Kerry Catholic Baptism & Marriage Registers
It is all good news to-day on the Church records. Next Wednesday afternoon 8th July, the Catholic Church Parish records will be released on their website by the National Library.
As the NLI currently state on their website ‘For most family history researchers, parish registers provide the earliest direct source of family information. Unlike many other records, parish registers provide evidence of direct links between one generation and the next (via baptismal registers) and one family and another (via marriage registers).’
Prior to the 8th July, the relevant records held by the NLI were on microfiche and as such only available to visitors to the Library in Dublin. I have been working since April, a couple of days a month in the Genealogy section of the Library, as part of the Genealogy Advisory Service and I never fail to be surprised at the numbers of people who attend, all trying to trace their ancestors. Yesterday, I had descendants from five different countries, some with a lot of information, some with none, all anxious to discover more about ancestors going back to the 1800s and beyond. From next Wednesday, a lot of ground work will be available to research from home. And all this for FREE.
I have had training on the upcoming Catholic Parish Registers and I can say that the site itself is brilliant. The technology is first class, It is easy to navigate – you can zoom, download, increase or decrease the brightness or contrast, save and print. This means that the more illegible records can be really examined. The map of each parish is clearly set out, showing you the adjacent parishes which will be a definite help for those who are uncertain where exactly to look for a record. The cut-off date is 1880. (An Index to all Births/Marriages from 1864 are recorded on the Civil Records page of www.IrishGenealogy.ie}.
The records themselves are not indexed and of course as originals they were entered in Latin so a bit of work will have to be put into it when searching or researching family.
Dingle Registers on www.Irishgenealogy.ie
The other bit of good news is on the Dingle Registers. A couple of years ago when I was researching the baptismal records of The Kerry Girls, I kept coming up against the proverbial brick wall in the case of the majority of the Dingle girls. According to the ages that they gave to the Australian Immigration authorities, their baptismal dates should been on the site between 1828 and 1832 but no records at all were appearing for that period. The website didn’t make me any wiser as it never tells you what is missing. I mentioned this to Canon Looney, P.P., of Dingle and he gave me the opportunity of looking at the actual original register. It turned out they weren’t ‘missing’ but very faded and illegible for the most part. However Canon Looney doesn’t let the grass grow under his feet, but he persuaded a brilliant and most importantly a patient man – Jim Lenehan, who came in on a voluntary basis over the past couple of years and has succeeded in deciphering the names and address on these records, from January 1828 to April 1837. Until the Dingle, St Mary’s RC, baptismal records 1828 – 1837 are released, Jim is happy to do a search for anyone who has specific data to this area and time period. He has these on a spreadsheet on his lap top. There are more than 3500 entries.