Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Armageddon - Ancestry and Ireland

I'm amused to read an article online on the Irish Central site entitled "New fears Ancestry.com is out to corner Irish genealogy market", available at www.irishcentral.com/roots/genealogy/New-fears-Ancestrycom-is-out-to-corner-Irish-genealogy-market.html. "New fears" - crikey, be afraid, be very afraid!

In Armageddon like tones, the article kicks off by stating that "The world’s leading genealogy website is threatening to dominate the Irish heritage industry, according to new claims", before it seeks to describe Ancestry's recent upload of records from 71 Roman Catholic parishes, something that took us all by surprise (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/major-news-irish-catholic-parish.html). God forbid...! The article takes its lead from a piece by John Grenham in the Irish Times at www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/irish-roots-1.1733903 in which John describes the acquisition by Ancestry, a company he notes as "the unchallenged colossus of online genealogy" with a "de facto monopoly of North American records", and that "if they continue what they’ve just done with Irish Catholic registers, there is no doubt they will reach the same position here".

If the Irish state cannot get its act together, then as far as this genie is concerned - and I suspect the real point that John is getting at (he comments "Good on them" when describing E-Celtic obtaining the rights to the images on behalf of Ancestry) - Ancestry, FindmyPast, or any other commercial vendor that can get the job done is more than welcome.

I always say the following to my kids when they stubbornly refuse to eat a well cooked meal - "We can do it your way, or we can do it the easy way - but either way, we're doing it." If Ancestry muscling in can put a foot up the arse of the Irish state's intransigence over vital records access, then all power to its boot - I don't see the good folk of the United States lamenting their access to records via Ancestry.


Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.


  1. Given the hostility of the mandarins in the civil service it will take a well deserved slap in the face such as this to make progress.

  2. I for one can't wait. Irish Catholic records are more than a welcome start for me!

  3. So often Ireland comes up with these 'brainwaves' and so often they come to nought. Those who then take the initiative are then denigrated.