Wednesday 08 July 2015
Almost 300 years of Catholic parish registers, containing information on births and marriages, held by the National Library of Ireland are being made available online.
Dating from the 1740s to the 1880s, the records cover the entire island of Ireland and can be accessed free of charge online from 1pm today.
The dedicated website has over 390,000 digital images of parish registers.
The parish register records are considered the single-most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census.
Covering more than a 1,000 parishes throughout the island of Ireland, the registers consist primarily of baptismal and marriage records.
They typically include information such as dates of baptisms and marriages, and the names of key people involved, such as witnesses or godparents.
Making the records available will mean Irish Catholics will now be able to trace their ancestry online as far back as 1740.
For most genealogy researchers, parish registers provide the earliest direct source of family information as they can provide evidence of direct links between one generation and the next .
The documents may be accessed online at registers.nli.ie.
Acknowledgement: National Library of Ireland, Dublin