Updated Index to Church of Ireland records now available.


In an earlier edition of IDG, I outlined the sources of information for Church of Ireland (Anglican or Episcopalian) records. A major archive for these records is the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin. This library is open for public use, and is also used by those training for a Church of Ireland (C of I) ministry. It houses the records and documents produced by C of I clergymen in all parishes, as well as by the central church administration. It holds the registers and vestry minutes of 1,000+ Irish parishes and chapels which have now closed, and also a major collection of other manuscripts including genealogies and pedigrees, records of various charities run by C of I parishes and clergy, and the personal papers of clergy.

National Archives of Ireland also holds a further small collection of C of I records. However, since 1986 the RCB Library is an accepted custody library for Church of Ireland records. These two organisations, led by Dr Susan Hood of the RCB Library, have now collaborated to produce an amended, cross-checked and updated list which includes the parish registers within their collections, and also surviving copies of registers in Church of Ireland parishes around Ireland. The full list is available on-line at http://ireland.anglican.org/about/192, together with a full explanation of the background. It also indicates the records which are known to have been destroyed in the Public Record Office fire of 1922. The new list is alphabetically arranged by parish name, and has been colour–coded to indicate the records which have been transferred to the RCB Library; those available in NAI; those which were destroyed; and those held in local custody. This list will be continually updates as new sources come to light.

The basic record set available from Church of Ireland parishes is baptism and marriage records, but burial records were usually kept at least until the graveyard associated with the church was full. The baptismal records generally do not give a mother’s maiden name (unlike Catholic records) but they do usually state a residence and father’s occupation. The other record set usually available is Vestry Minutes, which are effectively the records of the church management, may also mention individuals and local events.

The RCB Library is also working with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) in Belfast to also include the records which they hold for parishes in the nine counties comprising Ulster.


Dr. James Ryan

About Dr. James Ryan

Dr. James Ryan is a writer and publisher who has been active in Irish genealogy for the past 25 years. He founded Flyleaf Press – www.flyleaf.ie - in 1987, provided research services for clients for many years, and has lectured widely in North America and Ireland. His book ‘Irish Records’ (published by Ancestry Inc.) has been a standard guide for Irish genealogists since its publication in 1987. Jim is the author of IDG’s monthly column, The Emerald Isle.

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