Sausages and heritage databases

I’ve just added another map service to the site, in time for Paddy’s Day. Once again Brian Donovan of Eneclann and FindMyPast has kindly let me use the Ancestry/FindMyPast Roman Catholic parish transcripts, this time to create dynamic maps showing the numbers of marriages in each parish. See Mungovan, for example. As with other maps, you start with a surname and then can then click through the map marker to go to the full transcripts on, where they’re free to view after registration.

One difference with other maps is that you can now actually search for marriages between two families and then go to the full records. It’s also possible to browse the record listings for any of the parishes and then jump to marriage (or baptism) transcripts for the surname. I was surprised, yet again, at how much more intelligible the records appear with a visual overview.One reason is that it’s been a while since I’ve done a fresh map from scratch. I’d forgotten how queasy heritage databases can be. Otto Von Bismarck is reputed to have said that you should never examine too closely how laws and sausages are made.  The same holds true for looking at the entrails of heritage databases. Courtesy demands discretion, but just let’s say you shouldn’t expect to find too many surname matches for marriages in the Sligo parish of Emlefad and KIlmorgan.

Bismarck and sausages being made.