions, the first at 11am, the second at 2pm, at the Neptune Rowing Club, Conyngham Road, Island Bridge, Dublin 8.

The event is part of a fundraising drive for St Laurence's National School in Chapelizod and tickets cost €12 per person, or €20 for two people.

For more details, see

Irish ancestors in the British Army?

If your Irish ancestors fought for the British Army between 1760 and 1913, you'll be interested to check out the Chelsea Pension records just released by Find My Past.

The Chelsea Pension records hold details of more than 1.4million servicemen. Of these, 17.6% (nearly a quarter of a million) were Irish. Don't be misled by the term 'pension'. It doesn't necessarily follow that the soldiers were elderly. They became eligible for a pension after just 12 years service or even earlier if they were wounded.

And although the pensions were administered by the Royal Hospital of Chelsea, the great majority of pensioned soldiers were not hospital residents.

These records provide rich detail and colour to your ancestors’ lives at a level that is rarely found elsewhere. There are usually four or eight pages of details per soldier. In addition to regimental details, you might find physical descriptions such as chest size or distinguishing marks such as tattoos. You’ll also see the individual’s signature.

Discharge records may also give details of wives and children, medical history and disciplinary record.

Whereas most military records provide information about officer class soldiers, these records include papers from the ordinary rank and file. Since few Irish soldiers were officers, this collection is particularly pertinent to Irish genealogy research.

The first batches to go online are those covering 1873-1900. These contain the records of 410,000 soldiers.

The rest of the collection will be released as follows:

Records for 1901-1913 (303,000 records), by June 2010
Records for 1855-1872 (65,000 records), by July 2010
Records for 1760-1854 (184,000 records), by April 2011
Records for 1806-1915 (500,000 records), by Nov 2011

When this collection is fully uploaded, Find My Past plan to start scanning the records of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham (the Dublin equivalent of the Chelsea Hospital). These date from 1744 to 1863.