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Day 15 - Registry of Deeds

Entrance to the Registry of Deeds on Henrietta Street

   Today and tomorrow are days for the researchers to focus on their individual needs.  Some were headed to the Library, others to the Archives and one went back to the Valuation Office.  Fiona Fitzsimons of Eneclann and the Irish Family History Centre offered to do a presentation on Children in Care at her office.  Wow!  I was blown away by the resources she has used to identify children who were not brought up by their birth family.  Children could be out of their family because of death or illness of parents, or the parent’s inability to care for them, but they could also be removed from the family for reasons as innocuous as playing ball in the street, or having head lice (which even today is fairly common if you have children in school).   Some of the records she discussed date back to the 1840s.  Like all Irish research your success in finding records records such as Workhouse, Board of Guardians, Vaccination records will depend on the time and place where your ancestors lived.  She told us that another place to look for these children was in the Petty Session and Prison records.  Prison Records?  We’re talking about children.  Fiona said that children as young as two years old could be incarcerated!   Not all of these records are in Dublin; they may reside in the County Archives which is a good reason to extend your research trip to travel to the areas where your ancestors lived.     

     In the afternoon, a small group visited the Registry of Deeds.  If you have Protestant ancestors, merchants or large farmers in your family tree a visit to the Deeds might be in order.  I have to admit, I’ve never found any of my family in the records there, but I’ve had researchers who felt it was the most worthwhile repository.  Here’s a link to a blog written by Polly FitzGerald, CG, about her experience at the Deeds.  I am clearly not an expert on this repository, so I have Paul Gorry, an Accredited Genealogist in Ireland, provide an orientation and work with those interested for the afternoon.  I’ve only run into one of the researchers this evening, but she was thrilled with what she found, and plans to return to the Deeds either tomorrow, or next week as she is staying for a few extra days.  

   I left the Deeds researchers in Paul’s capable hands and headed to the Archives.   Success there, too, for some of the researchers who were excited to show me the information they found in wills and estate duty books.  

   If you’re going to visit Ireland, you need to keep an open mind and not just focus on births, deaths, and marriages.  Sometimes you need to read through volumes of information to find the nugget that solves your brick wall.  

© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2017