Video Presentation: Researching Irish Church Records – Dr. James Ryam (55 Mins)
Video Details: This talk outlines the records of the major Irish churches, i.e. Roman Catholic; Church of Ireland (Episcopalian or Anglican); Presbyterian and Quaker. Over 97% of the Irish were members of these churches in 1861, with some 80% being members of the Catholic Church. Some churches, notably Catholic and Church or Ireland, are spread throughout the country while others (e.g. Presbyterian) are mainly in Northern counties. The records of these churches are important sources of information on their members. However, their survival and quality is very variable due to the events of history and the vagaries of record-keeping practices. Churches and their members were affected in dramatically different ways by the events of Irish history.
The churches also differed greatly in administrative efficiency, and in the degree to which the rules for record-keeping were imposed. Finally, the format and content of their records, and their survival, was widely variable. This lecture describes church history and administrative organisation, and how this affected the types of records available. It also details where the records can now be accessed and demonstrate some of the major free websites of relevance.
Dr. James Ryan