CIGO announces that Glasnevin Trust is the fifth (2011) recipient of its Award for Excellence in Genealogy

At the 2011 AGM of CIGO in the Ascot Suite, Alexander Hotel, Fenian Street, Dublin 2 on Wednesday 30th November, the 5th Annual CIGO Award for Excellence in Genealogy was presented by Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to John Green, chairman of Glasnevin Trust.

Glasnevin Trust received the award in recognition of its contribution to the study of Irish genealogy through the creation of its online database of over 1.5 million burials and cremations dating from 1828 to the present day. The online database covers all records from the Trust’s five cemeteries including Ireland’s largest cemetery, Glasnevin. The records of the Trust’s four other cemeteries (Dardistown, Glasnevin, Goldenbridge, Newlands Cross and Palmerstown) and two crematoria (Glasnevin and Newlands Cross) are also included. The project, funded by Glasnevin Trust, has taken almost 20 years to complete having gone through a number of phases of development commencing in the early 1990s.

With records dating from as early as 1828, including scanned images of the burial registers themselves, the access now provided to this vital genealogical information is unparalleled in Ireland. The Trust’s commitment to this mammoth project has set an extremely high standard for data provision and one which will no doubt be an active encouragement for other cemetery authorities to emulate worldwide.

The project, funded by Glasnevin Trust, and managed by Mervyn Colville (Deputy CEO Glasnevin Trust) also includes the burial records for all “Poorground” burials (unpurchased graves) for victims of the great famine, or epidemics such as cholera as well as babies who died prematurely or in infancy and are buried in the Angels’ plots.

By the time of the presentation, over 5,000 registered genealogists and funeral directors had used Glasnevin Trust’s online genealogy service and over 11,000 searches had been transacted, resulting in between 22,000 and 40,000 individual burials being located through the service.

In presenting the Award the Minister said: “It’s often stated that interest in Genealogy has never been as great as it is now. The work of the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations and that of the Glasnevin Trust in digitising and transcribing its burial registers help play an enormous part in this enhanced interest. I would like to take this opportunity now to salute both CIGO and Glasnevin Trust for the part they help play in ensuring that this vital part of our cultural heritage is not just maintained but allowed to bloom.”

The Chairman of CIGO’s Award Committee, Steven Smyrl, commended Glasnevin Trust for its commitment in creating the burials database and for making the 1.5 million entries in it available to millions worldwide through the Internet. He said: “for Dublin families, the lack of nineteenth century census records is more than made up for with the data now made available through the Trust’s website. The burial registers note people born as early as the middle of the eighteenth century”.

John Green, Chairman of Glasnevin Trust, said: “The maintenance of accurate burial and cremation records has been an intrinsic part of the Trust’s primary role of caring for the dead, irrespective of their creed or position in society, for over 178 years now. We are justifiably proud of that achievement and are delighted that these records, over 1.5 million of them, are now available to everyone with an interest in Ireland’s and their own families’ modern history. Given CIGO’s preeminent position within the Irish genealogical community, we are particularly grateful to receive this award which serves to honour the memory of those buried and cremated by the Trust as well as everyone who contributed to the creation, maintenance and now digitisation of the records over many years.

Click here for photographs of the presentation and AGM.