Finding Your Irish Ancestors – 19th & 20th Centuries Dan Poffenberger, AG® British Research Consultant ~ Family History Library [email protected] Getting Started Start with what you already know; talk with family; check previous research and compiled records (www.familysearch.org); check other shared databases and published family histories. Search www.google.com or other search engines for: your ancestor’s name, place of residence, and the word genealogy. Immigration Records If you don’t know the place in Ireland where your ancestor was born, you will need to search in “country of arrival” sources. To find information about your Irish ancestor, do the following: • • • • • Create identity/footprint for ancestor – Name; Event date (birth, marriage, death); Event place (at least county); Names of family members - Parents, Siblings, Spouses; religion, occupation Read “Tracing Immigrant Origins” at www.familysearch.org > Learn > Research Wiki Find everything about ancestor’s life in country of arrival; even small events contain clues Research forward: documents of children/grandchildren may reveal Irish origins Find everything for all of ancestor’s Irish associates - may have had connection in Ireland Records to search • • • • • • Search church as well as civil records in North America Use 1900-1930 U.S. censuses to see what year ancestor immigrated and if naturalized Military records may give birth country – www.familysearch.org > Learn > Research Wiki >U.S. Military Records Search family records: obituaries, cemetery/tombstone records, death certificates & funeral home records Volunteers for cemetery lookups - www.billiongraves.com; www.findagrave.com; http://raogk.wikia.com Scots-Irish help: http://scripts.ireland.com/ancestor/magazine/articles/iha_scotsus1.htm Background Sources In order to find an ancestor in Ireland you must know the name of the civil parish where they lived. To understand how to find the civil parish, you need to understand the levels of jurisdiction that exist in Ireland. Understanding Levels of Jurisdiction • • • Organized from smallest to largest: townland and/or town > civil parish > barony > county > country Large cities – may contain several parishes Ireland was one country until 1922 – then divided into Republic of Ireland (southern) & Northern Ireland - Antrim, Down, Armagh, Fermanagh, Tyrone, and Derry [Londonderry] Understanding Parishes There are two types of parishes in Ireland: civil and ecclesiastical • Civil parishes – typically share same names & boundaries as ecclesiastical parishes of Church of Ireland (Anglican Church) – had own diocese • Parishes of Roman Catholic church - only ecclesiastical; often have different names & boundaries than civil parishes in the area – had own diocese Tools for Finding Place Names: Maps & Gazetteers • • • • • Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary of Ireland – www.libraryireland.com/topog Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland – online at Google Books New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland: www.visionofbritain.org.uk General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns of Ireland http://www.thecore.com/seanruad/ Maps and Gazetteers -- www.genuki.org.uk – check under both country & county level Civil Registration Irish government registration of all births, marriages and deaths • April 1, 1845 -- Registration of non-Catholic marriages began • January 1, 1864 -- Civil Registration of all births & deaths and Catholic marriages began • Indexes to civil registration o www.familysearch.org > Historical Record Collections > Ireland – 5 collections (no images) o www.rootsireland.ie - indexes & transcriptions for some counties - index free • Registers (actual records) available through Family History Library (FHL) o Births: 1864 to March 1881; 1900-1913. Republic: 1930-1955. No. Ireland 1922-1959 o Pre-1871 marriage/death records; marriage/death for No. Ireland 1922-1959 • All registers available in Ireland - Office of Registrar General for Republic, www.groireland.ie; General Register Office for Northern Ireland, www.groni.gov.uk - pull ordering form off web site, complete form with Visa card and mail by post. • Northern Ireland is expected to be digitized soon (as of 27 February 2014) Things to Remember • • • • • Never trust the birth date; 1/3 parents lied about child’s birth date (avoid paying late fee); NOTE: Baptism dates may pre-date the birth date! “Mc” and “O’” may be dropped off surname. Search with/without & try interchanging them Estimated that about 15% of events, particularly births, were not registered in early years. Births 1864-1876 & marriages 1845-1870 - indexed on www.familysearch.org but not complete More help: www.familysearch.org > Learn > Research Wiki > “Ireland Civil Registration” Church Records Roman Catholic Roman Catholic records not lost in 1922 fire; more lost through careless record keepers; may be in Latin • Most parishes did not keep registers