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Genealogy notes in no special order, things may get better some day! Probably Most Recent 1st.

Historic Civil Records  Church, Civil

History at Home, A Guide to Genealogy  Link contributed by Amanda

www.duchas.ie  National Folklore Collection of Ireland

John Grenham The premier Irish genealogy specialist

Irish Genealogy Radio Show

LDS site

Ireland Census 1901 and 1911

2nd entry in 2001 census is John, my Grandfather, who came to the USA in 1902. Click

Eastmans Geneaology Blog

Ellis Island site

Griffith's Valuation Link

Bassett’s Wexford County Guide and Directory 1885

Pg 255 James in Ballingly probably our Great Grandfather.
Pg 261 John in Clogeen and John in Slevoy, possibly distant relation.
On page 256 is the name of Jasper Pender, Ballymitty who may be the father of Molly Prender

Irish Times Newspaper, Dublin, Ireland 

Ireland Reaching Out        County Wexford

Sean J. Murphy' 56-page Genealogy Research Guide

VGS The Villages

www.downsurvey.tcd.ie    Lands that were plundered from Irish families and given to landlords during the Cromwellian Plantation of 1670

Commercial Sites, they want $





50 Free Genealogy Sites to Search Today


New Irish Resources

by Lynn Betlock, Editor

Researchers tracing Irish ancestors will be pleased to note that new Irish resources have recently been made available online

National Archives of Ireland Website

In November, the National Archives of Ireland launched a new genealogy website, which offers access to Census Records for 1901 and 1911, Soldiers’ Wills from 1914 to 1917, and Tithe Applotment Books (head-of-household substitutes) from 1823 to 1837. (FamilySearch has Tithe Applotment Books from 1814 through 1855.) In years to come, the Archives plans to add the following collections: Calendars of Wills and Administrations, 1858–1922; nineteenth-century census survivals, 1821–51; Valuation Office House and Field Books, 1848–60; and census search forms for the 1841 and 1851 censuses.

Irish Military Records

The Military Archives is responsible for the records of Ireland’s Department of Defence, the Defence Forces, and the Army Pensions Board. The website features the Military Archives Image Identification Project and the Irish Army Census Collection, 1922 (which is in its third and final phase). (An Irish Times article provides background information on the 1922 census.) According to the website, “the Military Archives holds only the personnel records of those who served in the military of the Irish Free State from 1922, as well as material pertaining to the Irish Volunteers and the Independence movement, 1913–1921.”

British Army records, including those for Irish regiments, can be obtained at the National Archives of England. An article entitled “Information Document on the Irish Regiments of the British Army up to 31st July 1922” can be a useful guide. Other sources of military records in Ireland are “The National Library, which holds a number of lists of Irish Personnel in the British Army from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, or Dublin City Library and Archive . . . which is the point of contact for the Royal Dublin Fusiliers Association."

Note from Tom Volyes

familysearch.org link, LDS site, database

LDS has now put the Tithe Applotment Books on their website, complete with search blocks. Not only that, but they have uploaded the actual documents, which is a first for their Irish information. Just choose one of your results and then click where part of the document shows. The original document will then appear. If your results are like mine, you will find that there were a lot of changes in townlands during the period from 1832 to 1864.




Most records everywhere are organized geographically,so you need some geography...


32 Counties
2500 Civil Parishes
65,000 townlands
1,200 Catholic Parishes

Of the 32 counties, six in the north are still a part of Great Britain,
from Parliament's 1800 Act of Union which annexed Ireland and
made it a part of the UK LEGALLY. The other 26 counties in
the south form the Republic of Ireland today.

The 32 counties are divided into approximately 2500 Civil Parishes.
Civil Parishes have nothing to do with the approximately 1200 Catholic
Parishes. A given house or farm will almost always be in a Civil Parish
of one name and a Catholic Parish of another name. The Civil Parishes
are the old protestant Church of Ireland parishes. That church was a state
church, a government organization that collected taxes and handled all wills
in Ireland, among other things. Its parishes were used for religious purposes
and also for government purposes. After the COI was disestablished
as a government organization in 1869 its parishes continued to be used
for government purposes and they still are today. All government records
such as censuses and vital records use Civil Parishes.

The Civil Parishes are divided into the smallest geographic administrative
areas in Ireland, called Towns and Townlands. The 65,000 of them average
a few hundred acres each. If you live in a town in Ireland you have a street
address in that town. If you live out in the country your address is your
townland. Townlands can be compared to the townships that can be found in
some U.S. land grant states. The goal of the Irish researcher is to learn his
ancestor's townland. You then have your ancestor's address and you can find
him in other Irish records, such as censuses, vital records of births, marriages,
and deaths, etc. by looking in that townland. A person's location in Ireland
is stated as: his townland, within his Civil Parish, within his county.


