This latest news release from Ancestry.com is as follows:

PROVO, Utah, March 13, 2014 –Ancestry.com announced today the addition of over three million historical records that will help people of Irish descent explore their connections to the Emerald Isle. These include more than 25,000 birth, marriage and death records as well as 2.7 million new records that form the 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts state censuses. Made possible through a relationship with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the new records will provide further insight for Irish Americans, the nation’s third most common ancestral group, and give them the resources to discover more about their family history.*

Hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrated to the United States in the 1600s and the 1700s, but the greatest period of immigration occurred between 1820 and 1860, when nearly two million Irish immigrants came to America. Some came seeking a new life for themselves and their families, while others sought refuge from the Great Famine of the late 1840s. With many settling in cities near their port of entry, states like Massachusetts became home to the nation’s biggest Irish communities.  Today, Massachusetts accounts for 20 percent of the U.S. population that claims Irish descent.**

“The people of Ireland have always had a pride and passion for their land and traditions. When they immigrated they maintained these traditions and weaved them into the fabric of their new communities,” said Kyle Betit, a Senior Genealogist at Ancestry.com and expert in Irish genealogy. “Nearly thirty-five million** Americans today claim some Irish ancestry. With eastern Massachusetts having become home to many Irish immigrants, these new records will hopefully provide a better understanding to the millions of Irish Americans in the country looking to discover their family’s history and heritage.”

Boston is home to many who have influenced everything from politics to sports. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s 2nd great-grandfather, Patrick Buckley, was from Inniscarra, County Cork, Ireland, while former President John F. Kennedy’s ancestral roots can be found in counties Wexford and Limerick. No matter your ancestors’ role in history, the new record collections will help you learn more about the names and places that are a part of your Irish heritage.

To help celebrate the nation’s Irish American heritage, Ancestry.com is also announcing the addition of more than 750,000 new records to its Irish Roman Catholic Church collections – record keeper for major life events such as baptism, confirmation and marriage. These records include:

  • Baptismal registers spanning 71 parishes (1812 to 1900)
  • Confirmation registers from 12 parishes (1873 to 1912)
  • Marriage registers covering 59 parishes (1780 to 1912)
  • Death and burial registers from 19 parishes in Ireland (1780 to 1912)

The additions to our Irish Catholic Church collections are a valuable set of records for those who are looking for information about their Irish ancestors before they came to America,” said Betit. “Because Ireland’s population was overwhelmingly Roman Catholic – almost 78 percent of the population in 1861 – the Catholic parish registers are particularly valuable sources of information for Irish family history.”

To explore your Irish ancestry, visit http://www.ancestry.com/irish. In addition to helpful research guides, web tutorials and a simple 1-2-3 approach to getting started, Ancestry.com offers a free 14-day World Deluxe membership, which provides access to all Ancestry.com records.

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