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More Resources for Irish Research for Family History Month

Registry of Deeds - Henrietta Street, Dublin

Continuing the focus on Family History Month, here are some additional places to look for records. Where I've written blogs on these in the past, I'll link you to the previous blog. I've discovered that some of the resources are not in my blogs which means I wrote on them before 2018 when I moved my site to this platform.

The Registry of Deeds is a location some researchers on the Ireland Research Trips visit, but it's not for everyone. The Registry was created in 1708 and records marriage settlements, conveyances and mortgages as well as deeds. Not all deeds were recorded and the purpose of the Registry was to provide legal title should a dispute arise and in the early years was almost exclusively used by Protestants. With the relaxation of the penal laws in the 1780s you will start to find Catholics listed, but these will typically be merchants or larger farmers. The Registry of Deeds contains a "memorial" of the deed, a copy presented by one of the deed holders and copied into the Deed books. The Deed Books in the main reading room are indexed only by Grantor, but there are also indexes by locality in another area. This is one location where digital cameras are not allowed and you must transcribe the material. You can order a copy of the memorial, in which case they will pull the original memorial from storage to copy at a cost of €20 (about $23). A volunteer project to create an index to the Registry of Deeds has been under way for a number of years. As of the beginning of October 2021, the Registry of Deeds Index Project has indexed 447,409 individuals in 46,955 memorials. About two-thirds of the index entries are now linked to the images available at FamilySearch. I found a memorial in 1879 for my Moughty ancestor that was not indexed. At the time I found it, I abstracted the basics but with the microfilms not digitized, I was able to go FamilySearch and download the image (rather than pay the €20).

For those visiting Belfast, the Ulster Historical Foundation is another stop. Since I was last there in 2019, they have moved from downtown Belfast out to Newtownards in County Down, about 10 miles outside of Belfast. This is a membership organization with various databases available to members, however if you visit for a day, you can schedule a consultation. The Ulster Historical Foundation (their website is was also the Heritage Centre for Antrim and Down for the RootsIreland database and those records are on their site as well and can be accessed by non-members for a fee. In addition to their databases, they have an extensive library, including genealogies submitted by members and other genealogists.

The General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI) registers the births, deaths and marriages for the six counties of Northern Ireland. They have a website where you can register (for free) and search their database (with the same restrictions for privacy as years for births, 75 years for marriages and 50 years for deaths). Your search is limited to a five year period, so you may have to search multiple times. Once you have identified the correct individual, you do have to pay to see the image of the record. The site works on a credits system which you can purchase for your account and a full image is 5 credits (just under $3). The site contains all of the records for the six counties back to the beginning of Civil Registration, but for anything prior to 1922, use which is free. If you are visiting Belfast and researching at PRONI, they have installed terminals that interface directly with the General Register Office of Northern Ireland. Because these are direct (and not online) there are no restrictions and you can view records up to the present. You do need to use your personal account and credits.

Ireland Reaching Out or Ireland XO is designed to connect the Irish Diaspora with the home of their ancestors. Check out this blog I wrote last year.

The past few weeks have been pretty tough on Facebook, but as a genealogist I find it very helpful. Did you know that there are over 16,700 Facebook genealogy sites? If you know your ancestors came from Mayo, it makes sense to follow the Mayo Genealogy Group on Facebook. Not only will you find others whose ancestry was from Mayo, but you'll find those who still live there. It's a great place to post a question. You might even connect with a cousin living there. You'll find a list of some of the sites on my Links & Resources pages for Irish County Links. Here's a link to a post on being smart when using social media.

Happy Hunting and Stay Safe!

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