A Giant Step Forward for Irish Genealogy

I am so thrilled that the National Library of Ireland has seen fit to provide online, free access to the images of the microfilm of the Catholic Church records, which it has in its archives.

These online church records can now be accessed through Church Registers at NLI.

While these records are not a complete set of records for several (if not many) parishes, they represent a huge step forward. We can now see images of the actual pages of the registers for parishes which are provided as transcriptions by Rootsireland.ie (paying site) which we could not see prior to this. Irishgenealogy.ie provides images of registers to complement its transcriptions for the more recently transcribed parishes but not for those done many years ago (long story).

Some parishes in Ireland, for example the records for the “black hole” in Cork City, are now online. As a campaigner over many years to get these (Cork) transcribed records online (long story), I am delighted to see that the NLI has bypassed the ongoing and petty blockages in providing these to the global diaspora.

It is wonderful to see records in their original context. The joy in seeing an image of the actual record, no matter how faded or illegible cannot be replaced, by careful transcription. It is just a shame that the tax payers’ money was not better spent over the years. Duplication, competition and several disparate online sources for the Catholic Church records is not helpful to the amateur genealogist. Hopefully, petty politics and religious interests can now be put aside as we see an openness emerging from the years of secrecy and obfuscation relating to records pertaining to Irish genealogy.

As I said this is a huge step forward. Genealogists everywhere can combine all the sources mentioned above, to maximize the benefit for their own research. Thank you NLI!

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8 Responses to A Giant Step Forward for Irish Genealogy

  1. Tim Hanley says:

    You’ve been a fantastic advocate on this issue Margaret and this is definitely a way round the logjam. Is there anywhere a definitive list of the Cork parishes affected by these silly arguments?

    • mjordan says:

      The following parishes (Deanery of Cork) were transcribed by the Cork Ancestral Project: Ballincollig, Douglas, Glounthane, Passage West, St. Mary and St. Anne, Blackrock, St. Patrick’s, Watergrasshill, Glanmire. Some of these parishes were transcribed again by irishgenealogy.ie.

      Ballincollig, Glounthane, Passage West, St. Mary & St. Anne, St. Patrick’s and Glanmire were not re-transcribed so they are newly available online.


  2. Thanks Margaret – great blog post. 🙂

  3. Barb says:

    Hi Margaret

    Are the Cork Ancestral Project records on Irishgenealogy.ie or are you speaking of another site?

    • mjordan says:

      The Cork Ancestral Project is not involved in the recent development. The National Library of Ireland photographed all of the microfilm of the Irish Catholic Parish records which it has had in its possession since it microfilmed these parish records in the 1950s to 1970s. You could previously access this microfilm in the National Library in Dublin only. The National Library is providing the images of these microfilmed records online and free. The North Parish, Cork City (St. Mary & St. Anne or St. Mary’s as it is called on the National Library of Ireland records) is included in the online images as are the other parishes in the deanery of Cork.

      The Cork Ancestral Project still has the hard copy of the indexes for the baptismal and marriage records for the North Parish (St. Mary & St. Anne), Cork which it transcribed, in the Cork Co. Library.

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