Wednesday, 17 October 2012

90,000 Derry 'census substitutes' now online.

Click image to go direct to the Derry database
As was promised by Bernadette Walsh of Derry Genealogy Centre at the Back To Our Past Show last weekend (see first day report), an additional 90,000 records have been added to County Derry's presence on

They include transcripts of a number of important 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century census returns and census substitutes for the city and county of Derry, specifically the Hearth Money Rolls of 1663, Protestant Householders Lists of 1740, Religious Census of 1766, Flax Growers Lists of 1796, Tithe Applotment Books of the 1820s and 1830s, and 1831 Census Returns. These can now be searched and results viewed.

There is not, unfortunately, a list of all the resources, and the dates they cover, now available on the RootsIreland/Derry database. (It isn't the only county genealogy centre that doesn't disclose this information on the site.* Surely it wouldn't take a lot of effort or time to make such a customer-focussed improvement.)

However, a press release from Derry Genealogy Centre provides some explanation:

'Our database now contains the bulk of pre-1922 civil birth and marriage registers for the city and county of Derry, the early baptismal and marriage registers of 85 churches (the earliest dating from 1642), gravestone inscriptions from 117 graveyards, and census returns and census substitutes dating from 1901 back to 1663.

'We, furthermore, now offer a free advice service to anyone tracing their roots in the North West. Be it a query about place names, surname origins, sources to search or record offices to visit, visitors and locals alike are encouraged to forward their queries by email to genealogist Brian Mitchell.