1. The 1900 U.S. Census. It is the only one that asked each person to
give their month and year of birth. This gives you a starting point to go
into Irish birth records to look for your ancestor's birth.

2. Ship passenger manifests. Everyone came over on a ship, and manifests
range from very little help to very much help. The later the passage, the more
information was required for the manifest.

3. Irish censuses. Censuses were done in 1821, 1831, 1841, etc. All nineteenth
century censuses have been lost. We only have the 1901 and 1911 Censuses
to search. They are both indexed, and are online and searchable.

4. Griffith's Valuation. This is one of the two 19th century census substitutes that
we have. Following the 1845-48 Potato Famine it was decided to institute property
taxes on renters in Ireland. In order to do this it was necessary to value the land
that each renter occupied. The valuation took from 1848 to 1864. Griffith's contains
the names of all renters (heads of household) but not the names of family members.
It also gives us the size and quality of the land that they lived on. It is the first Irish
record published in typeset, instead of the usual handwritten records.

5. The Tithe Applotment Books. Parliament's 1800 Act of Union made the Church
of Ireland the Established Church. However, 85-90 percent of Irish continued to
practice Catholicism and did not support the COI. Parliament decided to tithe all
Irish to support the Established Church. It was necessary to value all land to determine
each person's annual tithe to the COI. The valuation took from 1824 to 1836.
In the Tithe books all heads of household who rent land are listed. The books are
organized geographically and are not indexed for the 26 southern counties, so
you have to know your ancestor's Civil Parish and Townland in order to find him.

6. Government Civil Registration of Births, Marriages, and Deaths. This began
January 1, 1864 in Ireland. From then on you should be able to find your family's
events, at least theoretically. Some resisted, at the risk of a fine, but after the first
few years I think almost all events were registered. The records were indexed
annually from 1864 to 1877 and quarterly thereafter. The alphabetical indexes are
national, and if you have a very common surname there will be a lot of entries.
Note: Marriages were registered from 1845 to 1864, but only those performed
by a minister of the Established Church, the protestant COI.

7. Catholic Parish Registers. The record of any birth or marriage occurring before
the start of 1864 will only be found in a Catholic Parish baptismal or marriage register.
The majority of parishes did not keep records of deaths. The problem here is that
you have to know which Catholic parish to go looking in. (This is why it is so important
to learn your ancestor's townland). Catholicism was illegal in Ireland before Parliament's
Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, and many registers start after that date. However,
many begin much earlier. Presumably they were kept hidden from the authorities.

General Valuation

This email is for the benefit of those Irish SIG members who were away from the Villages and unable to attend last Wednesday's Irish SIG meeting, and it is long and complicated. By the time you finish reading it you may wish that you had seen the computer demonstration at the meeting....

At the December and January meetings of the group we demonstrated and discussed how to use the online version of Griffith's Valuation and to coordinate the name pages with the Ordnance Survey maps. I stated that Griffith's was the basis for taxation in Ireland from its end in 1864 right up until the 1950's.

As the years passed the valuation legers were updated each time there was change in a landholding, such as death of an occupier and the transfer of the landholding to his son, etc. After enough time the sheets would become messy and they would be recopied with the new information replacing the old.

These new sheets are known as General Valuation Revision Lists. Looking at the dates of landholder changes on the lists I cannot tell if they were recopied at particular intervals or just when they became too messy. These legers are on microfilm at LDS and the films can be ordered to Leesburg and other FHLC's by SIG members who know their ancestor's townland. The films containing the revision lists for all of Ireland are added below in this email. In the lists below, there is also some information in addition to the Revision Lists that you can disregard. About half of page 1 is actually Griffith's Valuation films.

Now for the bad part. (Yes, there is always a bad part)...

I expected to find the revision lists organized by county, then by Civil Parish, and then by Townland. However, I found that the revision lists are organized by Poor Law Union, and then by District Electoral Divisions (DEDs) within the Poor Law Union, and then by townland within the DED.. I have never worked much with DEDs, but I CAN tell you how to go about finding the correct LDS microfilm number for your ancestor's townland.

First, here is a description that I found online of the two kinds of land divisions:

The Poor Law Union In 1838, a Bill established a system of poor relief to the destitute of Ireland. It created a series of workhouses to which society's most unfortunate could retreat when they could no longer provide themselves with basic necessities. Rather than follow the civil parish system or other traditional Irish land divisions, Poor Law Unions were created and centered on market towns, where the workhouses were also built.

