Latest news

findmypast Ireland at WDYTYA Live
Posted on 27.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) March 2012

In our second globe-trotting adventure in a month we travelled to WDYTYA Live in the Olympia London. It was our first visit to the event and we certainly weren’t left disappointed by what is described as “the largest genealogy conference in the English speaking world”.


The Quagmire of Administrative Districts - Part 2
Posted on 21.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) March 2012

This week in part 2 of a 2 part post Fiona explains some more of the myriad of names associated with Irish administrative districts.


Inventor's series - Sir Francis Beaufort
Posted on 8.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) March 2012

In the last of our inventor’s series of blog posts we take a look at Sir Francis Beaufort, Irish hydrographer from Navan in Co. Meath.

Born in 1774, Francis was descendent of French Protestant Huguenots and his father was a rector for the local area. At the age of 14 he joined the East India Company and enlisted in the Royal Navy for whom he remained in active service until 1812. He served in the Napoleonic wars and was known for devoting himself to making meticulous surveys of uncharted coasts. In 1829, at the age of 55, he was appointed hydrographer to the Royal Navy, a post he held until he reached the age of 81.


The Quagmire of Administrative Districts
Posted on 6.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) March 2012

In this, the first part of a two part post, Fiona explains some of the myriad of names associated with Irish administrative districts, essential for getting a grasp of Irish family history records.

Successful research hinges on being able to access records that are relevant to your ancestors. But there are no such things as purely ‘genealogical’ records, with a few notable exceptions, namely the Gaelic genealogies, and from the 16th Century when the Ulster King of Arms was first appointed. Instead, researchers have to create their own patch-work of evidence, drawn from records which were made and kept, because they served the administrative purpose of the civil or church authority or of an individual (usually a landlord).


Release of the Raphoe Marriage Licence Bonds
Posted on 2.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) March 2012

If there's Donegal ancestors in your family tree you'll be glad to hear that today we launch some new Irish marriage records, the Raphoe Marriage Licence Bonds.

The Raphoe Marriage Licence Bonds cover the periods from 1710-55 and 1817-30. They are extremely useful for those researching their Irish family history with ancestors from county Donegal. The diocese of Rahpoe consisted of thirty four parishes and covers almost the whole of Co. Donegal bar the Inishowen peninsula (Derry Diocese) and the very south of the county (Clogher Diocese). The original bonds were destroyed in the Public Record Office fire of 1922, consequently all that survives is the index.

More information on Raphoe Marriage Bonds 1710-55 and 1817-30


Release of the Petty Sessions Order Books 1850-1910
Posted on 23.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) February 2012

Today we launch online for the first time the Petty Sessions Order Books (1850-1910), one of the greatest untapped resources for those tracing their Irish roots.

The original Petty Sessions records are held at the National Archives of Ireland were scanned by Family Search and have now been transcribed and made fully searchable by They 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 first batch of entries contains details of 1.2 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. Another 15 million cases are to follow throughout 2012.


Launch of the Leighlin Administrations 1700-1857
Posted on 14.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) February 2012

Today we launch some more death records to help with your Irish family histroy research. The Index to Leighlin Administrations cover the period from 1700-1857 and should prove extremely useful for those researching their Irish family history with ancestors from counties Carlow, Laois (Queen’s County), Wicklow and Kilkenny.

More information on the Leighlin Administrations 1700-1857


Our review of RootsTech 2012
Posted on 13.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) February 2012

I’m back in Dublin having attended my very first Rootstech conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, and I wanted to share some of my experiences with all of you. For those of you who’ve never attended, Rootstech is a really interesting event, bringing genealogists together with technologists, to learn from each other and find solutions to some of the challenges faced in family history research today. Our parent company brightsolid was one of the sponsors of the conference, and we were there in force.


Irish submarine inventor in Tipperary Clans Archive
Posted on 9.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) February 2012

We were recently inspired by a feature on Irish inventors to take a look through our Irish family history records for some of these famous Irish men and woman who made a huge contribution to science, technology and engineering. The first famous inventor we came across was John Philip Holland, the man who invented the submarine.


Release of the Quakers Annual Monitor 1849
Posted on 6.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) February 2012

Today we launch a small collection of Irish death records from the Quaker Annual Monitor 1849. The Quaker Annual Monitor 1849, or Obituary of the Members of the Society of Friends in Great Britain and Ireland for the year 1848, is a published list of obituaries and death notices compiled from the annual returns of the Society’s Meeting Houses in 1848 and the latter parts of 1847.

