Irish Poverty Relief Loan records available online
Findmypast has digitised and is publishing the Poverty Relief Loans records from The National Archives online in full for the first time. The Irish Reproductive Loan Fund was set up in 1824 to provide small loans to the ‘industrious poor’ – those most affected by poverty and famine.
Brian Donovan, Head of Irish Data and Business Development for Findmypast, said: ‘These incredibly important records provide an exceptional insight into the lives of the poor across the west of Ireland from Sligo down to Cork. The people recorded are precisely those who were most likely to suffer the worst of the Famine or be forced to emigrate. These remarkable records allow us to chart what happened to 690,000 people like this from the 1820s to the 1850s, giving a glimpse of their often heart breaking accounts of survival and destitution, misery and starvation. We are very lucky to be able to tell their stories.’
Caroline Kimbell, Head of Licensing at The National Archives in London said: ‘This collection is one of very few about individual Irish families from 19th century held at Kew. We are grateful to Findmypast for bringing these remarkable testaments to light.’