Thursday 3 November 2022

Two more record sets join FamilySearch's Ireland collection has added another couple of record sets to it Ireland collection. They are:

Betham’s Genealogical Abstracts, 1179–1830
These abstracts are hand-written notebooks recorded by Sir William Betham, the Ulster King of Arms from 1807 to 1853.

In these pages, he drafted and reconstructed family trees and pedigrees, and recorded abstracts from pre-1800 wills, grants and administrations; chancery pleadings; funeral entries; and other miscellaneous records. These notebooks are held by the National Archive of Ireland and were microfilmed by FamilySearch some years ago. The microfilms have now been digitised, resulting in 489,774 indexed records.

Betham made his notes and abstracts mainly, but not exclusively, from records held in the Public Records Office in Dublin which were subsequently lost during the Irish Civil War in June 1922.

Ireland, Original Will Registers, 1858-1920
This collection holds a detailed index of hand-written copies of wills proved from 1858 in District Registries across the counties that are now in the Republic of Ireland. They are word-for-word exact replacements for the original wills lost in the 1922 fire. (The Registers for Armagh, Belfast and Londonderry are held in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.) Unfortunately, no such copies survived for the Principal Registry, where wills for those who died in Dublin, or who had large estates in multiple locations, were processed and recorded.

Images are available on the National Archives of Ireland's free Genealogy site, which says there are more than 550,000 indexed names in the collection. The FamilySearch collection indicates that it holds slightly more than 181,000 name records, so I think the upload of the collection is not yet completed. At present the site is saying that images can be accessed only at a family history center or at an affiliate library; for many people, continuing to access this collection via the NAI site (link above) will remain an easier option.