Latest news

Tom Cruise's Irish Ancestry Unearthed
Posted on 3.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) April 2013

Hollywood star, Tom Cruise, flew into Ireland this week to discover his family history with the help of records found on leading Irish family history website, findmypast.ie.

The star, whose real name is Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, was invited by Tourism Ireland to re-connect with his Irish ancestry during his promotional tour of his latest film, Oblivion. He was presented with a family tree, dating back six generations to 1825.

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Irish Medical Directory 1852
Posted on 28.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) March 2013

Our newest records come from the 1852 Irish Medical Directory. This directory lists all of the medical practitioners in the country in the last year of the Great Irish Famine. Also listed are members of scientific societies. You can read more about this record set in our latest blog post

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Irish Family History Centre - Exhibitors & Talks
Posted on 5.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) March 2013

Click here for directions to the Irish Family History Centre and details of opening times.

Eneclann

The National Archives of Ireland

IGRS - Irish Genealogical Research Society

Irish Family History Society

Genealogical Society of Ireland

Ancestor Network

Flyleaf Press

North of Ireland Family History Society

The Military Archives - Thursday & Friday only

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Criminal Irish in Britain
Posted on 5.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) March 2013

Three times more likely to be convicted than the native population, we explore the fate of the criminal Irish in Britain.

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Famous Family Trees: Daniel Day Lewis
Posted on 27.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) February 2013

2013 Oscar Winner Daniel Day Lewis has links to both Ireland and England, read about those links in our latest blog post.

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Irish Family History Centre
Posted on 26.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) February 2013

Dates:Thursday 14 March – Monday 18 March

Where:Discover Ireland Centre, Suffolk Street, Dublin 2

Times:Thursday-Saturday 10am-5pm

Sunday 11am-4pm

Monday 11am-3pm

The Irish Family History Centre runs throughout the week of the St. Patrick’s Festival and allows you to discover your Irish family history. Free access to millions of online records from findmypast.ie will give you an insight of what life was like for your ancestors hundreds of years ago in Ireland. Learn how to search for information using the free computers and chat with experienced staff who can answer your questions.

Find information about your ancestors in:

Birth, marriage, and death records
Land and estates records
Legal records
Newspaper articles and directories
Military records
Travel and migration records

The Gathering Ireland 2013 is a reminder of the millions of Irish diaspora worldwide, making it the perfect time to start researching your Irish roots. This event will help you understand exactly where your family came from, what their lives were like and where they ended up.

As well as findmypast.ie, other family history organisations will be on hand to provide advice and guidance each day. A series of lectures will also be held daily, covering various family history topics, so there is something for everyone – from family history novices to experienced genealogists.

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New Memorial Records - gravestone inscriptions
Posted on 15.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) February 2013

This new record set comprises details of the gravestone inscriptions for nearly 41,500 individuals.

The bulk of the records date between 1618 and 2005. The full memorial inscription for each gravestone is included. As well as the name of the deceased additional family names are often included. Other details recorded can include cause of death and the profession of the deceased.

The mostly north-western counties of Ireland covered by these records are some of the least well represented in other online resources making this a valuable addition to the findmypast collection records for Irish family history. Areas covered by this data are as follows:

Achill
Cavan
Donegal
Fermanagh
Leitrim
Meath
Monaghan
Tyrone

This record set was compiled by Eileen Hewson who dedicates much of her time to transcribing the details on memorials in Ireland, India and Sri Lanka

Click here to start searching the Ireland memorial and burial register, 1618-2005

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The Men of the WWI Wills
Posted on 14.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) February 2013

In this blog post we re-create some of the lives of the young men that fought in WWI whose wills we recently added to findmypast.

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Discover your past with findmypast.ie and The Gathering Ireland 2013
Posted on 11.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) February 2013

With over 70 million people worldwide claiming Irish ancestry, The Gathering Ireland 2013 provides the perfect excuse for people in Ireland to reach out to those who have moved away, relatives, friends and descendants, and invite them home.

To celebrate, findmypast.ie and The Gathering Ireland 2013 are giving away return flights to Ireland from Great Britain, Canada, Australia and the USA.

