23rd May 2013
General Register Office Records Finally to Go Online
The Irish government has announced that indexes to birth, death & marriage records which date from 1845 are soon to be made available through its genealogy portal www.irishgenealogy.ie. This is terrific news, announced in CIGO’s 21st year, the year in which it ‘comes of age’.
Founded as the GRO Users Group, but soon after renamed the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations, CIGO began life as a direct response to the 1992 government announcement that the General Register Office (which holds Ireland’s civil records) was to be transferred out of Dublin to Roscommon town. CIGO’s successful lobbying quickly secured a commitment from the Department to retain a public search facility in Dublin and thus laid the foundations for its many acknowledged successes over the following 20 years. With reference to the GRO, particular note should be made to CIGO’s part in securing provision of improved family data in Irish death registrations on both sides of the border.
Included in the newly published Social Welfare and Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013 are amendments to section 61 of the Civil Registration Act 2004. These amendments will allow the Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht to make provision and legal framework for BMD indexes to be placed online. However, at this stage it isn’t clear where the cut-off year will fall. What constitutes ‘historical’ as opposed to ‘modern’ records has not yet been released. It might even be that the indexes could be published right up-to-date!
The announcement that BMD indexes will go online follows that recently made by GRONI (General Register Office for Northern Ireland) about its own records going online in the late autumn. Under provisions in the Civil Registration Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 - which CIGO was invited to give oral evidence on at bill stages - GRONI will be making ‘historic’ indexes and records available online for the first time on a pay-per-view basis.
By contrast, data on the Irish government’s genealogy portal is free. In welcoming the announcement Steven Smyrl, Executive Liaison Officer for CIGO and current President of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, said “This is terrific news. CIGO has lobbied long and hard for better access to civil records for genealogists and historians.
“It doesn’t surprise me that this has finally happened under the current government. The two ministers involved in this decision, Jimmy Deenihan TD (Heritage Minister) and Joan Burton TD (Social Protection Minister) are both keen genealogists. In particular Mr Deenihan has proved to be fully supportive of the genealogy lobby since before he came to office in 2011.
“This move will make Irish genealogical research easier and no doubt play its own part in stimulating roots tourism.”
For Irish genealogists everywhere this is most welcome news!
15th April 2013
irishgenealogy.ie website rearranged
The irishgenealogy.ie website has recently been rearranged, to act as a portal to various online genealogical records for Ireland.
Some parts of the previous version of the site have been deleted, but can still be found via the Wayback Machine.
These include the still very useful List of current records and dates covered. This page is dated 5th April 2012, but the old home page says it was updated on 8th June 2012. Also still available is the Site Map for the previous version of the site.
24th January 2013
GRO Doubles Price of Certs but Local Registration Offices Stop Charging Search Fees
Civil registration certificates were yesterday doubled in price by the Republic's Civil Registration Service (CRS), from ten euro to 20 euro. Genealogists were stunned by this 100% increase. In the current fiscal crisis, the Republic's government is actively looking for any way it can to increase revenue and the production and supply of certificates was obviously seen as a soft target. The increase was sprung out of the blue, with absolutely no warning at all!
However, there is some good news. Through successful lobbying by CIGO, local registration offices have been informed by the CRS not to charge the public a two euro search fee in addition to the charge of four euro when supplying uncertified copies of register entries. The cost of these uncertified copies of register entries remains unchanged. CIGO had brought the overcharging issue to the attention of the Dublin local registration office and to the CRS on a number of occasions previously and is now thankful to see that this unwarranted charge has now been dispensed with. The waiving of this 'charge' has effectively reduced the price of uncertified (plain) copies by one third.
8th January 2013
January's edition of Irish Lives Remembered is out
See here for your copy.
6th January 2013
Latest news from the Anglican Record Project
Claire Santry at the website 'Irish Genealogy News' has reported that transcripts of the registers of four Co. Wexford Church of Ireland parishes have been recently added to the Anglican Record Project's website.They are Newtownbarry, Barragh, Clonegal and Kilrush, with the earliest records dating from 1792. You can read the full story here.