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So Many Records…So Little Time!

   If you saw my Facebook post or Twitter feed last Thursday, you know that I’m very excited about the release of the Irish Civil Registration Records at  Yes, these are images of the actual registers, not just an index.  Last year when I was in Ireland, I paid over $130 for copies of these documents…and now they are free!  Thank you to the Ministry of the Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.  Below is the notice on the website of what is available.

The years covered by the release of the historic records of Births, Marriages and Deaths are:

Births: 1864 to 1915

Marriages: 1882* to 1940

Deaths: 1891* to 1965

The General Register Office are currently working on updating further records of Marriages dating back to 1845 and Deaths dating back to 1864.These will be included in future updates to the records available on the website.

So not everything is there yet, but coming!  If you need something outside of the available online dates (which restrict births to 100 years; marriages to 75 years and deaths to 50 years) you can still get them from the General Register Office (GRO).  And remember, the FamilySearch Indexes go to 1957.  If you want to know more about the history of the records, check out John Grenhams blog this week.   I barely left my office over the weekend.  Since my first trip to Ireland I have collected registrations for most of my direct ancestors.  I have lists of collaterals that I want to research, but with Dalys, Martins and Kings, it just hasn’t been practical.  I sometimes have a list of four or five possibilities and  a drawer full of wrong certificates I’ve ordered over the years.  My to do list for Ireland this year had a list of certificates to order, so I started there.  

   Francis Martin was the brother of my husband’s grandmother from County Monaghan.  From the indexes at FamilySearch, I had a possible marriage for him in Q3 1905 in Carrickmacross (2:399).   A search at (after declaring I’m not a robot and providing my name) turned up a marriage of Francis Martin and Mary McGreany on 20 Jun 1905 in Carrickmacross.  

If you’ve used the indexes at over the past year, you’ve noticed that the details on how to order have changed.  Instead of using the quarter, district, volume, page methodology, there is now a Group Registration ID number.  You’ll need this to order from the General Register Office, although they still provide room on their form for the old system.  

At this point I still don’t know if I have the correct individual.  Just like before, there is not enough information in the index to make that determination. But look at the magic link at the bottom that says Image.  Now I get the image of the page from the Register with the entry for Francis Martin.

So at this point I can determine from the Residence at the time of Marriage (Dooagh [sic official spelling is Doagh] - check) and the father’s name (Patrick - check) that I indeed have the correct individual.  

   What else can I learn from the certificate?  Francis was a bachelor, but the bride was a widow and her maiden name was Clarke.  In this case it is noted below her name, but if it wasn’t, her father’s name would give me her maiden name.  She was from Lisdrumturk and her father was Patrick.  Where is Lisdrumturk in relationship to Doagh which is in the parish of Magheracloone?  A check at under Placenames tells me that Lisdrumturk is in the civil parish of Magheross.

Checking a map, Magheross (18) is adjacent to Magheracloone (17).  Typically you will see the couple in a marriage from the same or adjacent parishes…they did not go far to find a spouse.  Francis and Mary were married in the Roman Catholic Parish of St. Joseph in Carrickmacross (which is in the parish of Magheross).  Francis signed with his mark (could not write), witnessed by the priest and Marry signed her name.  The witnesses were John Martin (also signed with his mark) and Bridget Clarke (siblings of the couple?).  This one certificate gave me a lot of to do’s:

    1.  Obtain Mary Clark’s birth record.  Use her father’s given name and location to confirm and get her mother’s name, including maiden name.

    2.  What was her first husband’s given name.  Obtain her marriage record to McGreany.  This turned out to be a problem because of the spelling.  Various records had the spelling: McAneany for her first marriage; Mc Enaney in the 1901 census and McGreany for her second marriage.

    3.  When did her first husband die? A check of the 1901 census shows she had two children with her first husband.

    4.  Obtain birth records for two daughters with McEnaney.

    5.  Obtain death record for Pat McEnaney between 1901 and 1905.

    6.  Check for children of marriage to Francis Martin.  Only one turned up, a daughter Katie.  

    7.  Look for birth records for John Martin and Bridget Clarke.

   Each record I found, led me to another set of records.  You can download the images and then use your image software to crop the specific record and/or annotate it to save it in your digital filing system.

   I did find a couple of problems.  One record was linked to the wrong image; in a second case, a marriage for 1940 was not available and had a note: There is no online copy of this event.  This may be because the record was registered or amended in a later year, or there are quality issues with the original image. I believe the reason for this is that the marriage, which took place in Nov 1940 was not registered until 1941 (which is currently outside the available dates).  I have a note to pick that one up in Ireland.

   Overall, the system is great and will provide the ability to do much more research on collateral line, hopefully finding more cousins in Ireland.

   Happy Hunting!

Need a coach to help you get back on track with your research?  Check out genealogy DOT coach to find someone with the expertise to help.  I’m now booking appointments for those in need of Irish research assistance.

© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2018