In April 2016, Findmypast began a major project to bring Irish Quaker records online. The first phase of this project saw the release of over 2 million Quaker names, contained within over 1.5 million records, from (what is now) the Irish Republic. These are now available. The second phase will be the much-anticipated Quaker records of Northern Ireland.
For the first phase, the Quakers – more formally known as the Religious Society of Friends – have agreed to release transcripts and scanned colour images of original birth, marriage, burial, and congregational records, in addition to various administration, school and migration records. If you need to see the originals, they are stored in Quaker House, Stocking Lane, in Rathfarnham (Dublin, Ireland).
Quaker history in Ireland can be traced back to the early 1650s when English soldiers, farmers, and merchants (many from northeastern England) arrived and settled in Ireland after the English Civil War (1641–1651). By the 1750s, there were over 150 Quaker meetings being held across Ireland in the three provinces of Ulster, Munster and Leinster.
In the 1680s, large numbers of Irish Quakers fled to North America to escape religious persecution. The inclusion of Quaker migration records on Findmypast makes this collection of special significance for those looking to trace their Quaker origins from America back to Ireland.
The Quaker community has left us a remarkably complete set of records from the 1660s to the present day. The release of these records by Findmypast now means that researchers the world over can access these records from the comfort of their own home. Anyone wishing for personal guidance can visit us at the Irish Family History Centre in the CHQ building (Dublin, Ireland).
By Noel Jenkins
Expert Researcher at The Irish Family History Centre