Tuesday 3 August 2021

RCBL Archive of the Month: Killinane Union, Co Galway, 1836-59

The Representative Church Body Library (RCBL) has acquired a rare and unusual source of local and social history and made it the subject of this month's Archive of the Month. It is a Rector's register from the united parishes of Killinane & Kilthomas in County Galway, which was started in 1837 by the new-appointed Reverend William O'Grady and maintained until his death in 1859. (Some of his successors subsequently added to it, but with less detail.)

Acquired from private hands, the register has been accessioned as RCB Library P.0959.28.

The single volume captures details of the parishioners of the six parishes of Killinane union: Iserkelly, Kilchreest, Killinane, Killogilleen, Killora, and Kilthomas, complete with helpful notations, which sometimes refer to the conduct or character of individual parishioners. It also includes population information lost from national census material, as well as comment and data on topics such as foundlings and deserted children, local policing, converts from Rome, and emigration.

It provides a rare window into the religious and social history of the parishes of Killinane union and is also a valuable source of family history, and will be of particular interest to the descendants of all those who resided in the former civil parishes of Killinane union (and Kilconickny union after 1906), regardless of their religious background.

The online Archive of the Month presentation has been written by Gerry Kearney, a local historian who has produced several local and family history books. It includes a link to the newly digitized volume and highlights specific aspects of its content.