Church Records in Ireland

The majority of Ireland’s population has been Roman Catholic. Minority religions include the Church of Ireland, Presbyterian Church, and Methodist Church. There were also smaller denominations such as Baptists, Congregationalists, Moravians, Mormons and others.

Microfilm copies of the parish registers for most Roman Catholic parishes in Ireland up to 1880 are available at the National Library of Ireland in Dublin.  Many Catholic parish registers are also on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast has Catholic registers for the Northern Ireland counties also.


St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin

No matter what your ancestor's religion was, do not overlook the records of the Church of Ireland because it was the Established (State) Church until 1871. Records of the Church of Ireland are held in various repositories including the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin, the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin, and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast. You can access more information about using the Church of Ireland records online.  Very few Church of Ireland, Presbyterian or Methodist records are on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The PRONI in Belfast has copies of many registers of Presbyterian, Methodist, and other dissenting congregations. Some of the earliest Presbyterian registers for Northern Ireland are held at the Presbyterian Historical Society in Belfast.

If you would like to determine what church records for a particular denomination are available for the area where your ancestors lived, you can consult The Irish Times Irish Ancestors web site. On this web site, you can obtain information regarding what churches or parishes are relevant and where the records are available, for a particular town, village or townland in Ireland.

Many Irish counties and cities now have church records indexed or abstracted online on one or more of several websites. You can find out what websites pertain to a particular county using this table. You can also access indexes to church records through the system of heritage centres in Ireland.
 

Two guides by Brian Mitchell are essential tools for locating what churches were located in your area, for finding out what Catholic parish covered your civil parish, and for discovering when the church records begin in your part of Ireland
A Guide to Irish Churches and Graveyards Guide to Irish Parish Registers

 

The British Isles Vital Records Index (Second Edition) (Salt Lake City: Intellectual Reserve, 2001) on compact disc contains data (dating 1538-1906) from 12.3 million birth, christening, and marriage records from selected parishes and areas in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and the Isle of Man. The following church records for Ireland are included:

  1. Roman Catholic baptisms and marriages, circa 1789-1881, primarily from County Roscommon, also some from counties Galway and Sligo, including:  
    --->  Galway parish: Killian and Kilronan
    --->  Roscommon parishes: Ardcarn and Tuamna, Athlone and Drum, Boyle, Dysart, Killinvoy and Killmain, Killucan and Ballinameen (Killucan and Killummond), Killukin, Kiltrustan, Laughlin, Lisanuffy, Loughglynn, Roscommon and Kilteevan, Strokestown, Tissara
    --->   Sligo parishes: Aghanagh, Taunagh
     
  2. Births and marriages from the National Register of the Society of Friends (Quakers) [dating 1859-1906]. These are abstracted from the Family History Library Microfilm 571,399. If you want a copy of the original Quaker entry, ask us.
     
  3. Dublin City Presbyterian Church registers of baptism and marriage, 1653-1904: (a) Eustace Street Presbyterian Church and (b) Strand Street Presbyterian Church (Family History Library Microfilm 100238). If you want a copy of the original Presbyterian entry, ask us.
     
  4. A few births in Ireland (though it's mostly an English and Welsh source) of children of Non-Conformist families from the Registers of Dr. Williams's Library (London) (Irish births are primarily in the 1820s, 1830s). Non-Conformist families are those who dissented from the Established Church of England and Ireland.






 

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