Friday 24 June 2022

Four new/updated Irish genealogy collections join FindMyPast

Today's FindMyPast Friday delivery saw the release of three new Irish collections and an update to an existing record set that holds a fair number of Irish-born individuals. They are: 

Ireland Newspaper Birth Notices. This collection includes an index created by FamilySearch from historical Irish newspapers with matching images created by FindMyPast. 

The index holds 42,605 entries of birth announcements published in one of these newspapers:  Belfast Morning News, the Sligo Champion or Sligo News, and the Cork Examiner. As was the way in the day, the names  of the child or mother were rarely mentioned in the paper, so searching by surname will usually be necessary.

Ireland Newspaper Marriage Notices: Sister collection to the Births above. The index holds 68,760 entries relating to marriage announcements published from one of four titles noted above. These notices usually contain the names of bride and groom, and sometimes their parents's names, fathers' occupations and residences.

Ireland Newspaper Deaths Notices: Sister collection to the Births and Marriages above. The index holds 66,681 entries. These notices often provide surprisingly good genealogical data, sometimes with a sprinkling of fulsome praise for the deceased's character.

Britain Merchant Seamen, 1918-1941. This collection has been around awhile, and it's been of interest to my own family history in the past with several of my Santry family from Cork appearing in it. Having just been updated with nearly 5,000 new records, it now holds 1,229,063, many of them with photos of the seamen.

Having another rummage through this collection today has made me aware of some serious failings in the transcribing of details from the original records, particuarly when it comes to understanding numbers and dates. Since these records post-date WW1, I was surprised to find more than 1,000 seamen recorded with birth dates in the first half of the 19th-century. If you believe the index, some of these men - none of them a malingerer, I'm sure, were pushing 100 years old! I give you John Chillingworth and Daisy Asher as examples of dozens upon dozens of near-centegenarians in this collection (see the images on this page).

This problem doesn't stop at a potential 1,000 wrong entries, however. There are a quarter of a million seamen noted as born in the 1850s. I can't believe that.

Where's the quality control?