Roman Catholic

This guide was last updated in 2010

There are inconsistencies within old Roman Catholic records.

Although Roman Catholicism was the majority religion in Ireland the Church still suffered from severe restrictions from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Hence the Church would be reluctant to keep registers and most date from the early nineteenth century. There are some early records from the seventeenth century for parts of Waterford and Galway cities.

In general the earliest parish records are to be found in the eastern part of Ireland, in the more prosperous and anglicized parts. On the other hand, records for the poorest parts of Western and the north of Ireland may only begin in the late 19th century (these were the areas that saw the worst effects of the famine and as a consequence large scale emigration). The registers are mostly for baptisms and marriages as burials were seldom kept. They are written in either Latin or English, never Irish. Latin was used more frequently in Irish speaking parts, although surnames were not translated so it should not be too difficult to pinpoint the right entry.

Irish church records
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