In total, 137 unions were created. They were of varying geographical size with the largest in the west (where the population was sparser) and the smallest in the east of Ulster (where the population was dense).

Poor Law Unions were subsequently subdivided into district electoral divisions (DEDs) for the taking of censuses. They are also important Irish land divisions for studying valuation records.

The boundaries of PLUs were also used when Superintendent Registrar's Districts were created. (In 1864 N.T.V.)

District Electoral District

District Electoral Districts (DEDs) are subdivisions of Poor Law Unions and consist of a number of townlands. Some land records (i.e. the cancelled land books) (Revision Lists N.T.V.) are arranged by DED so it always worth making a note of the relevant DED alongside any townland name you record; you may need it later in your research

Census returns are also arranged by DED numbers. Because the 1901 and 1911 returns are now indexed and freely available, it has become rather easy to identify these particular Irish land records. Simply search for one of your ancestors using the townland name; the DED will be shown in the results.

Offline, the only way to locate the relevant DED is to study the Alphabetical Index of Townlands, available at the National Archives in Dublin and many major libraries around the world. Maps of these Irish land divisions can be bought from osi.ie.

So, what you have to do to determine the DED of the townland of your ancestor is to look up the townland in the 1901 Census of Ireland. Go to www.nationalarchives.ie and search. If your ancestor's family is no longer in the same townland in 1901, then leave the name boxes blank and only enter the county and townland names.

This works fine if there is only one townland of that name in the county. In Co. Roscommon there were SIX townlands named Tully. In the 1901 Census there was more than one DED for those townlands. You will have to pick the one you want. Fortunately, most of the time each townland name will only occur once in a given county and this problem will not be present.

I have attached to this email a map of all the Poor Law Unions in Ireland. They were created in 1838. In 1864 when government Civil Registration of births, marriages, and deaths began the Poor Law Unions were also used as the Superintendent Registration Districts for that system.

Once you have your ancestor's Poor Law Union and his DED, you can go through the list of Poor Law Unions in this email and find the correct microfilm that you need to order from Salt Lake to Leesburg. When you click on one of the Poor Law Unions below it will tell you how many films cover that union. Click Film Notes to see which DED goes with which film number.

I realize that this email is awfully involved. For those who attend the March 14 SIG meeting, we will do the computer demonstration again. I hope it doesn't ruin members' Valentine's Day celebrations....

As always, anyone no longer interested in the group is encouraged to send me an email and I will remove you from our address list.

Good Luck, N.T.V.


Hello to all,
SIG members will be interested in Pat's remarks in
her email below. As she says, the quality of work at the various
county heritage centers varies widely. I am with her on not
wanting to pay money for the "chance to win".....

Since I haven't talked about the county heritage program for
a long time, it might be useful to recap it here.

In the past, people in the U.S., Canada, Australia, etc. would
write to priests in Ireland with questions about family history.
This activity became so prevalent that Ireland (presumably the
government) decided in the late-1980's to begin an organized
program to help overseas questioners.

The program that was planned would have several positive effects:

1. Each county would have a County Heritage Center, which would
be housed in one of the old, abandoned (protestant) Church of Ireland
buildings. These were located all over the country and most had
become eyesores in the years since the Disestablishment Act of 1869.

During the time that these churches were active the ministers were
buried on the grounds. I was saddened to see these graves overgrown
with weeds outside the locked up abandoned buildings everywhere.
Some of the buildings are now being used for other public purposes,
such as museums, etc. and some are used to house the heritage centers.

2. The County Heritage program would provide jobs, at least temporary,
for some of the unemployed Irish young people. They were put to work
scanning and indexing the records. Keep in mind that this was just
before the Celtic Tiger began. The young no longer needed government
help to get jobs then.

3. The Americans and others would have a place to send money
and receive help with their family histories.

In the 1980's all priests were directed by the church hierarchy to
send their records to their county heritage center. The young
people would process the records and then the records would go
back to the churches. In 1990 I visited the County Roscommon
Family Heritage Center in the former St. John's Church (Church
of Ireland) in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon. They were just
starting and the foyer of the office was piled high with shoe boxes
of small slips of paper, presumably some of the records from
area Catholic Churches. During that visit I showed the two ladies
the large family tree that I have displayed at some of our SIG meetings.
They threw their hands up and said that they wouldn't be able to help
me further.

