Irish Research Records
hile there are few country-wide sources
of genealogy, there are a host of localized sources. I've listed
all sources I'm aware of but this list is not exhaustive.
Irish Census Returns were taken by the Government in 1813,
1821, 1831-34, 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, and every ten
years thereafter. The early Census Returns 1813 - 1851
were nearly all burned in the Four Courts fire in 1922
and the Returns from 1861-1891 were "pulped" or
destroyed by the Government since they saw no need to
The earliest existing complete Return is
that of 1901. Another exists for 1911. The burned
fragments from the 1821 - 1851 Census that have survived
are available on microfilm through the LDS
Church (mostly from Co.Antrim, see the Locality
Catalogue under Census.).
- Eighteenth & Nineteenth Century Census Substitutes
Some Census substitutes are available through the LDS
Library on microfilm and many LDS film numbers are
involved. Just a few are:
- A Census of Ireland 1659 LDS film # 0923639
- Religious Census 1766 LDS film # 0100173, items 1
- The 1821 Census (17 reels), the 1841 Census (8
reels), the 1851 Census (19 reels - mostly
- The Registry of Deeds
The Registry of Deeds, established in 1708, provided a
national office for land registration. Any conveyancing
of land dated after March 25,1708 was "deemed and
adjudged fraudulent and void" unless it was duly
recorded in the Registry. These records have survived
intact, and can be a most useful genealogical tool when
used correctly. The books of memorials are kept in
Dublin, and the indexes are open to the public. To use
the Registry, you must know either the name of the
landlord who granted land to your ancestor (Grantor's
Index) or that ancestor's townland or parish (Placenames
Almost 1,500 wills were also recorded in the
Registry from 1708 to 1820. An index published by the
Irish Manuscripts Commission includes testators,
beneficiaries, and witnesses, the date of probate and
registration, and the memorial number of the original
transcript in the Registry of Deeds. Memorial numbers are
the key for using the microfilm copy of the wills.
- The Convert Rolls
Eileen O Byrne, Irish Manuscripts Commission, 1981. (NL
Ir ) A list of those converting from Catholicism to the
Church of Ireland. The bulk of the entries date from 1760
- Protestant Householders
1740 : Protestant householders Parish, it gives names
only. Parts are at the Public Record Office of Northern
Ireland, The Genealogical Office, the National Library
and the Representative Church Body Library.
- Elphin Diocesan Census
1749 : Elphin Diocesan Census Arranged by townland and
parish, and listing householders, their religion, the
numbers, sex and religion of their children, and the
numbers, sex and religion of their servants.
- The Religious Survey of 1766
1766 : Religious Survey In March & April of this
year, Church of Ireland rectors (on the instructions of
the government) compiled lists of householders in their
parishes. The lists they compiled were not confined to
member of the Church of Ireland, Catholics were also
included. This was known as the Religious Survey of 1766.
No rules were laid down on the amount of detail to be
collected, nor the manner in which the information was to
Some rectors produced only numerical
totals of population, some drew up partial lists, and
others detailed all householders and their addresses
individually. All of the original returns were lost in
1922, but extensive transcripts survive for some areas,
and are deposited with various institutions. The only
full listing of all surviving transcripts and abstracts
is in the National Archives Reading Room, on the open
shelves. However, this does not differentiate between
those returns which supply names and those which merely
give numerical totals.
- Charlton Trust Fund Marriage Certificates
1795-1862 : Charlton Trust Fund Marriage certificates.
The Charlton Trust Fund offered a small marriage gratuity
to members of the Protestant laboring classes. To
qualify, a marriage certificate, recording occupations
and fathers names and signed by the local Church of
Ireland clergyman, had to be submitted, and these are now
in the National Archives. They are particularly useful
for the years before the start of registration of non
Catholic marriages in 1845. The areas covered by the Fund
were mainly in Co. Meath and Longford, but a few
certificates exist for parts of Co. Cavan, King s (Offaly),
Louth, and Westmeath, as well as Dublin city. They are
indexed in NA Accessions Vol. 37.
marriage, and death records
Covering the entire country.
- Spinning Wheel Premium Entitlement Lists
1796 : Spinning Wheel Premium Entitlement Lists As part
of a government scheme to encourage the linen trade, free
spinning wheels or looms were granted to individuals
planting a certain area of land with flax. The lists of
those entitled to the awards, covering almost 60,000
individuals, were published in 1796, and record only the
name of the individual and the civil parish in which he
lived. The majority were in Ulster, but some names appear
from every county except Dublin and Wicklow. A microfiche
index to the lists is available in the National Archives,
and The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.