until 19th century with exceptions for urban areas • Check www.rootsireland.ie (pay per view site) • Check www.ancestry.com Roman Catholic records at Family History Library (FHL): • About 30% of Catholic parish registers on microfilm - Catalog > Place/Keyword search • Transcripts of other Catholic parish registers • Casey Collection - covers Upper Blackwater River—North Cork and East Kerry Roman Catholic records not at FHL: • National Library of Ireland (www.nli.ie) - virtually all RC parish registers pre-1880 • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI, www.proni.gov.uk) – No. Ireland • Heritage Centers have indexed many RC records (see section below). • • For local custodial information - Google parish name, county & Roman Catholic – Write a letter or telephone - be courteous & offer donation for time. Grenham’s - www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/counties/index.htm - list of Catholic records Church of Ireland The established Church was the Anglican; less than half of records destroyed in 1922 fire • These records were only ones legal in court of law until 1800’s – other religions may appear Church of Ireland records at FHL: • Very little on microfilm - some published and donated transcripts, e.g. Dublin, Limerick – check Catalog with Place/Keyword search for desired parish • Check indexes to Marriage License Bonds – check Catalog > Place search “Ireland” > ‘Church Records—Indexes’ (NOTE: Only indexes survive, not the actual licenses) Church of Ireland records not at the FHL: • Representative Church Body Library (www.ireland.anglican.org/library) has originals • PRONI (www.proni.gov.uk) holds many copies for Northern Ireland • Many have been indexed by Heritage Centers (see section below) • For local custodial information – same as above for Catholic records Presbyterian Records not destroyed in the 1922 fire, most parishes did not keep registers until 19th century with exceptions for urban areas Presbyterian records at FHL: • Few copies/transcripts; check Catalog with Keyword search > name of congregation Presbyterian records not at the FHL: • PRONI (www.proni.gov.uk ) - extensive collection - see bibliography • Many have been indexed by Heritage Centers (see section below) • For local custodial information – same as above for Catholic records Kirk Session Minutes – consider these for a congregation • Often contain notices of intention to marry, some baptism/marriage entries, information about migration (Certificates of Transference if they survive) Methodists, Quakers etc. • FHL has almost all Quaker records but few for other denominations – see bibliography Heritage Centres • • • will research on commission Typically indexed at least Roman Catholic records for their area & many have indexed existing Church of Ireland & some Presbyterian records Valuable resource if you know county - some dates & relationships but that’s all. More valuable in counties where FHL has no Catholic records - see www.rootsireland.ie for complete listing. Most centres have records online pay-per-view with free indexes. Online Sources • • • • www.familysearch.org > Historical Record Collections > Ireland – 5 collections (no images) www.rootsireland.ie & www.irishgenealogy.ie – web sites that are still growing Always check Church of Ireland records in area of your ancestors Check indexes to Marriage License Bonds, Church of Ireland – www.familysearch.org > Catalog > Place-names search “Ireland” > ‘Church Records—Indexes’ (Only indexes survive; no licenses) Census Records • • • • Only 1901 and 1911 survive in their entirety; images at www.nationalarchives.ie - free Check www.familysearch.org > Catalog > parish/county/country > topics like Census, Land & Property, Tax Check Google (or other search engine) - use key words “name of county/parish & census” Check www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/counties/index.htm for existing county records. Census Subsititutes Use www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse for a listing of county-by-county census substitutes Record Type Years Description Where to Find Them Tithe Applotment 18231837 Tax record. Contains heads of households only both those who leased land & those who owned land; few records for cities/large towns (contains only 40% of all heads of households) Northern Ireland at www.ancestry.com Republic of Ireland at the National Archives: http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationa larchives.ie/search/tab/home.jsp Griffith’s Valuation 18481864 www.askaboutireland.ie www.irishorigins.com www.ancestry.com www.failteromhat.com Old Age Pension Claims 1841 & 1851 Tax record - Contains heads of households only both those who leased land & those who owned land; estimated coverage of 80-90% of all heads of households. Check Valuation Lists (also known as Cancel th Books, Revision Books) – 1850’s to 20 century; lists of occupiers kept subsequent to Primary Valuation; able to trace a tenement held from