Anyway, the church and government records were computerized
in the late-1980's and early-1990's. Then, each county center was run
by a small number of employees who would answer questions, take
applications, and dispense results. The quality of research varied
widely from center to center. (At one time I had a website that
rated the centers, but I think that it was taken down long ago).

By now the members of the Irish SIG group are well aware of the
problem of too many people of the same surname in any area of
Ireland. When you wanted a report on your Flanagans, you got
a report with a bunch of Flanagans. Some would be yours and others
wouldn't. The heritage center could help you if you knew your
family's townland because all Flanagans in that townland would
PROBABLY be yours. However, if you only knew your family's
Catholic Parish you would no doubt receive a lot of unrelated
Flanagans in your results. Of course, if you expand the search
area to an entire county the problem becomes impossible...

On another trip during the 1990's Carolyn and I visited the Co.
Clare Heritage Center in the village of Corofin. It, also, was
located in an abandoned former COI church. We were looking
for Carolyn's (Normile) great-grandmother. As near as we can
guess she was born in 1857 during a multi-year gap in the baptismal
register, so that heritage center couldn't help us. We spent the
following week criss-crossing Co. Clare along the shore of the
River Shannon. There was a Normile on every hilltop. Definitely
not the way to do genealogy research....

That is my take on the county heritage centers. In summary,
their databases consist of the Catholic parish registers of their
county and also the government's Civil Registrations (B-M-D)
from the period after 1864.

That information was all computerized by unemployed young
people who may or may not have had an aptitude for genealogy.
I would like to point out that some of that information was also
processed by LDS and is free on their revamped website.
The LDS people doing the work would be genealogy-oriented
people and the data might be more reliable. The problem is
that they only have SOME of the Irish records to work with.
I have mentioned that LDS only has a small percentage of the
Catholic Parish Registers, and there are multi-year gaps in the
actual B-M-D registrations of the Civil Registration system at LDS.

I continue to spend a lot of time on the LDS site however, and
I encourage you to do likewise. It is free, and you never know
what you might find....


Subject: Re: Follow-up to this morning's email about: Another Irish website

Hi Everyone,
We heard two representatives of the Irish Family History Foundation speak at
Milwaukee's Irish Fest a few years ago and were very excited. These records
they have are the records that were originally translated and computerized
by mostly students for the Irish Heritage Centers of Ireland. There
apparently were lots of mistakes made and this Foundation took on the job of
correcting all of them. They have done great work. If you remember, you
can write to the County Heritage Centers or visit them to do research, but
there is a charge. We have had varying experiences over the years with
them....most recently, a year ago, we visited three.....two were outstanding
and one was rather cold and not helpful.

I wouldn't want to give the impression that the records available or the
Foundation that the Foundation doesn't have good information......but I have
written them a couple of different times asking that we be allowed to go one
step further in the process without having to pay for several that might not
have any connection to us i.e. a way to narrow it down. I have told them I
don't mind paying for something that I'm quite sure is my family but don't
want to spend hundreds of dollars to figure it out. If more people used
the site, and also wrote asking for a further step of clarification, perhaps
it would be helpful. So I would say, try out the site....see what I'm
talking about and email them with your concerns. They do have the
information we need.....we just have to convince them that it needs to be
more fair.

My two cents worth....thanks for listening.


On Apr 1, 2011, at 3:26 PM, Tom Voyles wrote:

Hello to all,
Pat's email below makes this site sound like not
such a good deal...

I have always been leery of pay sites. They are
a gamble. What happens if I pay, and then may
results are negative. I always leave any site
when money is mentioned. I don't mind paying
for results, but I don't want to pay just for the
proverbial "chance to win".

From: "Edward"
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2011 10:08 PM
To: "Tom Voyles"
Subject: Re: Another Irish website

Hi Tom,

The IFHF website has been frustrating for me. It's very hard to isolate
precisely which ancestor might be yours. The free part of the research
might bring up 10 of the same name, from the same county.....if you want
narrow it down, you have to pay 5 Euros each to click on each name. I've
written them about this and complained. They were supposed to have done
something to improve it but I don't know what. That is my experience with

On Mar 31, 2011, at 6:22 PM, Tom Voyles wrote:

Hello to all,
I don't remember if this one was on the list.
I am sending it just in case....

From: "John "
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2011 4:07 PM
To: "Tom Voyles"
Subject: Irish website

Tom - Not sure if rootsireland.ie sponsored by Irish Family History
Foundation (IFHF) is on the list. Found it useful in locating Irish
birth records for my great great grandparents. Although registration
provides free access, there seems to be a charge asssociated with
continued access. Greg

Click on: