Tuesday 7 June 2016

Ancestry World Archive Projects: Irish records update

This seems a good time to provide an update on two of Ancestry's ongoing World Archives Projects (WAPs) involving Irish genealogy records.

WAPs are carried out by volunteers who transcribe important record sets which are then uploaded to the main Ancestry database and made available free of charge to researchers.

Belfast Newsletter
The second phase of Ancestry's Belfast Newsletter WAP to index all the birth, marriage and death announcements published 1738 to 1834 has reached the end of the transcription stage. I'm not sure, but the indexed entries may still need to go through Quality Control. For an advanced project, this has completed very quickly – the indexing started only in January.

The first phase of the project was completed last year and saw all bmd notices from 1828 to 1858, as well as engagements, obituaries and memoriams, join Ancestry's database in October. You can search it here.

Importantly for genealogists, the paper's news, adverts and bmd announcements were not limited to the Belfast area; the Newsletter was distributed island-wide prior to Partition, and covered national and international news. It claims to be the oldest English language daily title, and was originally produced twice a week before switching to daily publication in 1855. The entire paper collection is already available on Ancestry in browseable format.

Ireland, Famine Relief Commission Papers, 1844–47
This WAP is now just over one-third through the initial stages of transcription of handwritten letters and lists relating to crop failures and soil conditions in local areas, the storage and distribution of Indian corn and meal, and the provision of temporary relief to the poor, written/created by local relief committees, lieutenants and deputy lieutenants of counties, local clergy, and concerned citizens.

This project launched in late 2014. You can find out more about it in my original blogpost and maybe consider volunteering to help and move the project along a little quicker.

Find out more about Ancestry's World Archives Project