There has been quite the buzz in the Irish genealogical community surrounding a research project that is making public the 250,000 signatories to the Morpeth Roll. These signatures are on a roll composed of 652 sheets of paper glued to linen. The signatories came from all walks of Irish life, and they signed the Roll in 1841 to express their appreciation to the outgoing British Chief Secretary of Ireland, George Howard, Lord Morpeth. This lord championed reform and religious freedom in Ireland, and was widely admired by both Catholics and Protestants alike. Besides being of interest to Irish genealogists, the Roll provides historians with a snapshot of pre-Famine Ireland.
Ancestry.com will supposedly offer the database of names online. The roll itself will be on public display at locations in Ireland throughout 2013.
For more information on the Morpeth Roll, see the Press Release by NUI Maynoot at their web site: