Saturday, May 7, 2016

Digitized Irish Records In The Familysearch Catalog

UPDATE 31 May 2016: See the Irish Genealogy News blogpost about this topic before reading.

Last November, the Familysearch blog outlined that the most requested microfilms at the Family History Library would be digitized, with access to the images available through the Familysearch Catalog. Before this, digitized records were, and still are, found in the Records section, with the Historic Record Collections list the quickest way to identify records of interest. Digitized record sets have the image of a camera beside the title. Just like in the Records section, selecting on the camera icon in the Catalog listing will allow you to view any of the newly digitized records.

Digitized Irish records on the Familysearch website. Camera icon highlighted.

The plan to digitize microfilms and place the images in the Catalog has very quickly provided an unexpected boon to Irish genealogy research. Two weeks ago, John Schnelle contacted Claire Santry about the availability of digitized Griffith's Valuation House, Quarto, and Field books (read the blog post here and access the Catalog listing here).

My AncestryProGenealogists colleague, Eimer Shea, brought it to my attention that wills from the Tuam probate district have been digitized and are also available in the Catalog. A subsequent perusal of the Catalog by us found that digitized wills from 11 of the 12 post-1857 probate districts in the Republic of Ireland are also available to view in the Catalog (wills from the Dublin probate district are not listed in the Catalog). These wills are available to view up to various cut of years around 1900.

Digitized wills from Tuam Probate District. Camera icon highlighted.

As well as the Valuation Books and wills, there are other microfilms that have been digitized, for example:


The Family History Library obviously has a  huge collection of microfilmed Irish records and it is very likely that other interesting records have been digitized. As such, the Familysearch Catalog should now be a mandatory place to look online for digitized Irish records. Of course, this digitization project is not just confined to microfilms of Irish records. It therefore offers a new and exciting research path for people researching ancestors who immigrated to the United States, Canada, and elsewhere, as microfilms of records from other countries are also being digitized.

If you have not used the Familysearch Catalog before then follow this step-by-step.

1. On the Familysearch homepage, select Search, then select Catalog


2. Select Search By: Place


3. Enter the Irish county you want to consult and select Search

5 comments:

  1. John Schnelle has helped me so much with my genealogical searches! He's definitely the guy to go to when trying to find records online!

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  2. I am logged in to Family Search but cannot access the digitized images. Is this something you can only access at a Family Search center?

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  3. Hi Virginia,

    My understanding is that you need to have to have an LDS account login to be able to view all of the digitized material.

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