We are pleased to announce 10 million historic Catholic Parish records from Ireland have been indexed and are now available online.
This is the largest collection of its kind available digitally, and means that Ancestry now offers access to more than 55 million Irish records – making it a significant resource for people around the world tracing their Irish roots.
Indexed from digital images created by the National Library of Ireland (NLI), the Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers 1655-1915 collection includes baptism, marriage, burial and confirmation records from more than 1,000 parishes, and over 3,500 registers, in Ireland. This is the first time that the collection has been indexed with the original images linked online.
Written in either English or Latin[i], the records include details such as name, date and place of baptism, marriage and burials, family relationships, elusive maiden names for mothers and wives, names of sponsors (God parents) and witnesses – information that can provide clues to other family relationships. Other notes of relevant information were also recorded by some of the parishes – including going back and recording the marriage of a person alongside their baptismal record as well as notes about emigration and which country the person settled in.
Included in collection are baptism records pertaining to prominent Irish names including:
- James Joyce – Novelist and poet Joyce, best known for his 1922 modernist novel ‘Ulysses’, was born in Terenure, Dublin. His baptismal record is recorded in latin – Jacobus Augustinus Joyce, the 5th of February 1882.
- Arthur Griffith – Politician and Journalist. Griffith founded Sinn Fein in 1905, and went on to be President of Dail Eireann. Baptized Arthur Joseph Griffith on the 12th of April 1871 in Dublin City.
- James Hoban– Best known for designing the White House, Hoban was baptized on the 18th of April 1755. Previously his birth year has been merely speculated from his obituary so it is great to uncover the original baptismal record for Hoban.
In providing the collection online, Ancestry indexed 373,000 digital images compiled from 3,500 different parish registers across Ireland. Indexing the images means that the handwritten information from the original records has been transcribed so each name can be easily searched and accessed digitally.
QUOTES from Rhona Murray, Family Historian at Ancestry:
- “This is the single most important collection for tracing Roman Catholic ancestors in Ireland from the 17th to the early 20th centuries. By 1891, the majority of the country was Catholic, so these records provide key details on most of the population over this time period.”
- “We are delighted to make this collection available online through Ancestry, and in doing so help anyone with Irish roots – no matter where they are in the world – to discover more about their family history. With the addition of these 10 million records we now provide the largest online collection of Irish Catholic parish records globally, allowing people to save a lot of time researching their family tree from the comfort of their own home.”
- “Indexing makes the search process so much easier. When researching these parish images previously you would need to browse them image by image which can be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Now it is possible to search for a name and have the results presented within seconds. The power to dig into your family tree has never been easier.”
[i] For help understanding the Latin entries please see this glossary of common terms: http://www.ancestry.com/learn/learningcenters/default.aspx?section=LT_EN.