Sunday, May 08, 2011


The following is from FindMyPast.

.       New Irish family history website launches today
.       Online access to over 4 million Irish records dating from 1400 to 1920s at launch
.       Landed Estates Court Records available online for first time

80 million people worldwide claim to have Irish ancestry - this is more than 13 times the current population of Ireland. Up until now, these 80 million people have had limited resources to research their ancestry, but now thanks to the launch of Irish family history many will be able to make that connection with their past. launches today and hosts records covering the whole of Ireland going back to 1400 right up until the 1920s. For the first time, people researching their family history can search the Landed Estates Court Records, which are exclusive to, the complete Griffith's Valuation of Ireland and the Directories collection. The site will carry the most detailed and thorough collection of Irish records ever seen in one place - providing a fascinating insight into Ireland's history and making Irish family research easier and more accessible than ever before.

Over half of those with Irish ancestry (41 million) are Americans, while up to 10 million Irish people immigrated to Britain after 1700. It's estimated that in 1890 two in every five Irish-born people were living overseas due to emigration. As a result, the global demand for Irish records is huge. These new online records are a key resource for the descendants of the millions of people who left Ireland over the centuries.

From today, people can easily navigate and search over 4,000,000 records made available on and discover their past no matter where they are in the world. For the first time the public will be able to search high quality images of these records to find details of their ancestors' lives and in some cases maps of the land their ancestors inhabited on the Emerald Isle. The records include:

Land & Estate records uniquely includes the Landed Estates Court records. These records, compiled from 1850-1885, give copious details about over 500,000 tenants residing on estates all over Ireland, with tenancies dating from the late 18th century, plus maps and drawings of locations.

Griffith's Valuation of Ireland
A number of useful nineteenth century census substitutes are available to search on  Perhaps the most important is Griffith's Valuation (1847-1864), which lists approximately 80% of householders in Ireland and includes the names of over 1,400,000 individuals.

Directories started to be used in the late eighteenth century and became more prevalent as economic and trade activity increased. directories collection contains over 2 million names.

The directories themselves may be divided into three main categories:

National Directories
One of the earliest national directories is Ambrose Leet's Directory to the market towns, villages and gentlemen's seats and other noted places in Ireland (1814) - however it is directories published by Pigot, Slater and Thom that are the most comprehensive national directories. Generally organised by province, these list the principal office holders, gentry, professionals, tradesmen, hotels, schools, public institutions, churches, and even pubs for each town in Ireland.

Provincial Directories
These focus on specific areas of Ireland - many are organised by province (Connaught, Leinster, Munster and Ulster) while others relate to geographical areas of the country such as the south-east, or groups of counties. Not surprisingly, the greatest number of provincial directories related to Dublin. These include the Treble Almanack & Dublin Directory, Pettigrew and Oulton, the Post Office Directory and, perhaps the most well-known Dublin Directory, Thom's Irish Almanac and Official Directory of Ireland.

Local Directories (County or City)
County directories tend to provide more details on smaller villages and towns in Ireland, though very few exist for the west of Ireland.  Information includes a detailed introduction to each town and village with details of office-holders, professionals, merchants and tradesmen, as well as a full alphabetical directory of farmers and other residents not listed by trade.

Cliona Weldon, General Manager at, said: "Our new site offers a crucial entry point to family history researchers trying to locate Irish ancestors, from novice family historians to seasoned genealogists who have hit a 'wall' in their research. People often assume that most of the Irish records were destroyed in the Four Courts Fire which occurred in 1922 during the Irish Civil War.  While it was tragic that most Irish wills and some census returns and parish records were lost, there are still many sources available to anyone tracing their Irish roots and through we will provide access to the fantastic records that survive.

"As well as helping people trace their ancestors, these records shed more light on our ancestors' day-to-day lifestyles,  providing a snapshot of a day in their lives, with details of their occupations, housing arrangements and social status."

This comprehensive new site has been developed by UK-based family history website, owned by brightsolid, in partnership with the Irish records experts at Eneclann.

Brian Donovan of Eneclann, commented: "This is a major achievement. By teaming up with and brightsolid, we are bringing Irish history to life for millions. These remarkable records are available online to researchers and family historians all over the world for future generations.  We are committed to publishing family history records, which provide more than simply names and dates, instead describing what your ancestors did and how they lived."

ABOUT is the world's most comprehensive Irish family history website, providing easy-to-search, online access to some of the most significant Irish records that have ever been made available. This new site is a joint venture between two experts in the, one of the leading family history websites and part of the brightsolid family, while Eneclann is an award-winning Trinity College Campus Company who specialise in genealogical and historical research and the publication of historical records.

Based in Dublin, has a dedicated team committed to providing the best experience possible when researching Irish family history.

Eneclann is an award-winning Trinity College Campus Company based in Dublin and founded in 1998 by Brian Donovan and Fiona Fitzsimons, both history graduates of Trinity College Dublin.

The company offers a wide range of Irish history and heritage services:
-             Irish Family History Research
-            Irish Heritage and History Consultancy
-            Archives and Records Management
-            Digitisation
-            Digital Publications
Eneclann's core research team has been in place since 1998 and have completed over 15,000 individual research assignments.  During that time they have developed key areas of specialisation, being especially strong on pre-1800 research and having a reputation for solving genealogical puzzles, and untangling even the thorniest family trees.

Eneclann's genealogists have worked on Who Do You Think You Are? (Ireland, UK, Canada & Australian series), Where Were Your Ancestors During the Famine? (RTÉ), and NBC's Faces of America, among others.  They also traced President Barack Obama's family tree back to the late 1600s in Ireland.

As well as researching family histories, the team investigates house histories and undertakes heritage projects for public and private clients, such as the Irish Battlefields Project which was undertaken for the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, in association with Headland Archaeology Ltd.

Eneclann's archives and records management team was established in 1999 are all postgraduates in Archives and Records Management.  They provide professional services to private institutions (including schools, archives, museums and private companies) and to the government and semi-state sectors.  Services include strategic consultancy, project management and implementation across a broad range of areas including archives and disaster recovery.

Eneclann's digitisation team are known for their expertise in creating preservation digital images of manuscripts dating as far back as the 14th century. Their reputation for high quality indexation and transcription of historical records means that Eneclann have been selected to work with virtually every cultural institution in Ireland.The digitisation team at Eneclann have successfully completed projects involving millions of images and digital records.

The company has a reputation for innovation, and shortly after its launch was awarded top prize in the Irish Campus Company Development Awards sponsored by University College Dublin (UCD) and the Dublin Business and Innovation Centre (DBIC). The joint venture with BrightSolid is the latest and most significant example of Eneclann's strategic innovation and collaborative approach.

Leading UK family history website (formerly was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003.

Following the transcription, scanning and indexing of over two million images, the company launched the first website to allow the public easy and fast access to the complete indexes, which until then had only been available on microfiche film in specialist archives and libraries. The launch was instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy seen in the UK today. has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 750 million records dating as far back as 1230. This allows family historians and novice genealogists to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.

In November 2006 launched the microsite in association with The National Archives to publish outbound passenger lists for long-distance voyages departing all British ports between 1890 and 1960.

As well as providing access to historical records, is also developing a range of online tools to help people discover and share their family history more easily, beginning with the launch of Family Tree Explorer in July 2007.

In April 2007,'s then parent company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement. was acquired in December 2007 by brightsolid, the company who were awarded The National Archives' contract to publish online the 1911 census, which it launched in January 2009.

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