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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Major update to (free) Church of Ireland registers list

As promised a year ago, the RCB Library in Dublin has updated its list of Church of Ireland parish registers with the addition of registers held by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI).

The listing, which was gifted to the genealogical community last year, now accounts for all the original and copy registers in the RCB Library, the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) and PRONI as well as those held in local custody. After many years being a partial listing, it can now considered to be definitive as far as all original collections are concerned.

Running to 98 pages, the list has been through many versions over the years, and had become unwieldy. Additionally, it was proving to be confusing for researchers because rather than use parish names, many inner-city churches in Dublin and the other major cities were grouped together under the name of the saint to whom they were dedicated (e.g. St Anne; St George, St Peter etc.).

In an extensive project, all of the data in the original list has now been reviewed by Dr Susan Hood of the RCB Library who has overseen its evolution as a digital record, and one that is purely alphabetical arranged by parish name (parishes within the main cities are also listed alphabetically under the name of each city).

Furthermore, the list has been colour-coded, making it easier to quickly determine:
  • the registers that have been transferred to the RCB Library
  • the small number of collections available in NAI
  • the relatively-small number of originals in PRONI
  • the materials that were destroyed
  • the collections that continue to be held in local custody.
The new colour-code for originals in PRONI is a light purple, making it possible for researchers to see at a glance what collections are available in this format at the principal repository for Church of Ireland records in Northern Ireland.

Additionally, microfilm copies of many collections of parish registers throughout the nine counties comprising Ulster are also available in PRONI; for a comprehensive list, consult PRONI's website.

The electronic list will continue to be maintained, amended and updated on a regular basis by the RCB Library and permanently available on the Church of Ireland website.

Speaking from the RBC Library in Dublin, Dr Susan Hood thanked Ms Lorraine Bourke of PRONI for her co-operation with the project, and commented that “completion of the project represented a further positive collaboration between the Representative Church Body Library” and the national repository for archives in Northern Ireland.

View or download the Table of Church of Ireland parish registers throughout Ireland (baptisms, marriages, burials & copies).