Catholic Parish Records Online.

It is now about a year since the NLI launched their collection of Catholic parish records online and this is a record set that keeps giving and giving.

Having these records online is such a wonderful step forward for family historians.  For many, visiting the Library and viewing the microfilms had never a very realistic option.   It is true that a great deal of these records were available online on a pay per view website.    But there were serious gaps in these online record sets, most notably Wexford, Clare, Carlow and parts of Tipperary. 

I have always known I have Wexford origins but due to the early death of my grandmother, this line had been, if not invisible, then poorly documented.  I have been very pleased to finally locate the baptism of my grandmother’s parents in Wexford in the 1850s.  Identifying the baptismal records for both my great grandparents has identified their mothers and consequently their siblings. Knowing that my great great grandparents continued having children in to the 1860s meant that these later children, unlike my own direct ancestor, appeared in civil registration.  Obtaining the civil birth certificates for these younger siblings provided me with an occupation for my great great grandfather.  I now also had the where of this branch in Wexford and using this townland have been delighted   to find my widowed great great grandmother there in the 1901 Census.  This pointed to a likely time of death for these ancestors and successfully locating their death certificates led to learning their year of birth.   I could now say I had taken this {neglected} branch back to the early 19th century, kick-started by the incomparable resource of the parish records.

By Research Expert.

Carmel Gilbride.