We are very pleased to announce that the Irish edition of  the major database findmypast is now available free of charge onsite at the State Library of Victoria.

This is a fantastic addition to our family history collection, especially for those of you like me researching their Irish ancestry.

With more than 8 million records currently available covering a range of areas, such as land, census, courts and directories this is an invaluable resource for Irish research.

A couple of highlights :

Landed Estates Court Rentals 1850-1885 provide extensive information about land occupation in Ireland in the mid nineteenth century. These were printed to facilitate the sale of bankrupt estates and include information about tentants, the lots they rented, the terms of their tenancy, as well as a map specifying boundaries. More than 500,000 tentants are recorded from more than 8,000 estates throughout the country. Many seem to include relationship information.

In the 1856 record for tenant Michael Casey of Cork it records

“…Lease dated 3rd January 1856, for the owner in this matter to Michael Casey, for the lives of Wm. Casey aged about 22 years, Jane Casey, aged about 20 years, and of Catherine Casey, aged about 18 years…”

patricks quay cork NLI Patrick’s Quay, Cork County, Cork 1880-1914, Eason Collection, National Library of Ireland

Irish Prison Records 1790-1924 from the collections of the National Archives of Ireland contains over 3.5 million entries with most records giving comprehensive details of the prisoner such as address, place of birth, occupation and crime committed.  The records cover most surviving records in the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland.

From the Tralee Prison General Register 1888-1894 for example we learn that Kate McKenna of Tralee, age 31, five foot five inches tall with brown hair, occupation prostitute was sentenced on 17 January 1889 to one month’s hard labour in the Tralee Gaol for being “drunk and disorderly”.

tralee mall NLI Mall, Tralee, Kerry 1880-1914, Eason Collection, National Library of Ireland

Access is freely available (10 concurrent users) in the State Library of Victoria building. Try it next time you visit the Library!

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