Thursday, 5 May 2011

FindmyPast Ireland launches has finally launched today, a new partnership between Irish based Eneclann and FindmyPast. I've just spent some time going through it, and must admit to being somewhat disappointed with what has so far been made available; however, there is a lot happening behind the scenes in terms of new records, and so in time I suspect this site will evolve into a more useful tool.

There is no comprehensive source list as yet, so I've pulled together a quick summary of what I've located so far:

83677 marriages - no comprehensive source list given

11314 deaths - no comprehensive source list given

The Index of Irish Wills (1484-1858)
Dublin Will and Grant Books Index (1270-1858)
Philimore & Thrift Idexes of Irish Wills (1536-1858)
Sir Arthur Vicars Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland (1536-1858).

Census substitutes
Griffith’s Valuation
Tithe Defaulters of 1831
Census of Elphin 1761

Landed estates
Landed Estates Court Rentals 1850-1885
Griffith Valuation 1847-1864
The 1831 Tithe Defaulters

Search directories
Treble Almanack & Dublin Directory 1783
City of Dublin and Hibernian Provincial Directory 1824
Thom's Irish Almanac & Official Directory 1884
Bassett's The Book of Antrim (1888)

The William Smith O'Brien Petition 1848-49
1798 Claimants and Surrenders
Ireland's Memorial Record: World War 1: 1914-1918

Quite a lot of this material is already available on other sites, including Irish Origins (to which Eneclann has contributed material), and Ancestry, and so whilst it looks like, I must admit to a feeling of looking at a site that is all dressed up with nowhere yet to go.

The big new set seems to be the Landed Estates Court rentals, with further information on these at The records come from the Encumbered Estates Courts, with the names of some 500,000 tenants.

One of the down sides of using a brand is that the user can be tempted to think they will get the same thing on one version of a site as on another. FindmyPast in the UK, and ScotlandsPeople for that matter, have census and vital records at their core, whereas on links to the FamilySearch site and the National Archives of Ireland are suggested as sites which might offer "a little extra help". Something of an understatement really! The Irish situation is of course different - but a fully functioning searchable vital records index for civil records still remains a dream for many...

There is useful material on the site, but I suspect this is not - at least yet - the groundbreaking development we've all been waiting for. I say "yet" though for a reason - stick with it, there is more to come!

UPDATE - from the official press release:

The joint venture will explore a range of opportunities within the Irish cultural sector, North and South. Annual subscriptions for the site will be €59.95 and PayAsYouGo will be available. An event will be held to celebrate the launch of findmypast Ireland on 5 May 2011 at the National Archives of Ireland, which will be attended by Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs. Findmypast Ireland has set up a separate team in Dublin to work with Eneclann to develop the site.


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