Monday 25 February 2019

Irish records for mid-March delivery from Ancestry

The major databases usually deliver some Irish family history goodies to coincide loosely with St Patrick's Day (17 March), but we don't typically receive prior notice of what will be in the packages. This year, however, Ancestry has provided some advance teasers of the contents of its 'early' and 'mid-March' arrivals.

It will deliver two significant and welcome updates to existing record-sets, and one brand-new addition to the Irish collection. I've set out the basic details below, and will, of course, report when the new records are live for searching.
Sample from Gillman's Index to Marriage
Licence Bonds - Cork and Ross.
Click/tap image for full size sample page.
Belfast Newsletter BMD notices
Currently, this collection holds some 385,000 records of birth, marriage and death notices published in the Newsletter from 1828 to 1877. In early-March it will be nearly doubled in size with the upload of a further 340,189 BMD notices for the years 1878–1907. This indexing was carried out by volunteers as an Ancestry World Archives Project.

Irish City & Regional Directories, 1847-1946
Ancestry's existing collection of 6,205,675 records holds nearly all of Thom's Irish Almanac and Official Directories published between 1847 and 1946. Exactly what is lined up for the March upload, I haven't been told, other than it will provide some 2million additional records and will arrive mid-March.

Cork Marriages Licence Bonds, 1623–1750
In view of the dates quoted by Ancestry, I'm assuming the source material for this collection is Herbert Webb Gillman's Index to Marriage Licence Bonds of the Diocese of Cork and Ross, which was published in 1896-97. If that's the case, I think this will be the first online searchable database of the Index. It will deliver 11,926 records in mid-March, each providing the full names of both bride and groom and the year the licence was granted. See the image, right.

A Marriage Licence Bond was entered into for a stated sum prior to the granting of a Marriage Licence. It was entered into in front of a Church of Ireland bishop. The intention was to ensure than the marriage was legally sound. While most of the marriages were between Protestants, Gillman notes in his preface that some Catholics also entered into these bonds. Unfortunately, the religion(s) of the two parties was not recorded on the bonds themselves.