Different Genealogy Results from New Search Strategies

Continuing to do what you are already doing and expecting a different result is insanity. Albert Schweitzer

Last week, I took a break from my Income Tax preparation, and attended the Ireland Research Series at the Family History Library. Excellent information. With a detailed syllabus. Well organized and executed.

We learned how to go from Irish Civil Registration entries extracted in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) to the exact certificate on microfilm. These are being indexed and await posting to http//www.familysearchlabs.org Record Search. Once these are posted, you will not have to search the microfilm indexes.

We also discovered these statistics: only 25% of the Catholic parish registers are at the Family History Library on microfilm (sad!); the FHL has an almost complete collection of Irish Quaker records (glad!). Compare Olive Goodbody, Guide to Irish Quaker Records 1654-1860, (Dublin: Stationery Office for the Irish Manuscript Commission, 1967) with the Family History Library Catalog.

Some strategies that really work:

  1. Check for tombstones online first. The established church was the only church considered to be legal in a court of law until the 19th century. As a result, unless a Church of Ireland clergyman was present at the burial, non-conformists could not be buried. So the majority of the burials for everyone occurred in the Church of Ireland parish churchyard.
  2. Many records are organized by Poor Law District and D.E.D. or District Electoral Division. Check the printed Townland Indexes for these districts or if you know the Townland already, check http//www.familysearch.org for that townland. Then go to the census lists in the FHL catalog under that townland. The description on the catalog gives the D.E.D.
  3. See David Ouimette, “Irish Townland and Tenement Valuation Manuscripts,” The Septs 27 (Jan 2006) for a comparison chart of the various record categories included in Richard Griffith’s Primary Valuation valuation books and what genealogical details they contain. Also refer to James Reilly, Richard Griffith and His Valuations of Ireland. 2000. Available from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore MD 21211. http//www.genealogical.com The Septs is one of the premier periodicals for Irish genealogical research in America. You might read all the issues of this quarterly, if you are struggling to identify and trace your Irish ancestors.
  4. The Registry of Deeds was created in 1708 to protect Protestant landowners. A written transcript of each deed was made called a Memorial. The Family History Library has microfilmed these memorials from 1708 to 1929. (The record called Bills of Discovery were used by Protestants to protect their Roman Catholic relatives–they “discovered” Catholics holding the land and claimed title so their kinsmen could continue to live on the land undisturbed.) Each memorial includes an abstract of title at the beginning of the deed. This makes it possible for you to identify owners and residents on the land from1671 to 1825.

An important genealogy research strategy in American research is to search the deed indexes first to determine if your ancestor had land and who else by that surname lived in the same locality. Use this 2580 reels of microfilm  Registry and its indexes to determine if your ancestors could have owned land and identify others of the same surname in the same locations. The FHL catalog describes the records:

Includes an index to grantors and an index to lands (townland or address) by county. There is no index to grantees. Up to 1833 the Grantor index does not give the address or townland involved. It shows only the surname and first name of the grantor, followed by the surname of the first grantee, then the volume, page, and deed number required to find the record. After 1833 the Grantor index adds the county in which the lands were situated. The Land index groups townlands together under their first letter only. After 1828 the Land index is further divided by barony, so it is necessary to know the barony in which the townland was located. Cities and corporation towns have separate indexes arranged by street or vicinity. Corporation towns (incorporated towns) are: Antrim, Ardee, Ramagh, Askeaton, Athboy, Athenry, Athlone, Athy, Augher, Ballyshannon, Birr, Bandon, Callan, Carlingford, Carlow, Carrickfergus, Carrick-on-Shannon, Carrick-on-Suir, Cashel, Castlebar, Cavan, Clogher, Clonmel, Coleraine, Downpatrick, Duleek, Dundalk, Dungannon, Dungarvan, Ennis, Enniscorthy, Enniskillen, Galway, Gowran, Granard, Hillsborough, Jamestown, Johnstown, Kells, Kildare, Kilmallock, Kinsale, Lanesborough, Leighlin Old, Lisburn, Longford, Maryborough, Monaghan, Mallow, Mullingar, Naas, Navan, Newry, Newtownlimavady, Philipstown, Portarlington, Ratoath, Roscommon, Ross, Sligo, Strabane, Tallow, Thomastown, Tralee, Trim, Wexford, Wicklow, Youghal.

The deeds are sequential by number.  Remember, the property can include description by tenants, thus including a list of tenants who live on and work the land.

Your favorite genealogy evidence guru, Arlene Eakle http://www.arleneeakle.com

PS  Tomorrow, Thursday 3 April 2008, I am going to attend the class on Huguenot Records and European Origins.  It is a quick way to learn what is new and what challenges lie ahead for research on that group.  Tune in for my report.

PPS  A strategy that serves me well–if I want to determine a resource for a specific surname or locality, I check the FHL Catalog at familysearch.org.  It is one of the largest bibliographic resources we have easily available and from home.  Check it out.

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Different Genealogy Results from New Search Strategies

  1. Arlene,

    Thank you for the kind words about The Septs. The Septs is available as a quarterly publication to members of the Irish Genealogical Society International. Membership is $25 per year for United States residents. There is a $5 surcharge for mailing outside of the U. S. In addition, members can download all past issues of The Septs as PDF files from the Society’s website at http://www.Irishgenealogical.org.

    Tom Rice
    Managing Editor, The Septs

Leave a Reply