My early Irish Marriage Index was launched in 2012 and received an enthusiastic response. It has continued to grow, and I have been assured by many researchers that it has been an invaluable aid in breaking down their brick walls. This has encouraged me to launch an early Irish Birth Index, using the same sources as the Marriage Index, and covering the same period – 1660 to 1863. Again, no birth will be included from parish registers, as all the surviving registers are being gradually placed online elsewhere.
This resource is designed as an index, pointing the researcher towards the actual record. Where available the county and town are noted, although the original record may provide more address details. No births from 1864 onwards are shown, as full Civil Registration is available from that date. In many sources, especially newspapers, no first name may be quoted for the child, but the sex of the child is always recorded. Many dates in the index are expressed as, for example, “about the year 1781”. This allows for plus or minus a few months either side of the year noted, but no more than that. Where the source reference does not specify a county, the county should be taken from the information noted about the father. The first upload for the Birth Index draws mainly on newspapers, tombstones and early census fragments. In addition, mention is sometimes made of the ages of children when nominated as lives in a lease at the Registry of Deeds. I have also included birth evidence from admissions to Trinity College, from Naval records at the UK National Archives at Kew, from private diaries and from the occurrence books kept by various people, recording interesting occurrences in their neighbourhoods.
The Irish Government and the Irish Family History Foundation (through its website rootsireland.ie) between them are placing any surviving parish registers online, and so these records have not been included.
More and more newspapers are coming online, providing an excellent resource. The IGRS holds vast newspaper records, and tasters of these have been included, being the work of Father Wallace Clare, Dr Smythe-Wood and Miss Rosemary ffolliott. In addition, Dr Henry Morris carefully annotated many biographical extracts and these have been published in many of our Journals. In most instances for newspapers, dates given in this index are of publication and not birth.
Registry of Deeds:
These records will be from a range of Registry of Deeds records: marriage settlements, leases, mortgages, trust deeds etc. and so the indication that the birth took place before a certain date simply means that. In each case, the reference, including the memorial number, is shown, so that readers can check the full abstract on microfilm at an LDS Library, or apply for a copy memorial from the Registry of Deeds. Fuller descriptions of some of these memorials may well be found on the Registry of Deeds Index Project database
Rosalind McCutcheon, February 2015