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Parish Registers - Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, & Other Records, Presbyterians (Ireland)

Nature of Source

Records of Presbyterian baptism/birth, marriage and burial/death. During the 17th and 18th centuries many Presbyterian (Protestant) migrants from Scotland and England settled in Ulster. The persecution of Presbyterians (followers of the doctrines of John Calvin) in the 18th century meant that some Presbyterian baptisms, marriages and burials will be found in the registers of the Church of Ireland. Most Presbyterians lived in the North of Ireland and many Presbyterians migrated to North America to escape the persecution.

Unfortunately Presbyterian congregations displayed great laxity in keeping parish registers despite a Synod ruling of 1819 that ministers should do so. Generally, ministers in urban areas were better record keepers than their colleagues in rural areas. Other possible records of interest include membership registers which sometimes give details of a member’s marriage, death or emigration as well as baptisms of member’s children, session minutes which might contain personal information on a member and transfer certificates which provide details on a member moving to a different congregation or abroad.

Up to 1869 with passing of the Irish Church Act, the established church in Ireland was the Anglican (Protestant) Church of Ireland, although during the 19th century about 85 per cent of the Irish population was Roman Catholic, 10 per cent nonconformists with only about 5 per cent Protestant.

The 18th century saw many schisms develop within the Presbyterian church but in 1840 the General Synod of Ulster and the Secession Synod (Seceders) both agreed to subscribe to the Westminster Confession, leading to the formation of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

Look for the Charleton Trust Fund Marriage certificates which were issued between 1795 and 1862. The scheme was established to encourage the Protestant labouring classes to marry by the use of small payments. Those wishing to qualify had to submit a certificate and these are now in the National Archives of Ireland with indexes. The areas covered by the Fund were mainly in the counties of Meath and Longford with some coverage in the counties of Cavan, King's (Offaly), Louth, Westmeath and Dublin city.

See Also
Surname Origins and Distribution

Where Found

National Archives of Ireland (Copies of original church records)
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) (Copies of original church records)
Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland (Formed in 1907 to promote the history of the churches of the Presbyterian Order in Ireland, the library's collection includes many Presbyterian church registers and sessions minutes)
Local Congregations
Irish Genealogical Research Society (Card indexes to 18th and 19th century Irish births, marriages and deaths taken from 18th and 19th century provincial Irish newspapers)

Period Covered

1820 - Onwards

Genealogical Value

Baptism
Name of the child, place and date of baptism and occasionally the date of birth, father’s name and occupation, mother’s name.
Marriage
Date of marriage, names of the bride and groom, occasionally the address and the name of the father of each party, names of witnesses.
Burial
Name of the deceased, burial date, occasionally the occupation and age of the deceased.

