Discover what your Irish ancestors got up to with records dating back to 1842

5 June, 2013: Leading family history site, findmypast.com.au, has announced it has made an additional 2.5 million Irish court records available to search online in its Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers 1828-1912 collection.

These new records offer Australians with Irish ancestry (10% of the population according to 2011 Census records) the opportunity to discover any petty crimes committed by Irish family members and how they were punished.

The additions feature forty-four new courts in nineteen counties around Ireland. A further fifty-five courts have been supplemented with records from additional years. This brings the total Petty Sessions Court Registers on findmypast.com.au to over 12 million records.

Notable new courts that have been added are the Limerick City Children’s Court and two courts with pre-famine records – Moynalty, Co. Meath and Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. As well as that, for the first time, seven new courts from Co. Longford have been added, bringing online over a quarter of a million new records for the county. Also well represented with totally new courts are Laois (five) and Cork (four).

Being drunk in a public place, being drunk in charge of a cart, failure to pay rent and allowing livestock to wander on the road are among some of the most common misdemeanors that Ireland’s most mischievous residents found themselves in court for. Although most defendants got away with a fine, the variety of cases heard gives a real flavour for life in Ireland at the time.

Vicki Dawson, General Manager of findmypast.com.au, said “We are really excited about these extensive additions to our Irish Petty Sessions court records. The collection paints a very colourful picture of what life was like in towns and villages in Ireland during this period. From harrowing stories in the Limerick City Children’s Court to amusing ones in Longford’s seven new courts, there are plenty of stories for Australians of Irish descent to sift through.”

New courts have been added to the following counties: Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Laois, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford and Westmeath.

Search these wonderful records on findmypast.com.au here.