12.5m free records on Irish genealogy have now been added online

14 Sep 2016

The Government-run irishgenealogy.ie website has been updated with 12.5m records of births, deaths and marriages spanning as far back as 1864 – and all are available for free.

Irish genealogy has never been more accessible with the digitisation of records and the securing of birth, death and marriage information from hundreds of years ago, forever.

Among some of the most recent developments were the release of Irish parish records dating back to 1655 released last March by Ancestry.ie, as well as police records from the Royal Irish Constabulary dating back to 1861 released last month.

Now, the State-run website irishgenealogy.ie has released one of the largest collections of records to-date, totalling 2.5m images that date back to 1864.

Within these 2.5m images lies 12.5m records of births, deaths and marriages dating from this period. These records include such famous names as the great explorer, Tom Crean, and the death notices of a number of the 1916 Easter Rising participants.

‘It is a triumph of exploration’

Access to the records is available through the Irish Genealogy website under the title ‘Civil Records’, where an advanced search option can filter the specific name you are looking for.

Speaking at its launch, the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys, TD, said: “These records give us a new insight into our past and our forebears. It is a triumph of exploration, because the records allow us all to explore our own past, and discover new things about our ancestors. What used to require weeks and months of research in dusty archives can now be done online in a matter of minutes.”

Adding to this, the Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, TD, said: “These records also provide an incredible insight into the 1916 Rising which helped to create the modern Irish State.

“We can view the death registers for its leaders, including James Connolly, Patrick Pearse, and Thomas Clarke. It helps to bring the past alive, and we can piece together fragments to create a whole story.”

Old photos image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic