Friday 31 January 2020

IGRS adds 5,000+ entries to Early Irish Marriages Index

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has added more than 5,000 marriage records to its exclusive Early Irish Marriage Index.

The Society's Early Irish Births and Early Irish Deaths Indexes have also been updated, with 519 and 334 entries respectively.

Collectively, these three databases now hold 346,094 names.

About 500 of the new entries relate to marriage settlements registered at the Registry of Deeds.

Roz McCutcheon FIGRS, who founded and leads the IGRS Early Births, Marriages and Deaths Indexes projects, advises that searching the Registry of Deeds for marriage settlements is fairly straightforward. "Most settlements are dated a few days before the actual ceremony and registered within a few months," she says. "However, in book 297, one pre-marriage settlement took 26 years to be registered (RoD ref: 297/642/196514). This pertained to the union of Thomas Taylor & Ann Berresford, both of Dublin.

"As if that wasn’t hard enough for any determined researcher to locate, another in the same book (RoD ref: 297/383/196483) took 46 years! This was the marriage of George Little and Mary Boyd, both of County Tyrone, which had taken place in 1727; it wasn’t registered until 1773, by which time most of the parties had died.

"This sort of delay underlines the importance of indexing events like these in a database such as the Early Irish BMD Indexes.”

The bulk of the other marriage events in this update are supplied by the surviving indexes, and pre-1922 abstracts, relating to Marriage Licence Bonds from the Dioceses of Down, Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin. In addition, searches at the Registry of Deeds also yielded a smaller, but significant number of birth events, which can be deduced by the ages noted for children named as ‘lives’ in leases.

Access to the Early Irish Marriage Index is completely free to all researchers. Non-members can also make free name searches in the Births and Deaths indexes. You can find out more on the IGRS website at