The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:
- Over 48,000 additional records released in association with The National Archives
- Records document the struggles of life under martial law in Ireland and record the details of both soldiers and civilians
- New courts martial records, intelligence reports, prisoner rolls, individual cases and search & raid reports released in second instalment of landmark collection
Leading family history website, Findmypast, has today announced the online publication of over 48,000 records in the second instalment of their ‘Easter Rising & Ireland Under Martial Law, 1916-1921’ collection.
The once classified records, digitised from original documents held by The National Archives in Kew, record the struggles of life under martial law in Ireland. Consisting of more than 119,000 images, the new additions include a variety of different documents ranging from records of courts martial (both civilian and military) and intelligence reports, to case files and nominal rolls of prisoners.
The records shed new light on the period of martial law in Ireland which was declared by the Lord Lieutenant in 1916, including the War of Independence, when the British military assumed control of the executive, judiciary and legislative arms of the entire country.
They contain the names of the hundreds of people who were detained and interned in prisons across Ireland, England and Wales and tried by courts martial, including the names of prominent nationalists and elected officials. The internment files contain reports on individual detainees recording their charges, trial, and sentence as well as personal letters from prisoners or their relatives testifying to their innocence.
Reports pertaining to courts martial include statements about the offence and details of the court proceedings. A number also include witness testimonies and statements about the character of the individual on trial.
The collection reveals the efforts of the military and police to discover arms, ammunition, seditious material and individuals associated with groups such as Sinn Fein, Irish Citizen Army, Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Army through thousands of raids on pubs, hotels, nationalist clubhouses and homes. They document what each search revealed, including the names of anyone found on the site (and if they were questioned or arrested), and what items of interest were uncovered.
This latest instalment also includes military intelligence reports on the actions of the rebels as well as reports of unarmed persons killed or wounded by the rebels. They contain details of how individuals were wounded as well as daily situation reports created by the British Army. A number of telegrams reporting the swift trials and executions of prominent leaders and discussions about what to do with the possessions of prisoners can also be found within the collection.
The new additions have been released to coincide with this year’s Back To Our Past, Ireland’s biggest family history show. The show is taking place from Friday 21st until Sunday 23rd October 2016 at the RDS, Dublin 4 and, as always, Findmypast’s team of Irish experts will be on hand to give a series of talks and offer advice on tracing your ancestors using online records.
The collection was digitised from original records held by The National Archives in London and contains documents from their WO35 series, War Office: Army of Ireland: Administration and Easter Rising Records. It is available to search and browse.
Totalling more than 114 million records, Findmypast has the largest Irish family history collection available online.
Brian Donovan, Head of Irish Records at Findmypast, said:
“We are delighted to release another large tranche of records from this important period in Ireland’s history. They document more of the events of the War of Independence and the population’s interaction with the Army under the rigors of martial law. Included are prisoner lists, case files, more search reports, as well as two volumes of the courts martial of British soldiers. They provide a fascinating insight to these times as well as helping us understand motivations, actions and consequences.”
Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online family history. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Lives of the First World War, The British Newspaper Archive and Genes Reunited, amongst others.
Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over eight billion family history records, ranging from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and conducting detailed historical research.
In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, the company has digitised records from across the globe, including the 1911 Census and the recently released 1939 Register which they digitised in association with The National Archives.