Wednesday 4 November 2015

RootsIreland marries its transcriptions to NLI's images, the database run by the non-profit Irish Family History Foundation (IFHF), has upgraded its site with a fresh and uncluttered new look. It's mobile-friendly, too.

But it's not just a technical and cosmetic upgrade. There's been a marriage! RootsIreland's indexed transcriptions of parish registers now link up with the National Library of Ireland's unindexed images of parish registers, allowing researchers to quickly cross-reference the transcription and the corresponding register... assuming there is one.

Here's an example of how it works:

  • If you are looking for Patrick Dunne born 1863 in Bagenalstown, the transcribed record of his baptism in the RootsIreland/County Carlow database will now be linked to the Bagenalstown/Dunleckney Baptisms Register covering 1858-1879 on the NLI site. When you follow the link, you will have to scroll through images of the register pages to find the entry.
  • If you're looking for Patrick Dunne born 1885 in Bagenalstown, there will be no link from the transcribed record on RootsIreland/County Carlow database; while RootsIreland's transcriptions continue to 1899 for this particular parish (and to 1920-25 for some parishes), the NLI's collection ends in 1880/82.
Karel Kiely, Secretary of the IFHF, told Irish Genealogy News that there may be some teething problems (this morning, for example, many people were experiencing problems with subscribing... it seems to have been sorted now), and asks that family historians raise any difficulties or errors via Queries will be dealt with in order of receipt, and all will receive a response.

"The upgraded site should be considered a work-in-progress," she said. "We have introduced a feature providing more information about local, county resources and the Foundation's network of genealogy centres," she said. "So far, draft pages are available for County Derry, County Kildare and County Limerick; these will be developed and additional pages for other county centres added in due course."

Linking the two sites is an enormously positive development and will be extremely helpful to researchers. Well done to the Irish Family History Foundation for taking this major step!