Today at Back to Our Past (BTOP), Ireland’s annual genealogy trade fair, the Society launched another new and innovative database to add to the growing number of resources already available on the IGRS website. The Early Irish Death Index joins similar indexes for births and marriages. The Death Index aims to bring to the attention of Irish genealogists the myriad of alternative sources noting death information in Ireland.
The initial launch includes just over 5000 index records – more will be added on a regular basis. Drawn mainly from newspapers, wills and tombstone inscriptions, the index covers the same period of Irish history as its sister databases, the Early Irish Birth Index and the Early Irish Marriages Index – from 1660 up to the start of full civil registration in 1864. Other sources used are private diaries, an occasional mention in a census, clergy succession lists and the ever growing Registry of Deeds Index Project (Ireland).
All three databases are the creation of Rosalind (Roz) McCutcheon, an IGRS Vice-President and Fellow. Speaking at today’s launch of the Early Irish Death Index Roz said: “The feedback received after the launch of the Birth and Marriage Indexes made it clear that a similar index to deaths would be welcomed by Irish genealogists. That for marriages has grown from an initial few thousand to more than 70,000 entries noting more than 155,000 names.
“If the intrinsic difficulty of Irish genealogy has taught me anything it is that despite the destruction and neglect of so much of Ireland’s archival material, there is still much available in the form of lesser used sources to help plug the gaps. I hope that this new database for sources for death will play a vital part in bringing such sources to wider public attention.”
In line with the Birth Index, the Death Index is a resource for IGRS Members only. However, non-members can make a free Surname-only search to find out how many entries within the database match their search.