There are some "rumblings" out in the genealogy world about the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) planning to digitize their birth, marriage, and death records by the end of 2013 (source being in Sept. 2012 YFT). If this comes to pass, which I really hope it does, it will have huge benefits for those in Scotland. It is a given how great this will be for those in Ireland itself. The records would be Births 1864-1913, Marriages 1845-1938, and Deaths 1864-1963. The intention is to have this potential GRONI digital records be similar to the ScotlandsPeople website. We all know how wonderful a site that is. It has really shown the way of how to do things - England/Wales should take note. At this point there has been no announcement about pricing, but I hope that it would be in line with ScotlandsPeople.
What I mean when I say the digitization of the Northern Ireland vital records having implications for Scotland is that many Northern Irish migrated to Scotland throughout its history. There is no counting how many times during research for clients in the Scottish records that an ancestor was from Ireland (particularly Northern Ireland). Usually things would have to stop at the point once the Scottish records have been exhausted, and the need for an Irish researcher would have to take over from the point left. If this project of digitizing goes forward in earnest research can "jump" across to Northern Ireland from Scotland within a blink of an eye, and without leaving your house or office. This will help bridge the gap in Scottish research as well as for Irish research.
It must to stressed that this potential digitization is for Northern Ireland only. The Republic of Ireland seems to have digitized its civil registration records, but they have not made them online to the public. Hopefully they will do so soon. These records too will be a great benefit to all, especially those in the USA who have numerous Irish immigrants.
Another bit of Irish digitization news is that the Irish Military Pensions are in the works of being digitized too. The company Eneclann has been awarded the project. It is expected to be completed in early 2015. These records are for those veterans and or their dependents who served duty from April and May 1916 to the end of September 1923.
A big congrats to Northern Ireland for wanting to get this done. I really hope that it isn't just talk, but will go full throttle to get it completed and online to the public. It isn't just a benefit for those in Ireland, but for the UK and the world.
Until Next Time . . .