My blog on Kerry Births and Marriage Records is the blog most clicked on over the years. One of the biggest frustrations that my readers report is the ‘brick wall’ one hits when you just cannot find any details of a baptism or marriage of your ancestor. He/she just appears to not exist at all. We can definitely assume that every Catholic born in Kerry in the 19th century was baptised and if Church of Ireland, was christened. This also applies to marriages. They may not have been registered with the civil authorities (post 1864 for Catholics and 1845 for Church of Ireland) but they were definitely baptised or christened so a record should exist.
I had listed on this Kerry Births and Marriage Records blog, when I compiled it a couple of years ago, the ‘missing’ records that I was aware of until that time. Since then, in my own research I have come across some more [listed below].
Also from my own research work over the years, I am convinced that in all parishes (of Kerry*) there are gaps and mis-transcription from the original Latin record to Irish Genealogy This should not be a surprise to any of us. Human errors and mistakes would be normal It was not an easy task for the transcribers to copy accurately from old, in many cases, faded records written originally in Latin. So your individual record that you cannot find may be just the one that slipped off the radar, may have been illegible or the incorrect details transcribed. A forename incorrectly spelled, a date recorded inaccurately, sponsors names used instead of parents – it is possible to find all of these.
So what to do if you cannot find the baptism/marriage of your Kerry ancestor. The first thing to do is to see if the event has been recorded on microfilm records. Start with the free NLI site. Now you will understand the difficulties that the transcribers found. As there is not an index facility, you will need to know approximately what year you are looking for and whether it is a baptism or marriage and then get yourself a cup of tea or coffee and be prepared to to put some time in. Alternatively you can do the same on the paid site FindMyPast.ie (Ireland Roman Catholic Parish or Marriage) where there is an index option allowing you to insert the details for your search.
Still a brick wall? Well now, is the time to question the details you have. Are they correct? Could you have the year/date wrong? Could there be another spelling for the forename or surname? Have you tried variants? If you think there are records missing from an individual parish, you can contact me to check it out for you.
2019 ‘Missing’ Church records:
- Abbeydorney 1859-1880
- Knocknagoshel 1881-1887
- Listowel 1834-1835, 1838-1840
- Milltown 1861-1887
- Moyvane 1830-1855
* Baptisms and Marriages in Kerry and parts of Cork (Diocese of Cork & Ross) and Dublin are recorded on Irish Genealogy. For baptisms and marriages outside these counties, the place to look is on RootsIreland. The majority of parishes in all counties of Ireland are included in the NLI microfilm site,