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Proformat News
No: 123
May 2016
May Seminars & Heritage Walks
4: History Month seminar day: Strathalbyn Library 11:00am–4:00pm
1. Where did I come from? Organising, recording and preserving your family history
2. Identifying and dating 19th century family photographs
3. Pitfalls in family history research
8: Adelaide SE corner heritage walk: Village within a city 2:00–4:00pm
11: Researching your Irish ancestors: WEA Centre 6:30–9:30pm
22: North Adelaide heritage walk: Cathedral precinct 2:00–4:00pm
29: Adelaide Central East heritage walk: Clerics, clerks and courts 2:00–4:00pm

June Seminars & Heritage Walks
There are no seminars or walks scheduled for June.

July Seminars & Heritage Walks
There are no seminars or walks scheduled for July.

All bookings must be made with the hosting organisation.
All heritage walks are hosted by the WEA.

See the seminar program for more details and bookings.

Ancestry sold
An American private equity firm called Silver Lake, and the Singapore government have purchased Ancestry from a London private equity firm that has owned the company since 2012. What this means for subscribers is as yet unknown but such pay-to-use sites owned by businesses that have no direct interest in the product usually suggests the company focus is on making money! Interestingly it has been suggested in the media (Wall Street Journal) that the London company made a cool US$1B profit on its investment!

In this issue:
May Seminars
June Seminars
July Seminars
Ancestry sold

Feature article
Irish online records


Graham Jaunay

Glandore SA 5037

Breaking news: fb

Drafting charts
Locating documents
Seminar presentations
SA lookup service

Graham Jaunay uses
The Genealogist - for UK census, BMD indexes and more online simply because it contains quality data checked by experts.

Proformat News acknowledges the support by awe AWE

Irish online records
As a prelude to reading this article it is suggested you revisit Newsletters #77 and 78.

Unfortunately, researching in Ireland is probably the most difficult exercise most Australian family historians will encounter. A range of issues has led to the loss of some of the more useful and accessible material. There is little available outside the country. The records within the country are very expensive to access and little has been placed online, even on pay-to-use websites.

Historically Ireland was administered along the lines of the English model following its formal annexation by England which is officially dated from 1541. The problem was the English system overlaid a parallel ancient Irish one and regardless of the attempts to Anglicise the people, they largely remained Irish. Into this mix the administration added another dimension in the form of relocating people from the mainland who subscribed to the English ideals. A medieval form of ethnic cleansing!

In 1801 Ireland officially joined with England, Scotland and Wales to become part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

In 1921, after years of unrest, Ireland was divided in two. All of Munster, Leinster and Connacht, and three of the nine counties of Ulster, became the Irish Free State, later the Republic of Ireland. The remaining six counties of Ulster continued to be part of the United Kingdom and became known, officially, as Northern Ireland. However, the area is often referred to as Ulster.

Online records
The growing number of online records is starting to have a positive effect on family history research for Australians with Irish ancestry and some of the sites with the more useful information are outlined:

The key features of this government site operated by the Republic’s Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Gaeltacht refers to those areas of Ireland where Irish is the predominant language which is mainly along the west coast) is the collection of church records:
  1. Baptism and marriage records of the Catholic Diocese of Kerry to 1900 (includes western and north-western areas of Cork)
  2. All surviving 19th-century Church of Ireland marriage, baptism and burial records in Co Kerry.
  3. All Roman Catholic baptism, marriage and burial registers for Dublin City to 1900. The records of St Pauls Arran Quay, are at
  4. All surviving Church of Ireland baptism, marriage and burial registers for Dublin City to 1900.
  5. All surviving Church of Ireland baptism, marriage and burial registers for Co Carlow to 1900.
  6. All Roman Catholic baptism, marriage and burial registers to 1880 for the diocese of Cork and Ross.
  7. A small number of Presbyterian records relating to a congregation in Lucan in Co Dublin.
  8. Roman Catholic records other than those listed above. The major exceptions, where only small proportions of the records are transcribed, are counties Donegal, Monaghan and Wexford. None of the transcribed records for Clare are online.
  9. Church of Ireland, Methodist and Presbyterian registers, complete for some counties, completely absent for others.
Work is progressing on the completion of the Co Monaghan Roman Catholic records (Diocese of Clogher).
The site also permits a simple, initial, ready-made search of the following sites:
  1. 1901 and 1911 census
  2. Civil registration indexes of births, marriages and deaths 1864 to 1958 and non-Catholic marriages 1845 to 1863 for all Ireland.
  3. The Griffith's Valuation
  4. Tithe Applotment Books
  5. The National Archives of Ireland Collection of Soldiers' Wills
  6. The records of the Bureau of Military History
  7. The online catalogue of the National Library of Ireland
  8. The US immigration records of
  9. The US immigration records of
  10. The Ireland-Australia Transportation database
  11. The site also provides useful research guidelines and links
Roots Ireland
This site managed by the Irish Family History Foundation suggests it holds the largest database of online Irish records. The Foundation is the coordinating body for the network of County Genealogy Centres previously known as Heritage Centres. The databases include parish church records of baptisms, marriages and deaths, census returns and gravestone inscriptions.

It is rather unfortunate that the search engine is very restrictive lessening the chances of a broad search of records. For example when I tried to search records for my Gilmour ancestors it demanded a given name tightening the search to just one person. That was not all, for a nil result was all that I achieved until I also provided a date!
There is some overlap with records listed on the previous site:
  1. Parish Registers
  2. Civil registration indexes of births, marriages and deaths 1864 to 1958 and non-Catholic marriages 1845 to 1863 for all Ireland
  3. Tithe Applotment Books
  4. Gravestone Inscriptions
  5. Griffith's Valuation
  6. Census Returns
  7. Administrative Divisions
  8. Ship Passenger Lists
  1. Roman Catholic parishes, mostly in counties Kerry, Cork and Roscommon
  2. Civil registration indexes of births, marriages and deaths 1864 to 1958 and non-Catholic marriages 1845 to 1863 for all Ireland
  3. Civil registration register of births 18641881, non-Catholic marriages 18451863, all marriages 18641870 and deaths 1864 to 1870 for all Ireland
  4. Republic birth, death and marriage indexes 19221958
  5. Ireland Marriages 16191898 is a collection from a range of sources
Some 40% of Irish Roman Catholic parish registers some copies of National Library of Ireland films, others filmed by the LDS themselves are available but not online. You can order these films and view them at your local LDS Library or any other subscribing library for a small fee. See:

A pay-to-use site.
  1. Farrar's Index To Irish Marriages 17711812: published in 1897 Farrar's Index to Irish Marriages is compiled principally from Walker's Hibernian Magazine which was a monthly Dublin magazine established in 1771, ceasing publication in 1812
  2. Index of Irish Wills 1484-1858: only includes records at the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin
  3. Civil registration records of births, marriages and deaths 1864 to 1958 and non-Catholic marriages 1845 to 1863
  4. Irish Prison Registers 17901924
  5. WW1 Irish Soldiers Wills
  6. Phillimore & Gertrude Thrift, Indexes To Irish Wills 1536-1858
  7. Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers 1828-1912
A pay-to-use site.
  1. Diocese of Meath to 1880
  2. FamilySearch records as above
Local historical and family history societies find via Google search
  1. Sundry church records available online
Irish Times
  1. Guide to the Roman Catholic records
Irish Jewish Genealogical Society
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