Friday, January 30, 2009

FamilySearch Record Search

FamilySearch Record Search

from my usenet email:-

As I don't see the topic recorded here, it might be appropriate to welcome the fact that FamilySearch has placed online Irish indexes of births, marriages and deaths from 1845/1864-1958. Go to, click Ireland on map and follow link currently at end of page (map may be slow to load if you do not have a fast connection). Note that this is a pilot project which may be subject to alteration, and that the indexes only are online, so that it is still necessary to obtain full registrations by personal or postal application to the Irish General Register Office.

This development is a godsend for all interested in Irish genealogy in Ireland and abroad. The poor standards of service in the GRO search facility in Dublin are well known, and a much needed government project to digitise BMD records appears to have run into technical difficulties after the expenditure of millions. Having discussed the new FamilySearch service with some fellow genealogists, I have one reservation, which is that it may be unwise to place online particulars of the births of living people, including mothers' maiden names. Perhaps this element of the excellent service might be delimited to 1930 or thereabouts.

I have tested the online BMD indexes against a sample of data retrieved from manual research in the GRO, and find that the service passes the test with flying colours. Alas, the same cannot be said for the National Archives of Ireland 1911 Census online, which is riddled with errors and omissions and features only four counties after four years' work. Examples include misreadings such as Raster for Rafter, Mc surnames indexed with a space after the prefix, surnames indexed as forenames, a whole bunch of Valentia Island townlands misplaced, and nothing approaching a soundex facility. While it may be free to view, this National Archives project has already cost 3.5 million Euros of public funds and it is not clear where further money can be found as the Irish economy continues in freefall. It is my view that the Latter-Day Saints and/or commercial firms with a track record in digitising need to be drafted in to rescue the Irish census project.

Sean Murphy
Directory of Irish Genealogy


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