Genealogy in Ireland is going online

By: June 30, 2015

The entire collection of Catholic parish register microfilms held by the National Library of Ireland (NLI) will be made available online from Wednesday, 8th July.

On that date, a dedicated website will go live, with over 390,000 digital images of the microfilm reels on which the parish registers are recorded. The records will be free to access.

The parish register records are considered the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census.

Dating from the 1740s to the 1880s, they cover 1,090 parishes throughout the island of Ireland and consist primarily of baptismal and marriage records.

The NLI has worked with the Catholic Church to preserve these registers since the 1950s when the NLI initially made microfilm copies. The NLI has been working to digitise the microfilms for over three years under its digitisation programme.

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