Further References

Parish Specific  
Burn, John Southerden. The History of Parish Registers in England: Also of the Registers of Scotland, Ireland, the East and West Indies: J.R. Smith, 1862 (Available to view online or download at Google Books or the Internet Archive. Also available to buy on CD at Archive CD Books) Buy Now on Amazon
Farrar, Henry. Irish Marriages: Being an Index to the Marriages in Walker's Hibernian Magazine, 1771 to 1812: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2001 (1897) (Details all the marriage entries in Walker's Hibernian Magazine 1771-1812 plus appendix by Sir Arthur Vicars of the births, deaths and marriages recorded in the magazine Anthologia Hibernica 1793-94) Buy Now on Amazon
Grundy, Joan. A Dictionary of Medical & Related Terms for the Family Historian: Swansong Publications, 2006 Buy Now on Amazon
Historical Society of Ireland. Roll of Honour of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland: Naval & Military Press, 2009 (1922) (Lists of members of the Irish Presbyterian church, arranged under congregation, who served in WWI) Buy Now on Amazon
Killen, Rev W.D. A History of Congregations in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland: Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland, 1982 (1886) (Available to search online at the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland. Also available to read online or download at the Internet Archive) Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. A Guide to Irish Parish Registers: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009 (Limited preview at Google Books) Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. A Guide to Irish Churches and Graveyards: Genealogical Publishing Co, 2010 Buy Now on Amazon
Reid, Noel (ed). A Table of Church of Ireland Parochial Records and Copies: Irish Family History Society, 1994 Buy Now on Amazon
Ryan, James G. Irish Church Records: Their History, Availability and Use in Family and Local History Research: Flyleaf Press, 2001 (The book contains chapters by experts on the records of the eight major Irish churches including: Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Methodist, Quaker, Huguenot, Jewish and Baptist) Buy Now on Amazon
Smyrl, Steven. Dictionary of Dublin Dissent-Dublin's Protestant Dissenting Meeting Houses 1660-1920: A & A Farmar, 2009 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.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.movinghere.org.uk/galleries/roots/irish/irishrecords/presbyterian.htm (Presbyterian Records and their locations)
www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/ancestral-records.html (How to trace ancestral records of Irish Presbyterians)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/records/church/presbyterian/index.htm (Presbyterian Records)
www.presbyterianireland.org/about/records.html (Records of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland)
www.ancestryireland.com/irish-presbyterianism/presbyterian-ancestors/registers-of-baptisms-marriages-and-burials (Registers of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials)
www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Ireland_Presbyterian_Church_Records (Research Wiki: Ireland Presbyterian Church Records)
www.presbyterianhistoryireland.com/index.php?id=39 (Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland: Presbyterians in Ireland: a guide to documentary records)
www.ancestryireland.com/irish-presbyterianism/presbyterian-research-in-ireland (Case Studies of Presbyterian Research in Ireland, by Alita Dusek)
www.presbyterianireland.org
(The Presbyterian Church in Ireland)
http://lisburn.com/books/history-presbyterian/history-presbyterian-1.html (Short History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, by Prof. John M. Barkley)
www.ccel.org/s/schaff/encyc/encyc09/htm/iv.iv.xxxvi.htm (Christian Classics Ethereal Library: Presbyterians)
www.nationalarchives.ie/genealogy1/genealogy-records/parish-records-marriage-licences (National Archives of Ireland Guide: Parish records and marriage licences)
www.ancestryireland.com/database.php?filename=civilparishmaps (Civil Parish Maps for Ulster)  
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse (A county-by-county listing of relevant records)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/counties/civilmaps/index.cfm (Interactive map of Civil parishes for Irish counties with a summary of sources covering each civil parish)
http://churches-uk-ireland.org (The Churches of Britain and Ireland; The aim of the site is to have at least one photo of every existing church of all religions, denominations and sects in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands, and where possible, photos or artwork of churches no longer in existence)
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.rootsweb.com/~nirwgw (Information on Northern Irish counties and available resources)
www.groni.gov.uk/index/family-history.htm (Family History & Research)
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.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.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.irelandgenweb.com (Information on Irish counties and available resources)
www.rootsweb.com/~fianna (Fianna Guide to Irish Genealogy)
www.seanruad.com (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)
www.thecalculatorsite.com/misc/birthday-calculator.php (Calculator Site: Birthday Calculator. Discover what day you were born on your star sign, your Chinese zodiac sign, your birthstone and other facts about your birthday)
www.arc.id.au/Calendar.html (Multi-country historical calendar for the years 1000 to 2100)

