If you think there’s not much available for researching your Irish ancestors, Findmypast will certainly will prove you wrong on that one.
One of the world’s leading family history websites, Findmypast has today announced that they will be granting four days of free access to their entire collection of more than 114 million Irish records, which is the largest available for Ireland anywhere online.
For Australian’s you’ll be able to access this from 5.00pm Thursday 15th September through until 9.00am Monday 19th September (AEST), and you get access to all Irish birth, marriage, death, census, social history, immigration and military records that are currently available on Findmypast.
The reason they’re offering their records free, is to celebrate the landmark publication of more than 3 million historic Irish records released in association with the National Archives of Ireland and FamilySearch. The release consists of a wide range of documents including original wills, lists of Catholics who swore loyalty to the crown or converted to Protestantism, land valuation records and merchant navy crew lists. Take note: these records date back to pre-famine Ireland and will be completely free to search forever.
Spanning over 220 years of Irish history from 1701 to 1922, the release is comprised of four highly valuable National Archives of Ireland collections including:
Original Will Registers 1858-1920
Over 181,000 records forming the largest collection of surviving wills for the post-1858 period for the Republic of Ireland. The registers allow researchers to explore the pages of wills to discover where their family lived, what assets they had, if it was left to relatives, and if anyone was left out due to a family feud.
Qualification and Convert Rolls 1701-1845
Lists of over 52,000 Catholics who swore loyalty to the crown or converted to Protestantism. During the harsh Penal Laws of the 18th century, Irish Catholics were restricted from owning property or running businesses. Many chose to either convert (at least legally) to the established Church or swear loyalty in front of a court in order to qualify for certain rights
Valuation Office books 1824-1856
These land and house surveys kept by the Valuation Office of Ireland contain over 2 million names. The books that make up this collection were preparatory to the Griffith’s Valuation, and provide a comprehensive assessment of the rental value of Irish lands and property from the mid-1820s to the mid-1850s. The books reveal where and when individuals rented or owned property and provide rare glimpses of life in pre-famine Ireland
Merchant Navy Crew lists 1857-1922
These indexed lists records the details of over 832,000 men and women who served with the Merchant Navy. The original lists were extensive and provided detailed information for each crew member, where and when they were born, and their life at sea. The lists not only cover Irish sailors but also include natives of Norway, Russia, Sweden, America and Germany, to name but a few
This is the first time these important National Archives of Ireland collections have been fully indexed with digitised images of the original papers linked online. All four collections are fully searchable, providing relatives and historians from all over the world with opportunities to discover more about their Irish heritage through documents that, until today, could only by accessed by visiting the Archive’s reading rooms in Dublin.
Findmypast is home to the most comprehensive online archive of Irish family history records with over 114 million documents published in partnership with The National Archives of Ireland, The National Archives UK, and a host of other local, county and national archives.
Happy Searching for your Irish roots!