Kerry Births & Marriage Records

FINDING KERRY BAPTISMS/BIRTHS/MARRIAGES/DEATHS
  • Civil Registration of Births/Marriage/Deaths became law in Ireland for Church of Ireland in 1845 and for Catholics in 1864. The indexes of these records are available to view and copy certificates to purchase to researchers who visit the Government Registration Office, Werburgh St., Dublin.  These Civil Records are also available on Irish Genealogy ‘.   All Baptisms are online from 1864 to 1916, Marriages from 1864 to 1940 and Deaths from 1864 to 1965. As per data protection obligations the last year is updated annually.  It is also possible to view the original record forms in most cases.  Once you have found your ancestor's name/es just click on the link to bring up the image.  The older ones are being updated currently to bring all original images up to date.  Click on the name
  • PRE-1864 Church Records.  In theory, all Kerry Baptisms and Marriages from the early 1800s are listed online at Irish Genealogy. In practice a number of years are ‘missing’ as per the table of the Catholic parishes below.  These are secondary sources and have a number of transcription errors.

You might ask why they are ‘missing’.  There are a number of reasons – ‘lost’, ‘missing without explanation’, ‘fire’, ‘flood’, the ‘Black and Tans’, ‘illegible’.  Some of these reasons are understandable.  Due to the Penal Laws, it was not possible or legal for Catholic Priests to keep a record of Births or Marriages so very few records survive until the early to middle part  of the 19th Century.  Parish Priests of the early nineteenth century, particularly in rural areas,  lived a precarious lifestyle, didn’t have secretaries, a number didn’t have a permanent residence, not to mention an office and it is a miracle that so many registers have in fact survived.  What remains of the original parish registers are still kept in local custody.  They are often in a fragile state and may not be accessible to researchers.

Original Catholic Parish Registers

The images of the original Catholic Parish Registers available online at Registers.Nli.ie are a marvelous resource. While they were transcribed from the originals on to IrishGenealogy.ie, you now have the opportunity of seeing the entire entry.  On these pages you can see the original record of your ancestor's baptism or marriage and you can also see any note that the priest of the time might have entered.  The entries are almost all in Latin.  They are not indexed on this website but have been indexed on FindMyPast.ie. and free of charge.

Church of Ireland Records

The Church of Ireland records have had an equally perilous history.  Virtually intact until the fire in the Public Record Offices in 1922, those that had not been kept in Kerry in local custody or at least a copy kept, perished in this unfortunate fire.   It is possible to see some Church of Ireland Parish records on Irish Genealogy, it is possible see some on the alternative sources outlined below or some have been deposited in the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin.

Alternative Sources of Kerry Baptisms/Marriages/Deaths prior to 1864.
  • It is always advisable to check with the free LDS Website familysearch.org. I have found baptisms/marriages on that site that are not reflected on IrishGenealogy.  The reason I am told is that the LDS listings were taken years earlier than the transcriptions on IrishGenealogy, when original records were still in place in an individual parish. These records have a cut off date of 1880.  I understand these transcriptions are copies of those held in the National Library of Ireland but I do not have absolute confirmation of this.
  • It is also advisable before giving up, to check and check again, ALL variations of your ancestor's surname.  Spelling was not standardised in the 19th century.
  • Where I have listed OCM, these are the 16 volumes of O’Kief Coshe Mange. The 16 volumes of primary genealogical and historical records are available in the Local History Dept of Tralee Library or the National Library of Ireland, Kildare St.., Dublin and in a number of North American libraries.  They are not online.

