Sunday 4 March 2012

A lovely outbreak of releases

There's been a string of releases and upgrades over the past few days or so. Maybe the breakthrough you've been waiting for is held within...

Since I'm just back from a stimulating event in Wales (see previous post Report on the Irish in Wales – Identity in Context event), we'll start with a ton and a half of lovely Welsh records: have just published a huge collection of 3,878,862 records from Welsh parish registers.

This first swathe of records covers the counties of Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Glamorganshire.

Further details are as follows:
  • 1,418,921 baptisms covering 1538-1911
  • 950,254 marriages covering 1539-1926
  • 340,002 banns covering 1701-1926
  • 1,169,685 burials covering 1539-2007
And there's more where they came from! About five million more records – from Anglesey, Brecknockshire, Caernarvonshire, Merionethshire, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, Pembrokeshire and Radnorshire will be added over the coming weeks.

Wexford bmds: The first records from County Wexford have been uploaded to Roots Ireland. They are:
  • Tagoat (Roman Catholic)
  • Clongeen (Roman Catholic)
  • Inch (Church of Ireland).
For those Irish genealogy researchers who've been waiting a long, long time for Wexford records to appear online, this release, while not extensive, is great news. I'm told more will follow, although not necessarily soon. has released merchant seamen records dating from 1835 to 1857. It's a big collection – some 359,000 individuals are included – and the details can sprinkle some personality into your research. Among the details recorded are year and place of birth, physical description (including tattoos), ship names and dates of voyages.

My maternal line is big in minor shipowners, captains and sailors so I was expecting them to figure strongly in this collection. And they do. But I was hugely surprised to find no less than 31 Santrys -- my paternal line -- queueing up, waiting to be researched and (hopefully) allocated to families in my one-name study. Can't wait for a bit of quiet time to get on with that.

Belfast City Council has upgraded its online burial records so that you can now very easily find out who else in buried in the same grave as your ancestor. You simply click on the grave or 'lair' reference number to discover details of the other occupants.

The council's burial records include about 360,000 records covering Dundonald (from 1905), Roselawn (from 1954) and Belfast City (from 1869 and including the Jewish, public and Glenalina extension sections).

Where available the following information is held about deceased: full name, age, last place of residence, dates of death and burial, cemetery they are interred in, grave section and number.

FindMyPast Ireland have released another small collection: the Raphoe Marriage Bonds 1710-55 and 1817-30.

These will be of great interest to Irish genealogy researchers who have links with Co. Donegal in the periods from 1710-55 and 1817-30 but you should note that it is merely a list of the bonds received by the Public Record Office from the Diocese and therefore cannot be considered a complete list of marriages in that Diocese.

The bonds refer to marriages celebrated in the Established Church but do not cover either Catholic or Presbyterian weddings, unless for some reason they were celebrated in the Anglican church.

The diocese of Raphoe consisted of thirty four parishes and covers almost the whole of the county except the Inishowen peninsula (Derry Diocese) and the very south of the county (Clogher Diocese). The original bonds were destroyed in the Public Record Office fire of 1922, consequently all that survives is the index.

The details included in this Index include:
  • Name of the intended bride
  • Name of the intended bridegroom
  • Year of the bond