Today, we’ve exploded the myth that it’s always difficult to discover your family history in Ireland. We’ve released millions of new records to make it far easier to trace your roots on the Emerald Isle through the past 300 years.
First, you’ll find a host of new Irish Catholic parish records from the 18th and 19th centuries. Even though the official Church of Ireland was Anglican, the vast majority of Ireland’s people stuck to Catholicism, so these are your best bet for finding early births, marriages and deaths.
Crucially, these parish records go back before the Great Famine, and the mass Irish exodus that followed. This means you can discover entire families that later left to find new homes in Britain, America or even further afield.
That’s not all! We’ve also released huge indexes to Ireland’s civil births, marriages and deaths from 1864 to 1958 (there are some non-Catholic marriages from 1845 onwards). These are the equivalents to our England and Wales Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes – and they should prove just as useful for piecing together your ancestors’ stories.
As you may know, many of the Irish census records were destroyed – a big reason why people are often downbeat about Irish family history. Because our indexes cover the same period, they can often help to fill in the frustrating gaps in your family tree.
As a special bonus, we’ve also given you Ireland, Births and Baptisms, 1620–1881 – a collection of more than 5 million births taken from church, civil, family and other records. If you can’t find your ancestors in our new Catholic or civil registers, there’s a great chance you’ll spot them here.
In total, we now have over 45 million records to help you discover your family’s Irish story. Learn more about all our Irish records
Kelly Godfrey is Senior Manager, Digital Marketing for Ancestry.co.uk. Based in Ancestry's London office in Hammersmith, Kelly regularly tweets and posts on Ancestry's Facebook page as well as here on the blog.