A great resource for those who are working on Irish genealogy is about to get even better. The National Library of Ireland is adding more than 400,000 Irish parish records to its collection. One of them could hold the very information you have been looking for!
The National Library of Ireland is located in Dublin, Ireland. It’s mission is to collect, preserve, promote, and make accessible the documentary and intellectual record of the life of Ireland. Its mission is also to contribute to the provision of access to the larger universe of knowledge.
It is open and free of charge to anyone who wants to come in and consult their collections for material that are not otherwise available through the public library service or academic library. They do not lend out books, but you can make use of one of their reading rooms. In addition, they allow people to get photocopies, slides, or microfilm of most of the items that are in their collections.
Those who are unable to visit the National Library of Ireland in person can search its catalogue through its website. You can also do a search through its Newspaper Database and browse through its Photograph collection.
The National Library of Ireland has been in the process if digitizing more than 400,000 Irish parish records. These records range from the 1760’s to the 1880’s. They will become available for genealogists to view, for free, after July 8, 2015.
Parish records are records of baptisms, marriages, and burials made by the church. They are handwritten and, in some cases, might be the only record of a person’s baptism, their marriage, or location of burial. This is how people kept track of what would later be called “vital records” before it was mandatory to record this type of information with an official form.
The National Library of Ireland’s newly added parish records cover nearly 1,100 parishes located all through Ireland. The majority of the information in this collection is of baptismal and marriage records. It wasn’t until 1864 that it became mandatory in Ireland to record vital records. Most of the parish records in this collection are from before that year. This could really help someone who has hit a “brick wall”.
It is important to note that there are currently two ways to view these parish records. One is to get a subscription to RootsIreland.ie. The subscription is not free. The other option is to visit the National Library of Ireland in Dublin. Take a genealogy road trip and see what you can discover about your ancestors!
Image by Katie Birkwood on Flickr.
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