Thursday, 18 September 2008

Irish Family History Foundation interview

Since its creation, I had a problem with the Irish Family History Foundation website (, which hosts over 13 million records for Irish births, marriages and deaths from across the island, with some records going back to the 1590s. I believed the site charged too much, but more importantly, did not offer enough search fields to narrow down a particular ancestral enquiry, meaning that you could spend a heck of a lot of money looking for the right record, and on occasion even pay twice to see the same record. However, at long last the IFHF has moved to address this, and has added several new search fields, and removed all duplicate records, making it a much more customer friendly website. As such, I'm now declaring a truce, because at long last, this is a more focussed site that can actually help people without bankrupting them, and I have written to them this week to congratulate them on providing the sorely needed improvements.

American genealogical commentator Dick Eastmann recently caught up with Feargal O'Donnell, the vice chairman of the organsation in an interview for Roots Television. The interview revealed some of the challenges faced by the IFHF - records written in Gaelic and Latin amongst them - and it is worth having a look if you have Irish ancestry. Amongst some of his promises are the forthcoming releases for Donegal and Derry, and some advice on how to use the site.

The interview (13 mins long) can be seen at

Scotland's Greatest Story
Professional family history research & genealogical problem solving


Sheena said...

Hi Chris

I think you're missing a hyphen - the url you've given leads to a magazine website. I think the link you mean is

All the best

Chris Paton said...

Thanks Sheena - duly corrected!