This morning I have to take out my frustration with the Kerry Baptismal registers on this page. While all of us searching for our County Kerry ancestors are more than grateful to be able to log on to IrishGenealogy.ie where all the extant Kerry records are online, this at least puts us ahead of the twenty eight other counties who have not got anywhere near this convenience.
In most cases we can find the baptisms we are looking for, or even the marriages. In some ‘lucky’ parishes we can even go back to 1713 (Ballyseede COI). But most parishes are online from 1820 at best. The real frustration though, is finding ‘blanks’ – numbers of years missing from the site without any explanation. It requires some ‘digging’ and visiting local presbyteries to find the explanations. And the explanations are many. We must realise that the 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.
Tell this though to an Irish American or Irish Australian, trying to find a grandparent’s baptism or marriage, having tracked down the locality from which the ancestor emigrated, to find he/she as good as did not exist. I intend building a page on MyKerryAncestors.com outlining the years/parishes where records do not exist, for all sorts of different reasons. From the Black & Tans (Ballymacelligott), fires in the Presbytery (Killorglin & Ballylongford) to simple fading of the old writing (Dingle), there are all types of valid explanations. I would be grateful if any other researcher could contact me if they find gaps in any of the County Kerry Parish Registers and we may eventually have a complete list.
As I said, there are all types of explanations most of them valid and at least we are not like a neighbouring County parish (which shall remain nameless) where the explanation is that the Parish Priest and the Housekeeper had a row and the Housekeeper threw the register into the fire.
Cahirciveen parish records are more or less unreadable up to 1863, some pages are ok
My G grandmother Mary Riordan was born in Rangue, Killorglin (record missing)
My G grandfather Denis Keating was born in Cahirciveen (records unreadable)
Brendan, good stuff. Thank you for this. Will get this page going over the next few days. At least it will be a help to people who are tearing their hair out, trying to find ancestors, who are actually there but no records of them. Regarding the ‘unreadable’ records in Cahirciveen, I discovered that if you photographed the illegible ones (and I mean faint writing rather than typos) you could actually work on them at home to bring up the writing to a more legible format). I have been talking to Canon Looney in Dingle, where they have this problem. actual records there but almost impossible to reproduce so they have been left out of the index on http://www.IrishGenealogy.ie. He is investigating the possibility of getting some techie person in to see if something could be done on the photo/scan reproductions I am suggesting.
Thanks Kay, This is nice the way it is set up. One can go thru the entire list in time and maybe have a different slant on these records.I do understand the frustration that folks have trying to find their heritage background. It is what it is, some things in life are not to be conquered. I am glad to be a person that has Irish blood running thru my vanes. I will always think of Kerry as my Walsh family’s home. Thank you for all that you are doing in your research for me and others that you are associated with, any info that is found will in some way help someone in their quest to locate what they are searching for.
Robert Patrick Walsh Fister
A KY Boy in South Carolina
Thanks for your efforts Kay. Love your blog. I recently found a trove of AOH meeting minutes and other records, only to discover a critical gap in the record. http://www.markholan.org/?p=591
We do the best we can….MH
Mark, I would love to introduce in my blog, some of the your history of Willie Diggin. The piece about the AOH is really good and I could direct readers back to your http://www.markholan.org/?p=21 for his history?
I’m so glad I found this site. I, too, have gaps that I need to try to fill. I will look through my Lixnaw records to try to discover any gaps there. Thanks so much for this site !!