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Day 2 - Dublin and the Registry of Deeds

Registry of Deeds

Registry of Deeds

   There were torrential rains last night, and on this morning's news, they showed flooding in Cork and Belfast.  A wet day I thought, for walking around Dublin.  I left with my rain jacket and umbrella heading for the GRO.  Halfway there, I had to pull out my sunglasses and behold, the sun.  That's the thing about Dublin weather…just wait a minute…it will change.  It was also warm enough that I didn't need my rain jacket at all…it's 8:30 p.m. and the sun is still out!

   Another five certificates from the GRO and  some hits and misses.  Isabella Mackey who married in Belfast 1903 listed her father as James…but…his occupation is listed as a Manager.  My Isabella's father would have been deceased by that time and was a farmer, so this looks like another miss.

    I met Paul Gorry for lunch to discuss the fall research trip and then we walked over to the Registry of Deeds.  This is a repository I haven't used in the past so Paul gave me a tour of the facility and got me started on my research.  Most of the Irish genealogy "how to" books provide a discouraging picture of this facility…records are difficult to use, the majority of the records are for the land owning class and because registration was voluntary it's coverage is spotty.  But like all repositories, there are exceptions…some landlords registered leases with their tenants, marriage settlements might cover those of more modest means and transactions of the merchant class are covered.  

    The Registry of Deeds Index Project is a volunteer project to create a database of the names in the indexes.  The only hit I got from searching the index was for a Mathew Mackey in 1817.  There wasn't much useful information in the database but since I haven't seen a lot of references to that name I wanted to check it out.  We pulled volume 716, p 404 and the first think was that the memorial number was wrong.  The index listed 459939, and the number was in fact 489939. However, it became clear that this was not my ancestor.  The individual was "Michael" Mackey, Gentleman, not Mathew and the event occurred in Dublin.  

    As with all deed indexes not everyone whose name is in the deed is listed in the index.  The second way you can research records is by location.  If you know the townland of your ancestor (and the barony) you can check a second set of indexes.  You select the county, and the year and then check the index for the townland to see there are any entries for your townland.  (I quickly learned that spelling didn't count, multiple spelling variations of the same townland in the index. <g>)  I found one listing for a James Johnston in the townland of Moneen, Barony of Roscloghter in County Leitrim.  This is one of the three James Johnstons I'm trying to separate.  Back to volume 13 for the year 1842 looking for memorial 280.  At the time of the deed, this James Johnston was of a town in Fermanagh and was the heir at law of Captain Robert Johnston of Dublin.   Not my James Johnston.   Disappointing?  Yes.  But remember, there is no "bad" information.  It's just that...information…negative information but it allows me to take this particular James out of the mix on my research.  

   Tomorrow, I'm off to the National Library.

   Happy Hunting!


© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2013