New Irish Resources: The Beyond 2022 Project

Researching Irish ancestors has often been described as difficult, and for many reasons. The reason most discouraging to American researchers, excited to discover their ancestors who flooded into this country in the nineteenth century, is that the Four Courts containing the Public Record Office in Dublin burned to the ground on 30 June 1922.

It is always a sad day when an Irish family history researcher first hears the story of the massive explosion that started a fire inside the building. It signaled the start of the Irish Civil War between anti-treaty forces inside the Four Courts and the pro-treaty National Army. Family researchers have been advised for a century that all was lost that day.

And much of it has been lost for the past one hundred years. But over the last twenty years, many determined genealogists, librarians and archivists including amazing individuals like John Genham, companies like FamilySearch, Findmypast and Ancestry, and the devoted teams of county heritage societies in Ireland have fought their way back and slowly made more records available. To each of them I owe thanks for the part they played in helping me locate my long separated Irish family. But the need to go further was clear to many others.

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