COUNTY KERRY CATHOLIC PARISH REGISTERS 

b.- Baptisms from this date      m.- Marriages from this date

Parish b m Missing Records Possibilities
ABBEYDORNEY 1835 1837 b.1835, 1844-1851, m.1837-
ADRIGOLE 1830 1830
ALLIHIES 1850 1823
ANNASCAUL 1829 1829 b.1834-1837, 1839-1857/m.1835-1837-1855
ARDFERT/Kilmoyley 1856 1859  1846-1859 OCM Vols 8, 14
BALLYBUNION 1831 1831
BALLYDESMOND 1850 1850
BALLYFERRITER 1808 1808
BALLYHEIGUE 1850 1850
BALLYLONGFORD 1823 1824 b.1839-1868/m.1838-1868
BALLYMACELLIGOTT 1868 1869
BEAUFORT 1844 1843
BOHERBUE 1830 1863 b.1833-1900, OCM Vol 2, 11
BROSNA 1866 1890 b/m June 1878-1889 OCM Vol 8
CAHIRCIVEEN 1845 1850 No originals up to 1864 extant
CAHERDANIEL 1831 1831
CASTLEGREGORY 1828 1829
CASTLEISLAND 1823 1823 OCM Vol 4,6,7
CASTLEMAINE 1804 1804 b.1813-1815, 1817-1818
CASTLETOWNBERE 1819 1817
CAUSEWAY 1782 1809 b.1786-11, 1806, m.1819-1820,
  1. 1845-1846
DINGLE 1824 1821 Some 1828-1833 illegible
DROMOD 1850 1850
DROMTARIFFE 1832 1832
DUAGH 1800 1827 c.900 missing mostly surname K
EYERIES 1843 1823
FIRIES 1830 1830 OCM Vol 8
FOSSA 1857 1858
GLENBEIGH/GLENCAR 1825 1829 b.1837-1841, m to 1835 only
GLENFLESK 1820 1831 OCM Vol 7,8
GLENGARRIFF 1846 1849
KENMARE 1819 1819 b.1824-1826, m.1838-1839
KILCUMMIN 1821 1823 b.1859, m.1859-1873 OCM Vol 1,5
KILGARVAN 1818 1819 m.1864
KILLARNEY 1785 1792
  1. 1851-1858
OCM 5,6,7,8,14
KILEENTIERNA 1801 1803 B.1809-1823, M.1828-6, 1830 OCM 4,6
KILORGLIN 1798 1798 B.1802-1806, 1851-1857. 1860-1881M. 1802-1806. 1850-1884
KNOCKNAGOSHEL 1866 1867 Don’t know abt Marr
LISTOWEL 1802 1832  1834-1836
LIXNAW 1810 1810 b.1845-46, 1848, m.1852-1856
MILLSTREET 1751 1751
MILLTOWN 1820 1821 b.1840-1841, m.1821,1832-42
MOYVANE 1829 1831
PRIOR 1850 1850
RATHMORE 1837 1839
SNEEM 1833 1858 b.1848-1857, m. 1858-
SPA 1866 1867
TARBERT 1859 1860
TRALEE 1773 1774
TUOSIST 1844 1844
VALENTIA 1825 1829 b.1864-1867, m. 1856-1880

2 Comments

  1. Eileen Hinchey Higgins Eileen Hinchey Higgins
    April 1, 2017    

    Desperately seeking my ancestors who sent their adult children to the US around 1850:

    Mary (Dowd) Kelly
    Father: Timothy Dowd
    Mother: Julia Carraty (or Cawatey)
    Lakes of Killarney
    County Kerry
    Ireland

    Mary Dowd was born about 1825- 1830 !n d emigrated to the US about 1850. Records are very sketchy.

    Thank you

    • Kay Caball Kay Caball
      April 3, 2017    

      Eileen, I have given a quick look at the baptismal records on IrishGenealogy.ie but there is no record of a baptism of a Mary Kelly with father Timothy Dowd in the entire Kerry records (not just Killarney). This might just mean that she was born before some of the Kerry records actually began. The problem that as a result of the general religious restrictions and the Penal Laws from the late 16th century to the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, it was difficult and dangerous for priests to keep and/or maintain records. As a result only a small number of parish registers survive of baptisms and marriages before 1820. The urban parishes of Tralee, Killarney and Listowel have the earlier records – some from 1792 and others not available until after 1870.
      If you would like to email me caballkay@gmail.com with some details of the family – names ages etc of Mary Kelly’s children, where they emigrated to, it might throw some more light on it.
      Kay

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