Friday 29 June 2012

More on new GRONI records website

Following this blog's revelation three days ago that the GRO in Belfast had announced a tender to digitise its BMD records (see, a follow up post from Claire Santry's Irish Genealogy News blog has now confirmed that the new site will indeed be modelled on ScotlandsPeople ( This is as was suggested in my original piece, with the Edinburgh based service having been both visited by GRONI and further consulted in the last few years on how to set up such a project. The tender contract is available to see online at

This means that there will soon be two methods of digitised access for records concerning the north, for births and death from 1864 for marriages from 1845 (mainly non Roman-Catholic from 1845-1863). There will be unlimited access for a set fee at the GRO itself (as is currently the case in Edinburgh and several other archives across the country), and an online portal following the exact same closure periods for access as currently employed by ScotlandsPeople for its online service - namely 100 years for births, seventy five years for marriages and fifty years for deaths. This closure period will be to protect online issues concerning privacy.

I've been critical about some Irish BMD records vendors in the past. Most recently the largest, RootsIreland, redesigned its payment platform and claimed that in doing so had been inspired by the ScotlandsPeople model, to much derision. Well the GRO in Belfast is now setting up virtually the same model as ScotlandsPeople - I wonder how they will compare?!

In the past I've also occasionally ranted about past bad experiences in GRONI and the high costs for certs, and have often stated that I wish they would be inspired by the Scottish example. They now appear to be doing just that, so pastie baps and red lemonades all round to the good folk of GRONI in Belfast.

Dead on! :)


Check out my Scotland's Greatest Story research service
New book: It's Perthshire 1866 - there's been a murder... (from June 12th 2012)


  1. Scotland's People is poorly designed (for the researcher, that is) because the initial search gives little detail and few fields to narrow the search. So if you have a common name it's very expensive, if not almost impossible, to find the information. It has been the least satisfactory of all the research organisations I've tried, so I am not pleased to hear that GRONI will follow this example.

  2. I couldn't disagree more! Looking forward at long last to seeing NI's records go online (seeing just indexes go online would be a huge stride alone)!