If you have Irish Catholic ancestors, you’re in luck. Well, at least you might be. Are you feeling lucky? Is the luck of the Irish with you today?
One of the wonderful things that can happen with Y DNA testing at Family Tree DNA is that you match someone who does have a direct ancestor connection overseas to a place and time. In my case, my McDowell line matches a McDowell line in King’s Moss, Northern Ireland. Of course, that doesn’t mean my Murtough McDowell who died in 1752 was born in the same place in Ireland, but it’s more information that I had before and it gives me a place overseas to search. Where to begin that search? Well, the church records make the most sense, if they exist, and now many are newly available.
Irish Catholic record images are now online back through 1740 where the records are available. Catholics, in general, keep fastidious records and they are often full of great genealogical information. Plus, you have more than one opportunity. It’s not just births/baptisms, marriages and deaths that are recorded. Often confirmations are included as well.
Furthermore, these are indexed, just not in the same online location. The bad news…unless I’ve missed something, which is certainly possible as I only did a quick look-see, you have to check each parish individually. I hope that sometime in the future they can provide a single index since many of us don’t know where our ancestors were from in Ireland or exactly when they were born.
Also, I noticed in the Irish Ancestors search that they note “all known copies excluding originals in local custody.” Hmmm. So maybe this isn’t quite everything.
Dare we hope for Protestant records to be indexed and brought online as well? That would help a lot with those Scotch-Irish families.