News and Blog

The latest news and information from the Achievements team.

  1. New free Irish General Register Office records online

    Yesterday was an exciting day in the genealogical world: Irish General Registration records became available online for free, via the website  Not just the indexes, but the images of these records as well.  Beforehand, once a likely indexed entry had been found, the documents itself had to be ordered from the relevant authorities.

    Now however, birth certificates for over 100 years ago, marriages for over 75 years ago, and deaths for over 50 years ago, are available to search and view online, at no cost.  Officially these are being launched tonight, although the search engine already appears to be up and running.

    And what a boon to research in Ireland this will be!  This is particularly the case when researching widespread surnames, where you may have found several possible birth certificates.  Instead of laboriously, and at some cost, ordering each certificate to see if it is relevant, it will be available online, at no cost.

    The search engine appears relatively easy to navigate, and we all look forward to tracing Irish family history in the future!

  2. Death by . . . .gravel?!

    An intriguing cause of death was found this week by one of our researchers on a Scottish burial record of 1845.  In the “cause of death” column, the word “gravel” was given.  Other people on the same page died of things such as “paralysis” and “consumption”, but what on earth was “gravel”?

    Gravel death description

    In fact, further research suggested that “gravel” was a word for the modern equivalent of kidney stones.  A good example of how family history can always throw up new terms to investigate!



December 2018
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