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Days 6 and 7 - PRONI

PRONI Search Room

   Is there enough to keep everyone busy at PRONI?  Yes, so far!  In fact tonight the security guard had to remind me it was time to leave.  It was one of those times when 15 minutes before closing I found some key information and didn’t want to leave.

   Over the past few years, a great deal of information has found it’s way to the Internet.  Things that I used to be able to access only in Ireland, are now online.  You want to use all of the resources before you leave, but sometimes slogging through the microfilm may yield results you can’t find in an online database.  Even after finding William Moag’s baptism in the microfilm (see Day 5 blog), a search of IFHF turned up no results.   Some parishes (1st Boardmills, for example) are not indexed at all by IFHF.  You should always check their list of sources to see if the parish you are looking for is online and to double check the years covered.   Finally, the changes they implemented the end of September have made it difficult to use their site.  The other records that are now online include census records (1901 and 1911) as well as fragments of 1821-1851) at the National Archives; Griffith’s Valuation at AskAboutIreland; the Tithe Applotments some at the National Archives.  PRONI also has the Revision Books for the northern counties; Will Calendars and Freeholder's Records.

   What happens when the parish registers run out?  I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to know the parish and the townland where your ancestors lived.  Searching the PRONI catalogue for the place where your ancestors lived could turn up hundreds of documents.  I was able to find tithe records back into the 1700s to see if any of my Moags were named…the answer, no.  So that tells me that they didn’t move into the parish until later.  The question, then, where did the family live before they moved into Annahilt parish?  According to the early baptismal records of 1st Boardmills, the family lived in Saintfield.  Unfortunately, I could find no other records there that named them.  My strategy was to look at all of the parishes around Annahilt to see if I could find any mention of them.   I went back and looked at Freeholder’s records under the spelling Moak and found John, in 1789 in Carr, a townland in Drumbo to the west of Annahilt.  Well, that’s where I was when the guard told me it was time to leave.   Stay tuned for tomorrow.

© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2017