2 lucky people will travel to Ireland to celebrate the most Irish day of them all on March 17

Every competition entrant will also receive 30 free credits to use on findmypast.ie

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WW1 Irish Soldiers Wills, 1914-1920
Posted on 11.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) February 2013

This new record set comprises transcriptions of over 9000 wills of Irish men who served in WWI. This collection of wills represents approximately a quarter of the Irishmen who died in that war.

The wills are of those of privates and non-commissioned officers. Most of the wills are written on pre-printed pages that were included in the soldiers’ service book. Most of the wills were not witnessed and are considered informal wills. Where there was no will there was a special form for a Missing or Nuncupative Will. Letters to the family could be used as evidence of the soldier’s intentions for his effects. Most of the men were young and single and left everything to their mothers. Very few of the original wills give details of the bequests, usually the directions indicate that the named beneficiary is to receive everything.

A small number of soldiers made more than one will. Each of these wills were processed by the War Office (WO) separately and are included in the record set.

Searching the Irish Wills Transcriptions
Our search function allows you to search for most of the information contained in the transcription.

Normal searches by name can be augmented using the ‘What Else’ box.

Searches can be made for:


  • Regiment
  • Place-names: searches can be made for place of death e.g. Ypres and towns and counties in Ireland where the solider has recorded that information.
  • Beneficiary: both by first or surname and by relationship to the soldier.

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Famous Family Trees: Imelda May
Posted on 8.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) February 2013

In the first of our Famous Family Trees of 2013 we find that Liberties Belle Imelda May's roots are far her beloved Liberties in Dublin.

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Kiltullagh Parish, Roscommon, Baptismal & Marriage Registers
Posted on 4.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) February 2013

Today we added the baptismal and marriage registers for the Roman Catholic parish of Kiltullagh, Co. Roscommon.

This record set has details on over 11,500 events between 1839-1880.

Details include the names of witnesses to the marriages and sponsors to the baptisms, often family members. All of these people can be searched for, by surname, using the 'What Else' search-box.

Kiltullagh sits on the Roscommon/Mayo border and some individuals in this record set are from Mayo townlands e.g. Ballyglass.

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Petty Sessions updated with 25 New Courts!
Posted on 31.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) January 2013

Today we launched another 2.1 million records from the Petty Sessions order books (1850-1912) - one of the greatest untapped resources for tracing your Irish ancestors and another exclusive to findmypast.ie.

We've added 25 new courts from counties Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Louth, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary and Waterford.

Over 50 other courts have been updated, many now having cases dating to 1912.

The original Petty Sessions records, held at the National Archives of Ireland, cover all types of cases, from allowing trespass of cattle to being drunk in charge of an ass and cart. These were the lowest courts in the country who dealt with the vast bulk of legal cases, both civil and criminal. This batch of entries contains details of 2.1 million cases, with most records giving comprehensive details of the case including: name of complainant, name of defendant, names of witnesses, cause of complaint, details of the judgement, details of a fine if any, and details of a sentence passed down if any.

For full details of all the new courts and counties included see our record information page for the Petty Sessions order books.

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Starring Tom Lefroy as Mr Darcy
Posted on 31.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) January 2013

On the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride & Prejudice we look at how one young Irish man may have influenced Jane Austen’s work. How much of Thomas Lefroy’s character is seen in Mr Darcy, or indeed Wickham?

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Christmas in Ireland
Posted on 16.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) January 2013

Read about Christmas traditions in Ireland in our latest blog post.

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Irishmen serving in the British Army at the time of Napoleon
Posted on 20.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) December 2012

Who were the men who served in the British Army in the late 18th and early 19th century? Read about their experiences in our blog post.

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A fit Object of His Majesty’s Royal Bounty
Posted on 12.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) December 2012

Read about a soldier's experience of receiving a pension from the the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in 1814.

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The Green Redcoats – Launch of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham pensioners discharge documents 1783-1822
Posted on 7.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) December 2012

We’ve discovered the records of an Irish soldier, one of the so-called “Green Redcoats”, Hugh Burke, among our newest collection of records, those pensioned from the British army by the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, which we have published online today for the first time.

