Church of Ireland Records
Historically, each parish in Ireland kept its own records. Because the Church of Ireland was the state or established church, these parish records were considered state records. In 1876 a law was passed requiring that Church of Ireland parish registers be sent to the Public Record Office (now the National Archives) in Dublin for safekeeping. This law was amended in 1878 to allow parishes with good storage facilities to retain their records, so not all parish records were sent to Dublin. Further, some ministers made copies of their records before sending the originals to Dublin. Thus, many Church of Ireland records remain, even though the records sent to Dublin were destroyed in 1922 when the Public Record Office burned.
Many Church of Ireland (parochial) records are in the hands of the local clergy. Some are deposited in the National Archives, the Representative Church Body Library, Dublin and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast. Church records may contain the following information.
Children were usually christened (baptized) within a few weeks of birth, though some christenings of older children or adults are recorded. Parish registers provide at least the name of the person christened and the christening date. They usually record the name of the father and sometimes the first name of the mother. They may also record birth date, legitimacy, father's occupation, and the family's place of residence. In larger cities, registers may provide the family's street address.
Pre-1845 parish registers usually provide only the date of marriage and the names of the bride and groom. Beginning in 1845, parish registers also include the place of marriage; the marital status, occupation, and place of residence; both fathers' occupations; and the names of witnesses (possible relatives). If the father was deceased, that fact was sometimes noted.
Burials usually took place in the deceased's parish within a few days of the death. Burial records give the name of the deceased and the date of burial. Sometimes they also give the deceased's age, place of residence, cause of death, and occupation. Occasionally a wife's burial entry will provide the name of the husband, and a child's entry, the name of the father. Stillbirths are sometimes recorded in the burial registers. Stillbirths are not, however, listed in christening records.
Some church records are in the collection of the Family History Library. The Irish Family History Foundation at www.irish-roots.net is the coordinating body for a network of government approved genealogical research centres in the Republic of Ireland (Eire) and in Northern Ireland which have computerized millions of Irish names in genealogical records.
The following are a Web sites that tell you more about Church of Ireland records.
Follow these steps to find the Family History Library film numbers for Church of Ireland records.
- Go to www.familysearch.org
- Click the Library tab
- Click Family History Library Catalog.
- Click Place Search.
- Type the name of a parish and click Search.
- Click on the name that matches your request.
- Scroll down and click the topic Church'Records'.
- Click on a title. Click View Film Notes to find the film numbers