People with Irish roots have a great opportunity to start searching their family history for free thanks to ancestry.ie who have made more than ten million records available online.
The family tree website has published Catholic Parish Registers dating from 1655 all the way up to 1915.
The records cover marriages, baptisms and deaths meaning people today have a great chance of finding their ancestors and tracing their family tree.
Indexed from digital images created by the National Library of Ireland, the Catholic Parish Registers 1655-1915 holds 373,000 images and files from more than 1,000 parishes across the island and in excess of 3,500 registers.
Rhona Murray is one of the family historians at ancestry.ie. She said: “It makes searching so much easier. Previously you would need to browse them image by image which can be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Now it is possible to search for a name and have the results presented within seconds.”
Ancestry have more than 55 million Irish records in total, and 17 billion from the rest of the world. They have offices in six different countries, including Ireland where there are 70 people employed.
Their Irish records include details about famous figures such as poet James Joyce and political leader Arthur Griffiths.
Ms Murray added: “It is the single most important collection for tracing Roman Catholic ancestors in Ireland from the 17th to the early 20th centuries.”
If you would like to begin to search your family history with ancestry for free then visit the ancestry website.