The records, including those from the Royal Hospital Chelsea and those of Imperial Yeomanry from the War Office, represent the first major coordinated release across the findmypast family of international sites since the launch of our world collection in August.

The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the building that now houses the Irish Museum of Modern Art, was established in 1681 to house sick and veteran troops from the British Army. These records contain the names and discharge documents of almost 20,000 soldiers held there from 1783-1822. The task of cataloguing the records took a team of 14 people from the Friends of the National Archives volunteer group just over 3 years and includes the records of 19,109 soldiers.

The records show details of soldiers, including their height, weight, colour of hair and eyes and any distinguishing features such as a tattoo or scar, as well as where they served and their regiment.

Among them is Private Hugh Burke from Wicklow, who was pensioned from the army on the 26 June 1816 after four years’ service. He was deemed unfit for further service after receiving “a gunshot wound to the left shoulder received in action near New Orleans in America on the 8th of January 1815.”

The Battle of New Orleans is famous because it was the last major battle between the British and American forces in the War of 1812 and was fought after a peace treaty had already been signed. The Treaty of Ghent, which signalled the end of the war, came into effect at the start of February 1815 but due to slow communications the news did not reach New Orleans until two weeks later. Unfortunately for Private Hugh Burke this left him with “a mark on each side of his left shoulder” - entry and exit wounds from the bullet.

Brian Donovan, a family historian from findmypast said: “The number of Irish men who fought in the British army was extensive and these records allow us to glimpse the lives and careers of these soldiers. What makes the Kilmainham series so exciting is how far in time they stretch back. There is detailed information about rank and file soldiers born before 1750, about the regiments they served with, where they travelled, and injuries received. Scanned in colour, indexed and published online for the first time, these records are a fantastic addition to the findmypast collection.”

William Spencer, military expert at the National Archives added: “The five sets of military records published online today represent a big step forward in offering a more complete picture and contain some of the most detailed historical information available anywhere about soldiers from this period.

“Publishing these records online at findmypast supports the National Archives’ aim to give more people a chance to research their family and military history by accessing the information contained in these fascinating records.”

The Royal Hospital Kilmainham pension records are part of a larger collection of military discharge documents today released by findmypast including:

- Royal Hospital, Kilmainham: pensioners’ discharge documents 1771-1821 (known as WO 119 at the National Archives)

- Royal Hospital, Chelsea: pensioners’ discharge documents 1760-1887 (WO 121)

- Royal Hospital, Chelsea: pensioners’ discharge documents, foreign regiments 1816-1817 (WO 122)

- War Office: Imperial Yeomanry, soldiers’ documents, South African War 1899-1902 (WO 128)

- Royal Hospital, Chelsea: documents of soldiers awarded deferred pensions


More information on the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham: pensioners’ discharge documents 1771-1821

Search the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham: pensioners’ discharge documents 1771-1821 on findmypast.ie

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More new Petty Sessions records
Posted on 27.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) November 2012

Today we launched another 2.4 million records from the Petty Sessions order books (1850-1910) - one of the greatest untapped resources for tracing your Irish ancestors and another exclusive to findmypast.ie. If you have roots stretching back to counties Donegal, Mayo, Kerry, Galway or Clare you'll find this group of records particularly useful.

The original Petty Sessions records, held at the National Archives of Ireland, cover all types of cases, from allowing trespass of cattle to being drunk in charge of an ass and cart. These were the lowest courts in the country who dealt with the vast bulk of legal cases, both civil and criminal. This batch of entries contains details of 2 million cases, with most records giving comprehensive details of the case including: name of complainant, name of defendant, names of witnesses, cause of complaint, details of the judgement, details of a fine if any, and details of a sentence passed down if any.

For full details of all the new courts and counties included see our record information page for the Petty Sessions order books.

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The Irish Brontës
Posted on 27.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) November 2012

Charlotte Brontë, the celebrated British author, had strong links to Ireland.

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