I have a couple elusive Irish ancestors of my own so I headed over to the site for a test ride. There is not enough material at this time to solve my mysteries, but the material is ground-breaking nonetheless. The 1901, and 1911 Irish census, are available alongside the tithe applotment books, and soldier's wills 1914-1917. Although some of these records were available elsewhere online, there are two benefits for the researcher.
- the records are free
- they include images of the original documents
"The Tithe Applotment Books are the first in a series of National Archives records of genealogical interest to be digitised by the Genealogical Society of Utah in partnership with the National Archives, and placed online free to access. Others will follow over the coming years; the next will be the Calendars of Wills and Administrations, 1858 - 1922."
For those of you who do not know, the Genealogical Society of Utah is FamilySearch which is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm excited the most about this partnership because I see this as one step by FamilySearch in making records freely available to everyone. A process that continues to hasten as new partnerships are secured. We all benefit, especially the archives who long to preserve and make available their precious holdings.