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Monumental Inscriptions (MIs) (Ireland)

Nature of Source

Memorials commemorating a person's death marked on a gravestone. Before the civil registration of deaths in 1864, a Memorial Inscription might be the only record of the event.

Also look for Cemetery Registry Books which contain lists of those buried in the larger municipal cemeteries.

Between 1888 and 1934 Brian J. Cantwell transcribed thousands of memorials collectively known as the 'Memorials of the Dead' and published by the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead. Many volumes of inscriptions are now indexed and available online and on CD.

See Also
Surname Origins and Distribution

Where Found

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) (Memorials of the Dead and Gravestone Inscriptions)
Linen Hall Library
Irish Genealogical Research Society (Monumental inscriptions in Ireland and elsewhere for people of Irish descent)
Society of Genealogists (MI inscriptions including the 'Memorials of the Dead' published annually between 1888 and 1934)
Local Heritage Centres (Indexed gravestone transcriptions)

Period Covered

1300 - Onwards

Genealogical Value

Place and date of birth and death; family members and relationships; address (parish); occupation

Further References

M.I. Related  
Mitchell, Brian. A Guide to Irish Churches and Graveyards: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2010 Buy Now on Amazon
Family History Guides  

Adolph, Anthony. Collins Tracing Your Irish Family History: HarperCollins, 2007

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Begley, Donal. Handbook on Irish Genealogy: How to Trace Your Ancestors and Relatives: Heraldic Artists, 1984

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Connell, Gretta. Tracing Your Westmeath Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2012 Buy Now on Amazon
Corrigan, Mario &  Durney, James & Kiely, Karel. Tracing your Kildare Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon

Davis, Bill. Irish Ancestry - A Beginner's Guide: FFHS, 2001

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Falley, Margaret Dickson. Irish and Scottish-Irish Ancestral Research: GPC, 1981 (1962)

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Franklin, Margaret. Tracing your Limerick Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon

Grenham, John. Irish Ancestors, A Pocket Guide to Your Family History: Gill & Macmillan, 2004

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Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: Gill & Macmillan, 2011

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Hamrock, John. Tracing your Roscommon Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2007 Buy Now on Amazon

Kinealy, Christine. Tracing Your Irish Roots: Appletree Press, 2009

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McCarthy, Tony. The Irish Roots Guide. Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 1991

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McCarthy, Tony & Cadogan, Tim. Tracing Your Cork Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon

Maxwell, Ian. Tracing Your Ancestors in Northern Ireland: A Guide to Ancestry Research in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland: Stationery Office, 1997

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Maxwell, Ian. Researching Armagh Ancestors: A Practical Guide for the Family and Local Historian: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon
Maxwell, Ian. Researching Down Ancestors: A Practical Guide for the Family and Local Historian: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon

Maxwell, Ian. How To Trace Your Irish Ancestors: How To Books, 2009

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Maxwell, Ian. Your Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword, 2008

Maxwell, Ian. Tracing Your Northern Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword, 2010

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Meehan, Helen & Duffy, Godfrey. Tracing Your Donegal Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2008 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. Basic Guide to Irish Records for Family History: Clearfield Company, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. Tracing Derry-Londonderry Roots: Clearfield Company, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon
O'Connor, Michael H. Tracing your Kerry Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 1994 Buy Now on Amazon
O'Dowd, Peadar. Tracing your Galway Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2010 Buy Now on Amazon

Ouimette, David. Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide: Ancestry.com, 2005

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Paton, Chris. Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet: A Guide For Family Historians: Pen & Sword Books, 2013

Prochaska, Alice, Irish History from 1700: A Guide to Sources in the Public Record Office: British Records Association, 1986

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Raymond, Stuart. Irish Family History on the Web: The Family History Partnership, 2007

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Roulston, William. Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors: The Essential Genealogical Guide to Early Modern Ulster, 1600-1800: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2005

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Ryan, James. Irish Records: Sources for Family & Local History: Flyleaf Press, 1997

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Ryan, James & Smith, Brian. Tracing Your Dublin Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Ryan, James. Tracing your Sligo Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2012 Buy Now on Amazon
Smith, Brian. Tracing your Mayo Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2010 Buy Now on Amazon
Smith, Brian & Kennedy, Gerry. Tracing Your Clare Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon

Stewart, Alan. My Ancestor Was Irish: A Guide to Sources for Family Historians: Society of Genealogists, 2012

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Other  
Bradshaw's Railway Map Great Britain and Ireland 1852: Mapseeker Publishing, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Connolly, S.J. The Oxford Companion to Irish History: Oxford University Press, 2007 Buy Now on Amazon
Coogan, Tim, Pat. The Famine Plot: England's Role in Ireland's Greatest Tragedy: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Dickson, R.J. Ulster Emigration to Colonial America, 1718-1775: Ulster Historical Foundation, 1976 Buy Now on Amazon
Grenham, John. The Little Book of Irish Clans and Tartans: Book Sales, 1995 Buy Now on Amazon
Robinson, Philip. Plantation of Ulster: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon
Smith, Paul & Turner, Keith. Railway Atlas of Ireland Then & Now: Ian Allan Publishing, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon

