My fingers are crossed that I might be able to find my mysterious Joseph McGinnis (ca 1827 Ireland -?) and Fanny Downey (ca 1827 Ireland -1904 Ontario Canada) in those records.
On 8th July 2015 the NLI will make its collection of Catholic parish register microfilms freely available online on a dedicated website.
These records, which are considered the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 census, consist primarily of baptism and marriage records and date from the 1740s to the 1880s.
The records consist of almost 400,000 images and are completely free to search. Typically, the parish registers include information such as the dates of baptisms and marriages, and the names of the key people involved, including godparents or witnesses. The digital images of the registers will be searchable by parish location only, and will not be transcribed or indexed by the NLI.