Monday, 1 December 2014

Irish Catholic parish register images to go online next year

For those of you constantly frustrated with the inability of RootsIreland to provide a working site that caters for all of the needs of the humble genealogist, there is some exceptionally good news on the cards - the National Library of Ireland is to place online digitised images of its Roman Catholic parish register microfilms by the summer of next year. This has something that it has been hoping to do for a few years now, but it looks like it is now on target to finally achieve this. Genealogist John Grenham has the full detail at

There will be a few issues for researchers when this goes online, not least the very unique way that many of the Catholic registers were microfilmed, in a back to front ordered system, but this will be a breakthrough in online access - not least of which the fact that transcribers will be in like Flynn to help make their contents accessible. And just to add to the good news - these records are for the whole of Ireland, north and south (in most cases going up to 1880, in some cases up to 1900)

I took out a month long subscription to RootsIreland a couple of weeks back, and have found it to be the most frustrating experience in a long time, with its ridiculous search restrictions that make it impossible to use properly. It recently imposed a subscription system, something people have been crying out for for a long time, only to then restrict the types of searches that you could previously do. At long last though, a revolution is about to happen on this front - as John notes in his piece, "It is almost impossible to overstate the importance of what is about to happen." Roll on the 21st century...

(With thanks to John Grenham, and the North of Ireland FHS via Facebook)

UPDATE: The full press release is at


Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at Santa approves!

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