So the big day has arrived and the Kerry Catholic Parish Registers are now open and freely available to all from a great site on the National Library of Ireland Kerry Catholic Parish Registers. There has been huge interest from home and right across the world. There has been a bit of frustration too. They are not indexed so ideally you should have some idea of the parish, date and even month that you are looking for. You can’t just pop someone’s name in and hope that all will be revealed.
To my mind it is a superb site, both technically and for what it reveals to us. So for those of you who might not know the parish, year or month of your ancestors’ baptism/marriage, here are my best suggestions:
- Initially go for one of the Indexed links e.g. IrishGenealogy.ie (Church Records) where most of the extant baptismal and marriage transcribed records are available. If your ancestor’s event was post 1864, then you should also try the Civil Records on the same site. No luck, then try FamilySearch.org the free Mormon site. Subscription sites include FindMyPast.ie and Ancestry.co.uk. An index from one of these sites will make your search much easier.
- Now that you have found the parish and the year (whatever about the month) you can do all kinds of things technically with the site, zoom brighten the image, darken it, increase the contrast, print and even share to Facebook and Twitter.
- Next problem you may encounter is deciphering the Latin content. A very useful tool here is Dr. Jane Lyons’ Latin Names in English
- Still can’t find the parish you are looking for? Try neighbouring parishes by clicking on the maps provided with each result. There is an excellent HELP page on site that will answer most of your questions …. but not all. For instance you may be looking for the Catholic parish of Ballyferriter, but you will find that under Kilmelchidar. This is the difference between Civil Parishes and Catholic Parishes and one that I will address in my next blog.
In the meantime, while I am putting this list together, if you have any difficulties in locating a Kerry Parish, please email me.