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

12 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

  2. Mary A Moran Mary A Moran
    June 4, 2017    

    I have searched online at New Cemetery, Killarney for my grandmother’s name – Mary Ferris who was born in Castlegregory and died 1925. She was married to Peter Wilkie of Killarney. I will be visiting Killarney this August and would like to visit her grave. Any info you can share would be appreciated.

    • Kay Caball Kay Caball
      June 5, 2017    

      Mary, I have had a quick look at http://www.kerrylaburials.ie which is the County Council online record. I tried Aghadoe, Aghadoe Old and New Cemetery Killarney and the name ‘Wilkie’ does not come up. Probably your best bet is to visit the local Killarney Library and ask to see some of the newspapers of 1925 and see if you can find a funeral notice for Mary Wilkie. They would always name the graveyard that the funeral was taking place. I would just use the name ‘Wilkie’ – Mary will have been buried in the same graveyard (and probably grave) as her husband.

  3. Shane O'Shea Shane O'Shea
    June 9, 2017    

    I am trying to trace my family history and have discovered that my great great great grandmother, Julia Lucy Halissey (or a variation) was born in County Kerry, near Milltown, Ireland, in 1820 and died there in 1858. Julia and Thomas O’Shea had a son, Michael Thomas O’Shea, my great great grandfather, born in Corke in 1835, who came to Australia in the early 1860s. No information available on Thomas O’Shea.
    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Caball Kay Caball
      June 10, 2017    

      Shane, a search here for Julia (or any Hallissey) in Milltown was negative. Bapismal records from Milltown did not start until 1825 but in fact there are no Hallissey (an variant of spelling) in Milltown. Most Hallisseys in Kerry are either in Kenmare or the surrounding area. If you can get a copy of the marriage register that is where there should be a home location of both Julia and Thomas O’Shea.

  4. Patrina Mack Patrina Mack
    June 11, 2017    

    HI,

    I’m hoping against hope I’ll finally make the US Ireland connection before we fly to Ireland on June 20th. I have confirmed through two sources that my great grandfather came from County Kerry. His name is Thomas Corrigan (Corridon, Corriden) born April 6 1831. He had two sisters that came over – Margaret b 1829 and Kate b 1842 (Catherine/Katherine). Not sure if there are other siblings. Thomas’ first born son was named John and second named Robert.

    Wondering if you’re able to find anything that my searches missed.

    • Kay Caball Kay Caball
      June 11, 2017    

      Patrina, a pity that you didn’t contact me sooner. The first thing, which you must keep in mind is that in the 19th century, Irish people did not know (or care about) their year/dates of birth. This is a very well known fact. When they emigrated, and were asked for these, they came up with a supposed date and year. You will find if you follow the U.S. Federal Census that this recollection changed from one census to the next. There was nothing devious going on – they just didn’t know. Have a look at some of my blogs.
      I gave a very quick look now at http://www.IrishGenealogy.ie and my best guess (I stress guess) would be that your great grandfather was Thomas Corridan of Gloundelahin, Causeway b. 28.2.1834. Take a look at this record and you will see that there was also a Catherine b. 29/12/1841. There is no Margaret in this family but there is a Mary b. 4/1.1829. Glandalahin is a townland in the Civil Parish of Ballyheigue. If we could have progressed this sooner, we could actually find the land they occupied.

  5. Elizabeth MacDonald Elizabeth MacDonald
    July 14, 2017    

    Hi – I have exhausted my resources finding my Grandmother’s (Bridget T. O’Shea) parents, Julia Galvin and Jeremiah in County Kerry. Her naturalization papers say she was born 6 Sep 1906 in Cappanacuss, Ireland.

    • Kay Caball Kay Caball
      July 14, 2017    

      Julia’s birth is registered on the Civil Registration section of http://www.IrishGenealogy.ie. While she was born on 6 Sept 1906, the birth was not registered until 1907 which is noted on it. They lived in Cappanacuss, she would have been born at home and as it was her mother who registered the birth in Kenmare, she probably would not have had occasion to travel in there very often. You should now look on the 1911 Census of Ireland for the entire family. If you email me separately caballkay@gmail.com I can send you a copy of the birth cert. Its technically not possble to include it here. Kay

  6. Deirdre O' Sullivan Deirdre O' Sullivan
    September 1, 2017    

    Trying to find out anything about my Grandfathers family. All I have is information from his headstone:
    John O’ Sullivan (Eugene)
    Died 25th June 1946 aged 42 years
    Katie O’ Sullivan (nee Sheehan Letterfinish, Sneem) Died 19th October 1937 age 28 years
    Their daughter Nora May died 28th August 1930 Age 2 years
    Would love to find out more & would really appreciate advice on where to start.
    Thank you!!!
    Deirdre O’ Sullivan

    • Kay Caball Kay Caball
      September 1, 2017    

      Deirdre thank you for your comment. It is not possible to find much from 1911 onwards due to data protection controls. As your grand father was 42 in 1946 and you have an address in Sneem, you should try in the 1901 and 1911 Census of Ireland and you will see both himself and his family plus their economic circmstances. Hopefully i have done a blog on ‘Getting the most from the Census’. There is much more than just names and ages – lots of information here. After that time, you will have to follow up with birth/marriage or death certs from the Government Registration Office in Dublin, where you have to go in person and look through the books – up to 1965 for births, 1990 for marriages and 1995 for deaths.

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