Your Irish Lineage

  • StephanieYIL

Findmypast Review

Find my past is another major family research website. It is a British owned genealogy site and specialises in records from England, Scotland and Wales. However it does have the Irish BMD's and church records you would need to search for the vitals, plus some other unique collections that help to flesh out your ancestors.


  • A couple interesting record collections not readily available elsewhere.

  • Vibrant and engaging interface

  • Easy to use and informative search function

  • Good family tree feature with hints

  • Visible descriptions of record collections and how they may be of interest to you

  • All the typical Irish records


  • Need a subscription to view transcripts or images

  • No message board on the uk site

  • Message board on the Irish domain but no where near as popular as Ancestry

  • Search algorithm can throw up unrelated people and irrelevant records

The best collection from Findmypast has to go to the Irish Prison Records 1790-1924. These types of records are the ones that make researching worth it. Most collections are based around recording the basic life events and often hold very little detail about a person or family. I would refer to the IPR as a qualitative record as it provides rich and in depth(to a point) information about the individual, meaning you can infer so much from the situation that lead them to prison gates.

My 3rd great grandfather was sentenced to 3 months in prison for deserting his wife and 4 children. Outrageous yet so intriguing as it throws up so many questions as to his reasons, personality and behaviour. Definitely more interesting than a baptism certificate thats for sure.

But better yet the original document holds more information than the transcription, so TOP TIP, always view the image if possible. In the original you can view a physical description of the individual. It will also state how many times the said person had been in trouble with the law, so you know whether to search for more records.

Original document

So this image reads:


Height 5ft 7 3/4 inches

Hazel eyes

Brown hair

Fresh complexion

You may not have any photographs of your ancestors this far back into your family tree. Unless a branch of your tree were middle or upper class, the likelihood of country labourer in the 1870's paying a weeks wages to have his photograph taken are slim. Even if he had, it would have likely of been the one copy and therefore be lost or damaged today. So to have a record that helps to flesh out an ancestor is invaluable... though, they have to be a convict first.

Another good feature is the newspaper collection. Although the search results can be a bit broad and flakey, you may find some event that landed a relative in the papers. So use the filters to restrict the results and play about with name variations and see what comes up.

Roberts' desertion was published for all the county to embarrassing!

All in all, Findmypast is a pretty decent site and may be your genealogy home page of choice. However something about it just doesn't feel complete. It is just not as extensive as other websites and therefore feels more like a supporting act rather than the star of the show.

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