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Day 5 - PRONI

   Today was the first day of research at PRONI.  We arrived just before 9:15 so Ann and Jean could obtain their Reader’s Cards and put our belongings into a locker. We then met Desmond who provided an orientation to the facility.  He gave an overview of the history of PRONI, which was created after the partition of Ireland to house the public records of Northern Ireland, but also to obtain copies of documents for the six counties from earlier than 1922 that were historically significant.   Because of the loss of so many records in Dublin, a concerted effort was made to find alternative sources for documents that were lost.  

   In addition to sources for the six counties of Northern Ireland, you PRONI also has some records that cover the border counties of Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan.   PRONI has an extensive collection of Estate Records, some of which cover estates in the Republic.  

   The new facility which is about three years old,  is light with plenty of room.  Desks contain computers that either access the catalog and allow you to order original material (on the right) or with Internet access (on the left).  You place your order for documents using your Reader’s number and get a confirmation with a table number.  A screen at either end of the room displays your table number when the documents arrive (ususually 10 - 15 minutes).  You can order up to 5 documents at a time.

  The microfilm area is at the end of the room, with file cabinets containing the films.  They are all self service and there is an excellent resource for the Church Records which tells you the film number for a particular church.  The church records include Church of Ireland, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist.

   Today Jean worked with rent rolls from estate records while Ann looked at church registers and the revision books.  I had an opportunity to look at the Presbyterian records for the Loughaghery Church in Annahilt, Down.   My goal was to find the baptismal record for my great great grandfather, William Moag in the mid 1820s.  The records for the church survive for that timeframe, but I have been unable to find him in any of the indexes.  Well, here I am doing the happy dance.  

Yes, I know that the record is hard to read, but take my word for it…this was one of the better pages.  It says, on May 1, [1825] Wm Moge son to John Do  [that’s ditto, or Moge] of Ballycrune.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t give the name of his mother…and I didn’t find John’s marriage. It could have been on one of the completely unreadable pages, or it could be in another parish.  In almost all cases for baptisms, it names the father of the child and the townland, so I was able to determine that John of Ballycrune had the following children:  John [Moake] 1814; Margaret [Moak] 1820; John Moag 1822 [I wasn't sure if the townland was Ballycreen or Ballycrune, but since I didn’t find any other Moags in Ballycreen I’m adding this John to the list.  It also likely means that the John born in 1814 died]; Wm [Moge] 1825; David Martin 1827.  I’m only about 1/3 of the way through this film, which contains Session Minutes, Transfers, and financial records as well as baptisms and marriages.  I’ve only found one Moag mentioned in the session minutes (a little hanky panky with the widow Carson who had a daughter and named John Moag of Ballymurphy as the father).

   Tomorrow I’m going to try to look at the 1st Boardmills records to see if my John of Ballycrune, married there.  

© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2018