2.9 cheers for IrishGenealogy.ie

As anybody with an curiosity in Irish family tree will know, IrishGenealogy.ie is the best factor since sliced bread. After a long time enjoying Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey with the printed Common Register Workplace indexes of births, marriages and deaths, the net launch of your entire assortment of historic GRO data was (and is) a unprecedented liberation.

Are you the suitable Patrick Murphy?

However like each different great factor within the universe, it’s not good. Its quirks are legion and never at all times apparent. So let me checklist essentially the most bothersome.

Many stem from a Eighties digitisation mission that got down to give GRO workers simpler entry to data wanted for public administration id proof. It solely went again to 1899, as a result of its focus was on the dwelling. If you happen to use the post-1899 indexes within the GRO search room, you’re dealing with dot-matrix printouts from that mission. These post-1899 start indexes included moms’ maiden names, very helpful for reconstructing households. When IrishGenealogy started to make the indexes out there on-line, they very sensibly used these ones. Hurray!

Besides … to look utilizing the mom’s identify, you need to use the location’s “Extra search choices” characteristic. Which provides no indication that if you happen to enter a mom’s identify for a start earlier than 1899, you’ll discover no births in any respect.  See Kelly with mother’s name Walsh 1864-1880. Be warned.

One other downside from these post-1899 indexes is their therapy of prefixes, particularly these with apostrophes, a recurring nuisance for early coding languages. So O’Brien turned “OBrien”, O’Reilly turned “OReilly” and so forth.  IrishGenealogy tried to make allowances by having them as variants of one another, however that hasn’t fairly labored. Complete BMDs for O’Brien 1900-1921 are 122,200 however there are  124,565 for OBrien and for Brien 123,148. Small variations, however not in the event that they embrace your ancestors. The identical downside happens with the prefixes Mc, Mac and M’. So be very cautious looking for any O or Mc surnames (or any surnames which have O or Mc variants) after 1899.

A associated oddity is the way in which the location makes use of surname variants within the “Extra search choices” space. Seek for a Grenham/Duignan marriage right here and also you’ll discover exactly one match. However attempt Duignan/Grenham and also you’ll get two. The reason being that the location searches surname variants for the primary surname entered, however not for the second.  The ethical: At all times seek for marriages with surnames each methods. One thing comparable occurs with the mom’s surname search after 1899. Solely variants of the start identify are searched, with no variants of the mom’s.

However most peculiar of all shouldn’t be a bug however a characteristic. By default, the location searches all identify fields for each surname you enter. I believe that is meant to be useful, by spreading the search as extensive as potential. However the impact will be very unusual. Seek for a person with surname Loughlin marrying a Gertrude John and also you get 1526 outcomes, together with each Loughlin (and variant) marrying a person with first identify John, each John Loughlin (and variant), each Gertrude McLoughlin and, splendidly, in an early instance of New Age sologamy, John McLaughlin marrying John McLaughlin in Belfast in 1913.

That is actually solely an issue with marriages and with births after 1899, the place there a number of surnames in every index file. However it may be bewildering. And there’s no option to flip it off.

For a hands-on video demonstrating all this, see https://youtu.be/1mAzghwXI1I