generation to generation Earlier records - Field Books, Tenure Books, House Books and Quarto Books – at FHL Based on searches made in 1841 & 1851 censuses for No. Ireland & Co. Donegal (before destroyed) Abstracts School 1900’s th Typically begin in the mid-to-late 19 century – may need to check at local level www.ireland-genealogy.com www.ancestry.com www.nationalarchives.ie/topics/Nat _Schools/natschs.html Records th th Freeholders List 18 & 19 Centuries Lists of people entitled to vote or who voted at elections – 18th & 19th centuries Elphin Diocesan census 1749 Parts of Roscommon, Sligo & Galway Religious Censuses Taken 1740 & 1766 Identified numbers of Catholics (“popish” = rebel) Many published; covers only parts of selected counties (mostly Ulster) Spinning Wheel Premium 1796 Muster Rolls Mainly 1630 A government program: • Anyone who planted at least one rood of flax (¼ acre) entitled to a spinning wheel • Entries for every county - best is Ulster (large industry of flax growing/linen making) Local militia; relate primarily to large landed estates in Ulster Hearth Money Rolls 16641666 Other possibilities ------- Based on number of hearths in a home Search the Catalog at FamilySearch or Search Engines using “County/Parish Name” + title of census substitute (to see if it has been indexed) http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/sear ch_the_archives/ freeholders_records.htm www.irishorigins.com 1740 indexed www.newenglandancestors.org Antrim, Derry, Donegal & Londonderry; 1766 indexed www.ancestry.com (mostly No. Ireland) - FHL has film on both Indexed on www.failteromhat.com www.familysearch.org > Catalog > Keyword Search > Muster rolls Ireland www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/brow se/counties/index.htm for existing county records www.familysearch.org > Catalog>Parish/County/Country > Topics (Census, Taxation, Land/Property, etc.) Probate Records Most pre-1858 wills were destroyed in the Four Courts fire in 1922. A comprehensive will index did survive. Details can be best found at the Ireland Probates page of the FamilySearch wiki (https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Ireland_Probate_Records). • From 1858 to 1919, all Irish wills for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are held at the Principal Probate Registry in Dublin. There are district probate courts and the Principal court. See the FamilySearch wiki for details. National Archives – Dublin • Calendar of wills and administrations, 1858-1922 http://www.willcalendars.nationalarchives.ie/search/cwa/home.jsp Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) • http://applications.proni.gov.uk/DCAL_PRONI_WillsCalendar/WillsSearchResults.aspx - – Will Calendars for district probate registries primarily for Armagh, Belfast & Londonderry (1858-1943) with some for Donegal, Louth & Monaghan Things to Remember • • • Check spelling variations of surnames, use www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/surname Search for death record indexes online (Ireland Civil Registration Index, 1845-1958, deaths from 1864)– points to original record – obtain a copy Understand historical timelines; Keep a research log Other Online Sources • • • www.familysearch.org – Global search; Learn > Research Wiki, Research Courses & Discussion Forums; Blogs; Historical Record Collections; Catalog; Indexing http://histfam.familysearch.org – Community Trees (lineage-linked genealogies) Search Engines Bibliography • • • • • • • • • • • Grenham, John.Tracing your Irish Ancestors. The book is online www.ireland.com/ancestor/browse/. Ireland.Census Office. Gen. Alphabetical Index to Townlands & Towns of Ireland. London HMSO Office Maxwell, Ian. Tracing your Ancestors in Northern Ireland. Edinburgh: The Stationary Office, 1997. nd Mitchell, Brian. A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland. Baltimore, MD: Gen. Pub. Co. 2002 (2 ed.) Ouimette, David. Finding your Irish ancestors: a beginner's guide. Provo, Utah: Ancestry Pub., 2005. PRO of Northern Ireland. An Irish Genealogical Source Guide to Church Records, Belfast : Ulster Historical Foundation on behalf of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 1994. Radford, Dwight & Kyle Betit. Ireland: A Genealogical Guide. SLC: The Irish at Home and Abroad, 1998. Reid, Noel. A Table of Church of Ireland Parochial Rec.& Copies. Naas,Ireland:Irish Fam Hist Soc. 1994. Reilly, James. Richard Griffith and His Valuations of Ireland. Baltimore, MD. Genealogical Pub. Co.,2000. Ryan, James. Irish Church Records: Their History, Availability and Use in Family and Local History Research. Glenageary, Dublin, Ireland: Flyleaf Press, 2001. Wight, Judith Eccles A rose by any other name:guide to Irish Christian names. Provo,UT:J.E. Wight,1985. © 2014 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reprinted or reproduced in any form for any purpose without prior written permission.
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