Saturday, September 6, 2008

News from FGS: Irish Records

It's been a whirlwind weekend at the FGS conference in Philadelphia. My bags are packed and the alarm is set so I can meet my flight tomorrow. But I'm anxious to let you know about a fascinating conversation I had with Feargal O'Donnell of the Irish Family History Foundation Online Genealogy Databases for Ireland, which is now known as RootsIreland.

The Foundation is striving to shatter the myths that Irish records are too difficult to be found, or likely don't exist at all. Through the efforts of a vast number of volunteers, each working in their own locality where they have first hand knowledge, partnerships are being formed with the "keepers" of the records, and a really heroic effort is being made to transcribe and deliver them to a computer near you!

To date they've computerised almost 40 million Irish Ancestral records, primarily Church baptisms, marriages and deaths. According to Feargal, a charming and highly knowledgeable genealogist from Northern Ireland, the indexes, listing surname, first name, year and county of all records online can be searched for free. To view a detailed record you can purchase credit online for instant access at a cost of €5.00 per record.

Start with the red and green map of Ireland on the homepage. Green counties are online now, orange counties are coming soon, and red counties are not yet online. But if Feargal has anything to say about it, all counties will be online as soon as possible.

Stay tuned to the Genealogy Gems Podcast for my in depth conversation with Feargal about this wealth of genealogical information.

And be sure to sign up for the free Genealogy Gems Podcast Newsletter so you will be sure to receive notice of this and the many other interviews I conducted at the FGS conference. It was a melting pot of fascinating genealogists from around the world, and I'm excited to bring these personal interviews to you through upcoming Genealogy Gems Podcasts.

Talk to you soon! Lisa

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