€ 100,000 award to digitise Church Of Ireland parish registers
Parish registers that document centuries of life in the Anglican church in Ireland will be made available online thanks to the award of a €100,000 grant from Ireland’s government.
Josepha Madigan, the minister for culture, heritage and the Gaeltacht, announced the funding on a visit to the Church of Ireland’s Representative Church Body Library on 12 September.
The money will be spent on imaging equipment and technical support to digitise registers held in the library, followed by those from local parishes. The records, which include baptisms, banns, marriages and burials, will be indexed and published on irishgenealogy.ie, the Irish government’s free genealogy website.
Dr Susan Hood, librarian and archivist at the Representative Church Body Library, said the funding would make the records “accessible and discoverable for all” and ensure their long-term survival.
“It is extremely good news not just for the library, but the Church at large and indeed the generations of clergy and record-keepers who have kept these records safe,” she added.
Currently, the only Church of Ireland registers available on IrishGenealogy are those covering Co. Kerry, Co. Carlow and Dublin City.
The earliest Church of Ireland registers date from 1619. Although the Church was never the majority religion in Ireland, it was disproportionately powerful and membership was vital for those owning land or serving in government positions.
Josepha Madigan (purple outfit) photographed at the Church of Ireland’s Representative Church Body Library