This database contains an index extracted from baptismal registers from Roman Catholic parishes in Ireland.
Though the Church of Ireland, a Protestant denomination, was the established state church from 1536 to 1870, Ireland’s population remained overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. According to the 1861 census, almost 78 percent of the population was Catholic; by 1891, this had risen to 89 percent. This fact makes Catholic parish registers, when available, particularly valuable sources for Irish family history, both before and after civil registration began in 1864.
This collection includes selected records. Approximately 40% of the records are from County Meath and 15% are from County Roscommon.
Most records are from:
- Blackwater, Killala
- Delvin, Crowinstown, Kellalagh, Killeagh
- Dunboyne, Kilbride, Rathregan, Ballymaglasson
- Gallen, Reynagh
- Kilcloon, Batterstown, Kilcock
- Killeen, Kilmessan, Dunsany
- Kingscourt, Enniskeen
- Lisanuffy, Cloonfinlough, Kiltrustan, Strokestown
- Nobber, Cruisetown
- St Mary´s, Athlone
Children were typically baptized soon after they were born. Baptismal records will typically list
- baptismal date
- father’s name
- mother’s name
- godparents’ / sponsors’ names
Latin in the Records
Some records were kept in Latin, though surnames and place names were not translated. You’ll find some of the more common terms you might encounter in this table.
|birth, born||nati, natus|
|burial, buried||sepulti, sepultus|
|christening, christened||baptismi, baptizatus|
|death, deceased||mortuus, defunctus|
|husband||maritus, sponsus, conjux|
|marriage||matrimonium, copulatio, copulati, conjuncti|
|marriage banns||banni, proclamationes, denuntiationes|
|wife||uxor, marita, conjux, sponsa|
Source: Ouimette, David S. Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide (Provo, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, 2005), 69.
To learn more about Catholic parish registers and other Irish records, see David S. Ouimette’s Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide (Provo, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, 2005).