Websites

www.historyfromheadstones.com (Guide to graveyards in Northern Ireland, including lists by county, maps and a timeline)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/records/graveyard (Graveyard Records)
www.ancestryireland.com/index.php?id=1051 (Ulster Historical Foundation: How can I find where my ancestors are buried?)
www.genealogylinks.net/uk/index.html (Links to online burial and cemetery records and other useful information)
https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Ireland_Cemeteries (Research Wiki: Ireland Cemeteries)
www.irishgraveyards.ie (IrishGraveyards: Irish Graveyard Surveyors: Transcripts of monumental/memorial inscriptions and surveys and locations of graveyards)
http://databases.dublincity.ie/graveyards (Dublin City Public Libraries & Archive: Dublin Graveyards Directory. The directory all graveyards in the Dublin area and gives information on the location, contact details, titles of published gravestone transcripts, links to on-line gravestone transcripts, location of surviving burial records and other information)
www.iancantwell.com/BrianCantwellMemorials.html (Brian J. Cantwell's Memorials of the Dead)
www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/index.html (Irish Genealogy Toolkit will guide you to your Irish ancestors)
www.iar.ie (Irish Archives Resource: The site contains information about archival collections open for public research in Ireland from many organisations, societies, political organisations and businesses)
https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/getting-started-in-irish-genealogy/594 (FamilySearch.org: Learning Center Online Genealogy Course: Getting Started in Irish Genealogy. Lecture designed to acquaint beginning genealogist with strategies and sources for getting started in Irish genealogy)
www.proni.gov.uk/guide_to_church_records.pdf (PRONI Guide to Church Records: Identify what churches are in a parish, what records exist for each church, the covering dates for each series of records and their PRONI reference number)
www.irishtimestraining.com (Online Tracing your Irish Ancestors Course designed and presented by the genealogist John Grenham. The 11 modules will give you the tools and techniques to comprehensively trace your Irish family history. The online tutorials will provide you with a wide-ranging guide to all the records, resources and research techniques you will need)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse (A county-by-county listing of relevant records)
www.rootsweb.com/~nirwgw (Information on Northern Irish counties and available resources)
www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/irish-records-what-is-available/church-records (Irish Genealogy: Research in Ireland: Irish Records: What Is Available?)
www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/irish-genealogical-research-getting-started/how-to-start-your-family-history (Irish Genealogy: How To Start Your Family History)
www.cyndislist.com/ireland.htm (Ireland genealogy links)
www.irelandgenweb.com (Information on Irish counties and available resources)
www.rootsweb.com/~fianna (Fianna Guide to Irish Genealogy)
www.thecore.com/seanruad (IreAtlas Townland database)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/placenames (1851 General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, parishes and Baronies of Ireland)
www.pennyparker2.com/appxchart.html (Period Approximation Chart, adapted from "Basic Course in Genealogy," Vol.II, by Derek Harland. Use to calculate the approximate date of a birth, marriage or death)

Online Databases

www.ulsterancestry.com/ua-free-pages.php (Ulster Ancestry Free Genealogy Pages: Gravestone inscriptions covering a number of counties)
www.findmypast.ie (Memorial Inscriptions, 1618-2005, compiled by Eileen Hewson. The records include full memorial inscription for each gravestone and can include cause of death and the profession of the deceased)
http://historicgraves.com (Historic Graves: Irish graveyard transcriptions and surveys compiled by local volunteers. The database is searchable by individual names and by individual graveyards. A map shows which graveyards have been surveyed)
https://billiongraves.com
(BillionGraves: Family history database for records and images from the world's cemeteries. Members of the public can collect photos of headstones in a local cemetery with iOS, Android and Windows mobile apps and then upload the photo and headstone transcription. BillionGraves records are also available to search at FamilySearch)
www.ancestryireland.com (Ulster Historical Foundation: 17th Century Gravestones)
www.emeraldancestors.com (Emerald Ancestors: Graveyard Inscriptions covering Northern Ireland)
www.irishfamilyresearch.co.uk (Irish Family Research: Memorials of the Dead Headstone transcriptions)
www.from-ireland.net (Gravestone database: Transcribed and searchable entries of Irish gravestones)
www.rootsireland.ie (Irish Family History Foundation: Gravestone Inscriptions including entries for County Tyrone and County Fermanagh)
www.irishgraveyards.ie (IrishGraveyards: Irish Graveyard Surveyors: Transcripts of monumental/memorial inscriptions and surveys and locations of graveyards)
www.irelandgenweb.com (Some transcribed records)
www.rootsweb.com/~nirwgw (Some transcribed records)
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jeanmccarthy36 (Jean McCarthy's Genealogy Web Site)
www.gravestonephotos.com/countries/ireland.php (Transcriptions and photos for cemeteries in Tyrone)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Cantwell's Memorials Of The Dead: Graveyard transcriptions complete and comprehensive for Counties Wexford and Wicklow and patchy coverage for other counties)
www.worldburialindex.com (World Burial Index: Access to MI transcriptions taken from graveyard headstones, churchyard memorials and cemeteries)
www.historyfromheadstones.com (Gravestone inscriptions covering Northern Ireland)
www.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=4077 (Irish Records Index, 1500-1920)
www.ajmorris.com/dig/toc/memdead.htm (DIGdat-Digital Irish Genealogy Data: Irish Memorials of Dead)
www.irishancestors.ie/?page_id=5392 (Irish Genealogical Research Society: Index of Townlands, 1901: Searchable database of over 64,000 townlands in Ireland which are ancient land divisions measuring from just a few acres to several hundred and still in use today)

CD Roms

Ulster Historical Foundation (Microfiche and printed Gravestone Inscriptions)
www.eneclann.ie (Brian J. Cantwell’s Memorials of the Dead: The Collected Works)
Kabristan Archives (Ireland Memorial Inscription transcriptions by Eileen Hewson in book form)