Wednesday, 21 July 2010

RootsIreland adds Advanced search fields

RootsIreland.ie, the website of the Irish Family History Foundation, has launched a pilot advanced search for birth and marriages records in counties Cavan, Fermanagh, West Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, North Tipperary, Tyrone and Westmeath.

Advanced searches for Baptism/Birth records can be narrowed down using the mother's first name and/or surname, as well as the father's first name and/or surname.

Using the full combination allows the searcher to find all children from one family.

With Marriages records, an advanced search can narrow results using the spouse's first name and surname, and the father's first name.

The improved facility, although only available for eight counties, is a very welcome addition since it should reduce the number of 'incorrect' records researchers buy. It does, however, come with a potentially higher price tag as the researcher will not be allowed to buy an individual record if more than one record is returned when using the advanced search fields.

For example, if a birth search for Timothy Ryan, son of William Ryan and Mary Doyle, results in three matching records being identified, the researcher would have to buy (or not buy) the full set of three records.

A sliding scale of prices has been introduced; full sets of records should work out cheaper than buying individual records.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Census digitisation wins Excellence award

The National Archives of Ireland (NAI) has won the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO) annual Award for Excellence in Genealogy.

The Award was given in recognition of the completion of the NAI’s mammoth project to create an online database of indexed scanned images from the 1901 & 1911 census returns for Ireland.

Presenting the Award, CIGO Chairman Steven Smyrl said: "While over the past 20 years CIGO has regularly used constructive criticism to encourage improvement in access to records held by public and private bodies, it is just as important to recognise achievement. The National Archives is to be commended for its commitment to creating the census database and for making it freely available to millions worldwide through the Internet.”

In publishing the 1901 & 1911 census online, NAI has made important records available free of charge to the many millions of people in Ireland and worldwide who seek to trace their Irish ancestors. The project's success is reflected in website usage; over the 30 months from December 2007 to May 2010 (when initially only the 1911 census returns were available on-line) the website received more than 7 million visits and more than 270 million hits.

In accepting the Award, NAI Director David Craig said: “We greatly appreciate receiving this award from the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations. We are very pleased that the success of this venture has been formally recognised by the body that brings together in one council such a wide range of organisations active in the field of Irish genealogy.”

Pictured R-L: David Craig, NAI director; Catriona Crowe, NAI Senior Archivist; Steven Smyrl, CIGO Chairman.

More about the Irish Census.
More about CIGO.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Genealogy events during National Heritage Week


National Heritage Week, a week long celebration of Ireland and Irish heritage, gets underway on 21 August and features about 1100 events across the 32 counties. Many of the events are aimed at family historians, especially beginners.

The selection includes workshops, talks, exhibitions, guided tours and one-to-one consultations offered by professional genealogists, librarians, heritage officials and other specialists.

Among the venues are libraries, churchyards and heritage centres in Laois, Kildare, Kilkenny, Donegal, Naas, Waterford, Cork, Tralee and Galway. Additional events may be added to the programme right up to 14 August.

Discover what's on in your area of interest at the National Heritage Week website where you can search the programme by Event Type (ie Archives, Genealogy, Local History etc), by county and by date.