More than 60,000 images and other records outlining the story of the Easter Rising are now available online at Ancestry.ie
The collection dates from 1916 to 1922 and includes 60,000 images along with 2,600 records including court martial records, intelligence profiles, prison records, notes confirming executions had taken place, surveillance notes, hand drawn sketch maps, and letters. The collection is free to view on Ancestry's website.
The collection includes the execution orders for the seven signatories of the Easter Proclamation, as well as 60,000 images, hand drawn maps, personal letters, and photos concerning key figures involved in the events of 1916.
“These papers were deposited in the National Archives in Kew, Surrey, in 1922 so they are virtually unseen by most Irish people," said Rhona Murray, family historian at Ancestry. "They are a very significant part of Ireland’s history containing some crucial and fascinating information about the events of the 1916 Easter Rising and the people involved. We have digitised intelligence profiles, court martial records, personal letters and photos which gives a very comprehensive picture of what happened during one of the most important events in the history of Ireland.”
The collection includes court martial records ordering the execution of the seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation – Padraig Pearse, Eamon Ceannt, Thomas James Clarke, James Connolly, Sean MacDiarmada, Joseph Mary Plunkett, and Thomas MacDonagh - as well as the orders for eight other executions held between May 3 and 12 1916.
Their guilty pleas, evidence brought against them, and their sentences of ‘death by shooting’ are also included.
Many personal letters from concerned family are in the files, including the letter written by Padraig Pearse to his mother Margaret. In the letter Pearse describes his movements between the GPO and Moore Street during his last surviving days before surrendering “in order to prevent further slaughter of the civil population and in the hope of saving the lives of our followers”.
The collection is available to view free at www.ancestry.ie