- Persons who suffered losses in 1798 Rebellion
1798 : Persons who Suffered Losses in the 1798 Rebellion
A list of claims for compensation from the government for
property destroyed by the rebels during the insurrection
of 1798. Particularly useful for the property owning
classes of Co. Wexford, Carlow, Dublin, Kildare and
- Tithe Applotment Books
Compiled by Acts of Parliament between 1823 and 1828, and
are arranged by parish within townlands. Initially a
voluntary contribution to the church of one-tenth of a
household's lands and stocks, these taxes eventually
became obligatory, for non-Anglicans as well. Unlikely to
be listed are laborers, weavers, renters of cabins (cottiers),
and town residents. Entries are quite short and include
only the farmer's first and last names, the acreage he
held, the quality of the land, and the tithe to be paid.
- National School Records
1831-1921 : National School Records (These are available
through the LDS Library) In 1831, a countrywide system of
primary education was established, under the control of
the Board of Commissioners for National Education. The
most useful records produced by the system are the school
registers themselves, which record the age of the pupil,
religion, father's address and occupation, and general
observations. Unfortunately, in the Republic of Ireland
no attempt has been made to centralize these records;
they remain in the custody of local schools or churches.
The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland has a
collection of over 1500 registers for schools in the six
counties of Northern Ireland. The administrative records
of the Board of Commissioners itself are now held by the
National Archives in Dublin. These include teachers
salary books, which can be very useful if an ancestor was
- Griffiths Valuation
1845 - 1864 Griffiths Valuations was a taxation program.
The Valuation began in 1845 in the extreme southern Irish
counties where they mapped the land and registered not
only the property owner, but the property occupier as
well. It was from this Valuation that early Ordnance
Survey Maps were created. It ended in the north in 1864.
that much of the information for the Valuation may have
been gathered up to a decade earlier so this will be of
value to many researchers seeking Famine emigrants in
- Lists of Freeholders
Various Dates: Freeholders Freehold property is held
either by fee simple, with absolute freedom to dispose of
it, by fee tail, in which the disposition is restricted
to a particular line of heirs, or simply by life tenure.
From the early eighteenth century freeholders lists were
drawn up regularly, usually because of the right to vote
which went with freehold of property over a certain value.
It follows that such lists are of genealogical interest
only for a small minority of the population.
Types of records and where to find them for various
- Irish Land Records
Land records were not required until 1703 when a law was
passed in an effort to block the sale of land to
Catholics. Usually only the very well to do in the more
urban settings registered land transactions. In 1778 the
laws were relaxed and many Catholics chose that time to
register their land transactions.
See the LDS Locality
Catalogue under the subject: Land/Property for what's
available on microfilm for your use. See also Ireland
Registry of Deeds with Surname and County Indexes 1704 -
1929. There is an excellent index but each one covers a
10 year period.
- Irish Military Records
Record Office in London has records of service,
marriage, deaths and pensions for members of the Royal
Artillery and the Royal Horse Artillery. These records
are arranged by regiments and cover the time span of 1760
to 1854. Records for 1873 - 1882 are arranged
alphabetically and contain more information of a
genealogical nature than do the former.
Check the LDS
Locality Catalogue (on microfiche) under the subject:
Military records for further indexes and records.
- Voters Lists and Poll Books
Voters Lists and Poll Books Voters lists cover a slightly
larger proportion of the population than Freeholders
lists, since freehold property was not the only
determinant of the franchise. In particular, freemen of
the vote in some elections at least. Since membership of
a trade guild carried with it admission as a freeman, and
this right was actually cast in elections.
be found in the LDS Locality Catalogue (fiche version)
under the subject: Archives/Libraries subtitle: Public
Record Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast and Public
Record Office/National Archives, Dublin.
- Electoral Records 1703-1838
Electoral Records No complete collection of the electoral
lists used in the elections of this century exists. The
largest single collection of surviving electoral
registers is to be found in the National Archives, but
even here the coverage of many areas is quite skimpy.
will be found in the LDS Locality Catalogue (fiche
version) under the subject: Archives/Libraries subtitle:
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast and
Public Record Office/National Archives, Dublin.
Local valuations, and re-valuations, of property were
carried out with increasing frequency from the end of the
eighteenth century, usually for electoral reasons. The
best of these record all householders
These will be
found in the LDS Locality Catalogue (fiche version) under
the subject: Archives/Libraries subtitle: Public Record
Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast and Public Record
Office/National Archives, Dublin.
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