Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Irish records at FindMyPast

There has been a real surge in the availability of Irish Family History Records. I have already listed many in previous posts. Findmypast has one of the largest collections of Irish family history records available online, containing Irish censuses, parish records, Irish newspapers and more. You can search at Findmypast - this is a subscription based database, but they frequently have free trials available, or you can access the website at Manly Library and other public libraries free of charge. Irish records on Findmypast include Ireland Censuses from 1821 to 1851 that survived the fire at the Four courts in 1922; Ireland Census Search Forms for 1841 & 1851, which were used to verify the ages of people applying for an old age pension in 1909 and contain extra information on Irish families; Griffith's Valuation 1847-1864, with details of who owned or rented land in Ireland; Landed Estates Court Rentals 1850-1885 lists those with bankrupt estates amongst over 500,000 tenants on more than 8,000 estates across Ireland; the Elliott collection contains parish registers from County Fermanagh and cemetery records fro Donegal, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Wicklow; Poverty Relief Fund records cover the micro credit scheme set up in 1824 to provide small loans to the 'industrious poor'. Local committees administered the scheme and kept copious records about people who received loans. Nearly 700,000 names are recorded in these files and they give a snapshot of life including age, occupation and fiscal history. occasionally more detail is given, including degree of destitution, family circumstances, emigration and death. These records also span the period of the Famine (1945-51). There is a range of National Irish Newspapers, including The Freeman's Journal, Ireland's longest running national publication which merged into The Irish Independent in 1924. The collection now stand at a total of over 7.2 million articles and 68 different titles from the 1740s onwards. The newspapers are easy to use as they have been digitised and indexed.
Happy searching!

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