Niall Cullen, Findmypast
Two exciting Irish family history resources were made available on Findmypast in 2015. These fascinating new collections are a fantastic addition to the largest collection of Irish family history records anywhere online and include indexes of your ancestors’ wills and marriages, right back into the 16th century.
Diocesan and Prerogative Wills & Administrations Indexes, 1595-1858
Diocesan and Prerogative Marriage Licence Bonds Indexes, 1623-1866
These rare sources were lucky enough to be amongst the relatively few records that didn’t perish in the fire at the Public Records Office of Ireland during the Irish Civil War in 1922.
The wills and administrations indexes are what was left behind from original documents that were proved in front of Church of Ireland ecclesiastical courts.
They contain some fantastic genealogical details about your early Irish ancestors including names, occupations, what they left in their wills and who they left their estate to.
An alternative to marriage banns where the couple paid a fee to wed, the marriage licence bonds records list protestant marriages in Ireland 1623-1866. They even feature the 1664 marriage of Jonathan Swift and Abigail Erick, the parents of Jonathan Swift Jnr, who would go on to become famous as the author of Gulliver’s Travels.
Many Irish family historians find building their Irish family tree beyond the 1800s a real challenge. These unique early records could prove to be the breakthrough you were waiting for.
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