Friday 6 March 2015

Images added to FindMyPast's Civil Service collection
Marking International Women's Day, today's FindMyPast Friday delivery sees some 325,000 new records added to the database. They are:

Women's Army Auxiliary Corp, 1917-1920
Women's Royal Air Force Service Records, 1918-1920
Officer Files and Service Registers from the Women's Royal Naval Service

But there's a fourth update to the database that serves as a reminder for researchers to check out the Civil Service Evidence of Age collection. This collection – now with images – doesn't sound like one that will of much value to Irish family history research, but it's certainly got some gems within!

Not all civil servants are pen-pushers. Think coastguards, customs/dock officials and prison officers, and nearly one-third (18,834) of the records in this collection relate to men and women born in Ireland. And importantly, many record dates of birth well before civil registration and often before surviving parish registers start. Some of the declared statements actually record that the relevant baptism register no longer exists.

These records may, therefore, contain records of date and place of birth that do not exist anywhere else.

Take Jeremiah Connolly, a member of the Colonial Convict Service in Port Arthur, Tasmania, who, in 1869, self-declared his birth to have been in Cork City in 1815. Or Anthony Burns whose father, James, of Dromard, Sligo declared his son to have been born in 1839. Or Henry Breen, whose father-in-law declared that he was resident in Cairn, Donegal in 1830 at the time of the man's birth.

Be sure to explore this record set over the Free Access weekend.