People searching their family tree will be pleased to hear that soon they will have free online access to more than 1,000 Irish parish records from the 1740s right up to the 1880s.
The huge array of records will be available to anyone anywhere in the world thanks to the National Library of Ireland, who recently announced their plans to digitalise the records and publish them on the internet.
The move will make the library one of the best free genealogy websites in the world for those of Irish heritage wanting to trace their ancestry.
In the past decade there has been a surge of people taking an interest in their family history. Resources at the library have been stretched but officials have decided to now make the move and get all these records online – for free.
The move will give library staff more time to guide people in the best approach when starting their research. The library offers a Genealogy Advisory Service with expert historians available to help visitors.
The records that are to be made available will mostly consist of marriages and baptisms, from 1,091 parishes across the whole of Ireland.
The library says they will be available free online from July 8th this year.
Anybody who previously wanted access to the information would have had to physically visit the library, which will still be an option to those living in Dublin or closeby.
However, for people outside of Ireland, the records were virtually unattainable unless they had a friend or relative in Dublin who could do the ‘leg work’ for them.
Clare Doyle, of Ireland Reaching Out, told the Tyrone Times: “This is a great advancement for those researching their Irish family history. No matter where they are in the world they will be able to access historical information from parish records. It reaffirms Ireland’s status as one of the leading genealogy centres of the world.”