Galway's online parish records free for a month

“The single most important collection for tracing Roman Catholic ancesters in Ireland. “

Galway history buffs and ancestry addicts can have fee access to Irish records this month on family history website Ancestry.

Ancestry has made another 10 million historic Catholic Parish records from Ireland available online, and they are free for the month of March.

They include 250 years of records available from 30 parishes in the Galway diocese.

Indexed from digital images created by the National Library of Ireland, the Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers 1655-1915 collection includes baptism, marriage, burial and confirmation records from more than 1,000 parishes, and some 3,500 registers in Ireland. This is the first time the collection has been indexed with the original images linked online.

Written in either English or Latin, the records include details such as name, date and place of baptism, marriage and burials, family relationships, elusive maiden names for mothers and wives, names of sponsors (Godparents ) and witnesses – information that can provide clues to other family relationships.

Rhona Murray, family historian at Ancestry says it is the single most important collection for tracing Roman Catholic ancestors in Ireland from the 17th to the early 20th centuries.

"By 1891, the majority of the country was Catholic, so these records provide key details on most of the population over this time period.

“We are delighted to make this collection available online through Ancestry, and in doing so help anyone with Irish roots - no matter where they are in the world – to discover more about their family history.”

In providing the collection online, Ancestry indexed 373,000 digital images from 3,500 different parish registers across Ireland. Indexing the images means that the handwritten information from the original records has been transcribed so each name can be easily searched and accessed digitally.

The collection is available free on www.ancestry.ie this month.

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