Roman Catholic Church Records

County Westmeath, Christ the King Cathedral
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The countdown is on. In just a few short days, the National Library of Ireland will be releasing the Roman Catholic church records online, for free. Yes, I said free. Thousands of people with Irish ancestry will now be able to go online and search for their family records and not have to wait to hear back from the church. This is extremely exciting news for those with Irish heritage.

There is one thing everyone should know about the release of these records, and that is there is no index and there will be no index. With that being said, there are two things you should do now to prepare for the release of records.

  1. Take the time and see if they can find where in Ireland their family is from, as the only way to search these records will be by parish. So it will behoove you to have that information, otherwise it will be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
  2.  If you know what county your relatives are from spend some time checking to see what records are available. You can do that on RootsIreland without even signing in to their website.

So, when is the big release you ask? July 8th! I have not found anything that says a specific time, so be patient and remember this, if the server crashes come back at a later time to try again. If I learned one thing from the release of  the 1940 US Federal Census it is this, be patient the records will still be there the next day or even the next week. I know we are all anxious to find out more about our Irish ancestors, and we will, in due time.



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  1. Will all RC Parish Records be released on July 8, 2015? I found a couple of records, but was wondering if getting the records on-line is a work in progress & perhaps I need to be patient & check back later. Thank You to those working to put them on-line. Mary.

    1. Mary, they releases all that the NLI had on microfilm. If you do not find them in that collection it might be best to contact the parish directly.
      Good luck!

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