Online Databases

www.rootsireland.ie (Irish Family History Foundation: Records include parish registers of all denominations. See web site for the range of material available for each county)
www.findmypast.co.uk
(Ireland, Non-Conformist Congregational Records, 1861-1945.Discover your ancestor in Irish congregational records from 1861 to 1945. Coverage includes: Down Anaghlone Presbyterian communicants 1868-1913; Down Ballyroney Presbyterian communicants 1861-1913; Limerick non-conformist congregational records 1911-1945)
www.ancestryireland.com (Ulster Historical Foundation: Records include Presbyterian registers of baptisms and marriages for mid, south and west County Down and Presbyterian registers of baptisms and burials for the city of Belfast)
http://www.irishancestors.ie/search/visitation
(Irish Genealogical Research Society: Index to The Dublin Presbyterian Colporteur's Notebook, 1875. Database of scanned images from the Dublin Presbyterian Colporteur’s Notebook. The rare Notebook was compiled during January to October 1875 by William Malone who jotted biographical notes on approximately 10,000 inner-city Dublin Protestants)
www.presbyterianhistoryireland.com/index.php?id=congregations
(Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland: History of Congregations database for information on over 600 congregations in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland)
www.discovereverafter.com/?mode=magherafelt
(Magherafelt District Council, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland: Genealogy Project: Transcribed inscriptions from parish churchyards, cemeteries and old burial grounds across the district including interactive graveyard maps to view photographs of the headstones)
Familysearch.org (Historical Record Collections: Transcripts of baptisms, marriages and deaths extracted from parish registers and non-parochial/nonconformist registers. The site incorporates the data formerly known as the International Genealogical Index and also data formerly sold on CD as the British Isles Vital Records Index. The former Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File can be found under the heading of 'Family Trees')
www.irishancestors.ie/?page_id=1926
(Irish Genealogical Research Society Marriage Finder Index. More than 25,000 marriages compiled by Roz McCutcheon extracted from Chancery bills, diaries, deeds, marriage settlements, memorial inscriptions, wills, family letters and newspaper cuttings. No marriages from 1864 onwards are shown as full civil registration is available from that date)
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)
www.glasnevintrust.ie/genealogy (Transcribed entries from the Glasnevin Cemetery [Officially Prospect Cemetery], Dublin the largest nondenominational cemetery in Ireland, opened in 1832)
www.interment.net/data/ireland/dublin/glasnevin/glasnevin.htm (Transcribed entries from the Glasnevin Cemetery [Officially Prospect Cemetery], Dublin the largest nondenominational cemetery in Ireland, opened in 1832. More transcripts with headstone photos can be found at Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives)
Emerald Ancestors (Northern Ireland births, marriages and deaths, including Markethill Second Presbyterian Church, County Armagh, Baptisms 1820-1919; Ballyeaston First Presbyterian Church, County Antrim. Baptisms 1820-1865; Moneymore First Presbyterian Church, Co. Londonderry, Baptisms 1844-1865)
www.irelandgenweb.com (Some transcribed records and links to resources including the 1864 Ireland Birth Index)
www.findmypast.co.uk (The 1798 Rebellion: Claimants and Surrenders: Lists of individuals of those who made claims for compensation for loss of property during the rising, and rebels who surrendered in Dublin City and Coolock Barony)
www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~fianna/transcript/index.html (Some transcribed records)
www.rootsweb.com/~nirwgw (Northern IrelandGenWeb Project: Includes the Births, Deaths & Marriages Exchange and other transcribed records)
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jeanmccarthy36 (Jean McCarthy's Genealogy Web Site. Includes birth, marriage and death transcriptions)
www.ancestry.co.uk (Irish Records Index, 1500-1920; Farrar's Index to Irish Marriages 1771-1812)
www.cmcrp.net (Christening, marriage, and cemetery records county by county)
www.proni.gov.uk/index/search_the_archives/proninames.htm (The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland Name Search: Surviving fragments of the 1740 and the 1766 religious census returns listing Roman Catholic or Protestant heads of households)
www.proni.gov.uk/index/search_the_archives/proninames.htm (The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland Name Search: 1775 dissenters petitions which contain lists of names of Dissenters, mainly Roman Catholics and Presbyterians, arranged either by parish, by congregation, by town and neighbourhood)

CD Roms

Archive CD Books (James Seaton Reid's The History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Comprising the Civil History of the the Province of Ulster from the Accession of James the First. 3 vols., 1834-1853)
Archive CD Books (Including Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland and other gazateers and guides; Farrar's Index to Irish Marriages 1771-1812)
www.eneclann.ie (Including Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland and other gazetteers and guides)