Trace Irish Ancestors in Poverty Relief Loan Records on Findmypast

By Diane Haddad

Subscription site Findmypast recently added Poverty Relief Loan Fund records to its Irish record collections. These records document loans that local committees provided to the “industrious poor.” They contain nearly 700,000 personal names from counties Clare, Cork, Galway, Kerry, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo and Tipperary, giving age, occupation, fiscal history, and sometimes more.

The collection ranges from 1821 to 1874, with most records dating from 1824 to 1846. They include the Irish Famine era, 1845 to 1852, when many of our Irish relatives would’ve been most in need of assistance.

The records include follow-up information on the borrowers, who might’ve emigrated, been punished for nonpayment, or died of starvation or disease (so, maybe not the collection you want to research if you’re already having a bad day).

See this Findmypast blog post for tips on using the Poverty Relief Loan Fund records, as well as an example of tracing a borrower from County Mayo, Joseph Cannon, on his loan application (shown above) and ledger entries.

Findmypast subscribers can search the Ireland, Poverty Relief Loans 1821-1874 database here (where you’ll also find much more information about this record set), or browse the records here.

For tips on searching for ancestors in Findmypast, look for our Findmypast Web Guide download in Family Tree Shop.