Thursday 7 June 2012

Irish Tithe Applotment books imminent

Thanks to Eddie Connolly (@teddiec) for the following heads up.

The RTE The History Show podcast from the May 20th edition features, amongst many things, Catriona Crowe from the National Archives of Ireland discussing the digitisation of Irish Tithe Applotment books, a useful resource from the 1820s and 1830s. These are being prepared with assistance from FamilySearch, and the present thinking is that they will go online by the end of July, and fully indexed. There is also mention of plans for the (hopefully) forthcoming digitisation of many other major resources "at very little cost to the state" as FamilySearch is putting up most of the money.

What is particularly interesting though is to hear Catriona's underlying tone of frustration about the methods by which the island's surviving parish records have been made available online, not only with the position of the Catholic Church but also through paid for sites - she not only describes Roots Ireland as "quite an expensive website", she also points out that the state paid for many of the indexes in the first place through the FAS schemes of the 1980s, and adds "my own position would be, and I think it would be shared by the majority of people who would be interested not just in Irish genealogy but in Irish tourism in giving something to the diaspora to... want to come back here, my view is the records should be digitised, indexed and placed online free of charge".

Catriona also discusses a recent visit to the Roman Catholic authorities in Ireland to discuss the fact that many records in the church's care are not actually being properly cared for, and in some cases in danger of being lost as a result. As such they need to be surveyed and in some ways better preserved - "I would plead with them to give that some consideration". Hopefully they will sit up and listen. By contrast, she praises the Church of Ireland's stance in making its records freely available on the Irish Genealogy website (

The show was obviously recorded prior to the NAI's genealogical service being suspended, as this is flagged up as a useful resource for those wishing to get started with Irish research - for news of the service's suspension last week see

The show can be heard by clicking the following link:


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