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Scots-Irish in Colonial America. Irish Roman Catholic records Maps Nature of the records Baptismal registers Marriage registers Locations For dates before the start of civil registration for all in , virtually the only direct sources of family information for the great majority of the population are the local parish records. The intense hostility shown by the state to the Roman Catholic Church from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries made efficient record-keeping an understandably low priority, and very few registers survive from before the latter half of the eighteenth century.

The earliest Roman Catholic parish records in the country appear to be the fragments for the towns of Waterford and Galway, dating from the s, and for Wexford, dating from Generally speaking, early records tend to come from the more prosperous and anglicised areas, in particular from the towns and cities of the eastern half of the island.

In the poorest and most densely populated rural parishes of the west and north, which saw most emigration, the parish registers very often do not start until after the middle of the nineteenth century. However, the majority of Catholic registers begin in the first decades of the nineteenth century, and even in poor areas, if a local tradition of Gaelic scholarship survived, records were often kept from an earlier date.

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The listings in the source lists and the maps reflect the state of knowledge of the dates of Roman Catholic registers at the time of writing March No listing can ever be absolutely definitive, however. The number of parishes covered by the local heritage centres will continue to grow, online transcripts will continue to appear and almost certainly there are still some unrecorded registers awaiting discovery in sacristies around the country.

The nature of Roman Catholic records Roman Catholic registers consist mostly of baptismal and marriage records. The keeping of burial records was much less thorough than in the Church of Ireland, with fewer than half the parishes in the country having a register of burials before ; even where they do exist, these records are generally intermittent and patchy. For some reason, almost all Catholic burial registers are for the northern half of the island. Baptisms and marriages are recorded in either Latin or English - never in Irish.

Generally, parishes in the more prosperous areas, where English was more common, tended to use English, while in Irish-speaking parishes Latin was used. There is no absolute consistency, however. The Latin presents very few problems, as only first names were Latinised, not surnames or placenames, and the English equivalents are almost always self-evident. A good listing of Latin and English forename variants found in parish registers is at rootsireland.

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Apart from names, the only other Latin needing explanation is that used in recording marriage dispensations. These were necessary when the two people marrying were related, consanguinati , and the relationship was given in terms of degrees, with siblings first degree, first cousins second degree, and second cousins third degree, Thus a couple recorded as consanguinati in tertio grado are second cousins, information which can be of value in disentangling earlier generations.

A less frequent Latin comment, affinitatus , records an earlier relationship, but only by marriage, between the two parties, which could create an impediment to the marriage. Note the Earl of Bantry's son on June Catholic baptismal registers almost invariably contain the following information: date; child's name; father's name; mother's maiden name; names of sponsors godparents ; In addition most registers also record the residence of the parents.

Sponsoribus, Danielus Quirk, Johanna Donoghue.

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Much more often the entry is abbreviated to: Bapt. Johannem, f. In many cases, even the abbreviations are omitted, and the entries simply consist of dates, names and places. News images provided by Press Association and Photocall Ireland unless otherwise stated.

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Timahoe Round Tower and centre. Get motoring! Laois 1. Rock of Dunamase , Portlaoise In the ninth century the fortress on top of the rock was attacked by a Viking army, and the Abbot of Terryglass was killed. Dunamase 2. Donaghmore famine workhouse museum , Portlaoise The museum tells the story of the Famine, particularly focusing on its aftermath and how Irish life and agriculture changed. Donaghmore workhouse museum 3.

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Abbeyleix heritage museum This museum invites visitors to explore the history of Laois dating back to the Stone Age, and there is a model railway and carpet factory feature. Dogs are welcome when kept on a lead but cycling is forbidden. Short URL. About the author:. About the author. Cathy Lee. See more articles by Cathy Lee. Contribute to this story: Leave a Comment. Send a Correction.

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