Thursday 17 April 2014

AncestryIreland adds 34,000 CofI baptismal records

AncestryIreland, the online database of the Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF), has added some 34,000 Church of Ireland baptismal records for counties Antrim and Down. The parishes and years covered in this upload are as follows:

— Aghaderg, Co Down, 1814–1870 (2,692 records)
— Blaris (Lisburn), Cos. Antrim & Down, 1720–1750 and 1763–1819 (11,125 records)
— Christchurch (Belfast), Co Antrim, 1850–1870 (15,426 records)
— Dromore, Co Down, 1784–1816 and 1858–1871 (5,473 records)

The UHF has provided this additional information about the rich details held in these registers:
  • The register for Aghaderg Church of Ireland includes the first name of the mother of the child and sometimes her maiden name. The father’s occupation was recorded between 1839 and 1870. In addition, between the years 1832 and 1838, each child had at least three sponsors!
  • In 1728 the minister for Blaris Church of Ireland recorded some of the occupations of the fathers whose children were being baptised. We can see therefore that in the town of Lisburn at that time there was a shoemaker, saddler, potter, inn-holder, gardener, chandler, whipmaker, blacksmith, hatter, ‘joyner’, and glazier. If the father was a soldier, the name of his Regiment was often recorded in this register, particularly in the 1790s.
  • The register for Christchurch Church of Ireland in Belfast contains the exact street address of the family, the father’s occupation and the mother’s full name including her maiden name; much like the information contained on a civil birth record but these registers date from 14 years before the start of civil registration in 1864. The minister from 1855 to 1859 also recorded the Church where the parents were married, a most useful piece of information, particularly if they had married outside of Belfast or even Ireland. Places of marriage detailed in this register include Glasgow, Edinburgh, Falkirk and Greenock in Scotland; Liverpool, Carlisle, Sefton in Lancashire, Manchester, London and Cornwall in England as well as America and Gibraltar!
  • The register for Dromore Church of Ireland contained the name of the mother, including her maiden name. The father’s occupation was recorded from 1858.