While some of the obituaries provide only a small amount of detail, many are accompanied by the quite lengthy eulogies provided by the elders of deceased's Meeting House.


Release of Deserted Children Dublin 1850-1854
Posted on 30.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) January 2012

Today we release a harrowing record set, which may be useful to those of you who have orphans or adopted children in your Irish family tree, Deserted Children Dublin 1850-1854.

This small publication is taken from a Return made to the House of Commons in July 1854 and is a report on the all of the deserted children taken into the care of the Dublin Metropolitan Police Force in the years ending 30th June 1850 to 1854.

The Report on Deserted Children provides a unique snapshot into the social conditions of Dublin for a five-year period and provides a graphic picture as to the fate of deserted children in Dublin for the periods 1850-54.

More information on Deserted Children, Dublin


Release of the Register of Queen's Colleges Ireland: 1849-1858
Posted on 23.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) January 2012

Do you have any Irish graduates in your family tree? If so you may be able to track them down in our latest release: the Registers of Queen's Colleges Ireland 1849-1858.


Release of Freemen of Dublin City 1774-1824
Posted on 17.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) January 2012

Were any of the men in in your Irish family tree lucky enopugh to be be freemen of Dublin City? You can find out with the release of our newest Irish directory record set the Freemen of Dublin City 1774-1824.

The Freemen of Dublin City derives from a nineteenth century printer’s gallery which never reached publication. The list covers almost 6000 men admitted to the Freedom of the City of Dublin between 1774 and 1824. The list is predominately made up of tradesmen and craftsmen, including makers of furniture, silver and clocks but also includes masters of other branches of the fine and applied arts.


Release of Candian Emigration: Parliamentary Papers 1826
Posted on 13.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) January 2012

Today see's the launch of our second set of travel & migration records, the Canadian Emigration: Parliamentary Papers 1826.

This parliamentary paper publishes the correspondence and extensive supporting documents of the British government with the Governor-General of Canada concerning the settlement of poor Irish in the Newcastle District in 1826, or “Mr. Robinson’s Emigrants” as they became known. This was the result of a Commons request to be furnished information on the settlement as it had been publicly funded.


Walt Disney’s Irish ancestors
Posted on 13.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) January 2012

Last week our brothers and sisters at were asking fans to have a look through their records for the names of famous Disney characters. Users found the like of Wendy and Peter Darling, Donald Duck, Jim Dear and Billy Bones. It jogged our memory about a story we heard about the possibility of Walt Disney having Irish ancestors. The surname “Disney” doesn’t have a very Irish ring to it, deriving from the Normandy French name D’Isigny, which is probably why his Irish family history can be easily forgotten. We decided to do a bit of digging around and used some of the Land & estate records on to help.


Release of Clonfert Wills, Administrations and Marriage Records 1663-1857
Posted on 4.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) January 2012

Good news for those of you whose Irish family history roots stretch to Galway, Roscommon or Offaly, today we launched the Clonfert wills, administrations and marriage records covering the period from 1663-1857. They are extremely useful for those researching their Irish family history with ancestors from the east of Co.Galway, parts of Co.Roscommon and a small section of Co. Offaly on the east bank of the River Shannon. You can see a full list of the 38 civil parishes covered on the record information page. The original bonds were destroyed in the Public Record Office fire of 1922, consequently all that survives is the index.


Release of Thom's Irish Who's Who 1923
Posted on 28.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) December 2011

In addition to our 10% discount and our festive challenge as part of Start Your Family Tree Week, we have another Christmas present for you - the release of Thom's Irish Who's Who 1923.


Start Your Family Tree Week 2011
Posted on 21.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) December 2011

For many of us, Christmas is the only time of the year when the whole family gets together. But how much do we really know about our families?

This Stephen’s Day we want to help you find out more about your ancestors with the launch of the second year of ‘Start Your Family Tree Week’. From the 26th December through to New Year’s Day we'll giving you all the help and advice you need to help you make a start on your Irish family history research.


Launch of Irish family tree builder
Posted on 21.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) November 2011

Today we launched our free family tree builder software, allowing you to add some of the 10 million names now on to your family tree.


Launch of the Irish Prison registers 1790-1924
Posted on 21.(BrightSolid.Shared.StringHelpers).Ordinal(false) October 2011

Today, we have launched online for the first time the Irish Prison Registers 1790-1920, one of the greatest untapped resources for those tracing their Irish roots.