Friday 9 January 2015

Carlow Catholics show up as Baptists in new records

If you've been searching the newly online baptism transcriptions for Co Carlow at, you might have been distracted by your Roman Catholic ancestors' apparent conversion to the Baptist Church!

Dublin-based genealogist Claire Bradley contacted me yesterday to query the discoveries she was making. The woman she was researching was showing up in the late 1840s registers as 'Denomination: Baptist' but she knew from all subsequent records for the family (civil registration and census) that they were Roman Catholic. And the records are, of course, from the Roman Catholic Church.

Cue a call to Carlow Library where the helpful staff were able to check their physical records and confirm that the original record shows no mention of the Baptist church. The Library will be passing the word on to the IFHF, who manage RootsIreland, and presumably they will get this confusing error quickly removed.

I've had a deep search through the database myself since Claire brought the problem to my attention. I've checked a good number of marriages and they all seem to be correctly showing Roman Catholic, so the problem seems to be confined to the baptisms. However, it appears to afflict ALL the baptisms records in this Carlow collection. I've searched using a variety of names across all the parishes and each of the decades covered; all show up, as in the image above, as Baptists.

So, if you're using these records, be assured your family didn't change religion. They were Catholics.

UPDATE: The glitch has been corrected. All records now show the correct denomination.