Sunday 1 June 2014

RCBLibrary: latest news re Church of Ireland registers

Two great items of news from the Representative Church Body Library (RCBL) in Dublin...

Archive of the Month – June – Transcriptions of Taughboyne registers released
The RCBL has released online transcriptions of the surviving registers for three of the Taughboyne parishes in the Laggan Valley of north east Donegal. The painstaking transcription work has been carried out by the rector, the Revd Canon David Crooks.

The registers contain entries up to 1900, as follows:
  • Taughboyne, from 1820 onwards
  • All Saints Newtowncunningham (parish carved out of Taughboyne, 1871), from 1877
  • Killea (parish joined Taughboyne group in 1969), from 1877 for baptisms; 1845 for marriages; 1880 for burials
  • Craigadooish (chapel of ease), baptisms from 1871 to 1907
The printed transcripts, together with a digital copy of each have been presented by Canon Crooks to the RCB Library, and it is these transcripts that are available from today here.

Canon David Crooks said: “In my 30 years in Taughboyne Group of parishes, I have been contacted many times by people seeking information about their ancestors from our records. This involves painstaking research, trawling through old volumes to find the information required. Each time, the old books deteriorate a bit more.

“Although it is time consuming, the task of transcribing the records onto disc was very interesting, opening up a window into the lives of our ancestors who worshipped in this same place. Modern technology makes the whole task infinitely easier, and the finished product makes the task of obtaining information very much easier, too."  

Advance notice of Archive of the Month – July – Updated listing of locations of registers
Taughboyne, All Saints, Killea and Craigadooish are examples of parishes that retain their original registers in local custody, but which will soon be transferred to the RCBL. The RCBL is the official place of deposit for all non-current Church of Ireland parish registers in the Republic of Ireland – and indeed a growing number of post-disestablishment collections from Northern Ireland.

Recent developments will be apparent when the RCBL publishes next month's Archive: an updated and accurate Table of Church of Ireland Parish Registers throughout Ireland. This is the first time the listing/table has been made available online and will be a huge boon to researchers.

It's being redesigned, too, to provide a colour-coded alphabetical list of the surviving baptisms, marriages and burials for each parish, as well as information about what materials were lost (mostly as a result of the 1922 catastrophe at the Public Records Office of Ireland during the Irish Civil War); and finally where the vast quantity of surviving materials may now be consulted.

This list accounts for no less than 1091 Church of Ireland parish register collections now safely housed and available to researchers in the RCB Library.

It also gives details of around 500 collections, including those for Taughboyne, All Saints, Killea and Craigadooish, which remain in local custody ie in their parishes.