The IGRS Early Irish Death Index – an Introduction


My Early Irish Marriage Index was launched in 2012, and the Early Irish Birth Index in February 2015. The launch of the Early Irish Death Index completes the planned group of indexes, and I hope that, like the others, it will continue to grow from its modest beginning.

As well as the usual fields, covering age at death, county of birth or residence etc, where possible full details are given of a close relation or colleague to aid identification. Where none of these are available, other notes may help. For instance, 60 year old Eleanor Boyan was buried in 1752 at Whitechurch Graveyard in Co Waterford. No other details were given, but I have noted that she was buried with the Wall Family, which may give a researcher a clue about her origins.

In case anyone feels that the early newspapers just covered the “high & mighty”, there are plenty references to butchers, bakers, nuns, publicans, robbers, washerwomen, murderers and even the occasional gabbard man.


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 deaths from 1864 onwards are shown, as full civil registration is available from that date. Where available, such details as age at death, occupation, and the name of a close relation or colleague are attached. In addition, where possible, the maiden name of married women or widows are quoted. The first upload for the Death Index draws mainly on newspapers, tombstones and wills. In addition, I have drawn from evidence in the Registry of Deeds, from Clergy Succession Lists and from Chancery & Exchequer Bills.

Parish Registers

The Irish Government (through its website and the Irish Family History Foundation (through its website between them are placing any surviving parish registers online, and so these records have not been included.

Newspaper Records

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 a number of our Journals. In most instances for newspapers, dates given in this index are of publication and not death.

Registry of Deeds

These records will be from a range of Registry of Deeds memorials: marriage settlements, leases, mortgages, trust deeds etc. and so the indication that the death took place on or 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 ever growning database at the Registry of Deeds Index Project.


The county or country is shown using the Chapman Code.


Contributions to the index will be most welcome and a template will shortly be made available for contributors’ use. In the meantime, please send an for guidance before submitting any death details.


The index will of course contain errors and duplication and a note of these will be welcomed. If you have any corrections or problems send an


When searching, do consider the different spellings possible. For instance, McCarthy could also be spelled as MacCarthy or M’Carthy.

Rosalind McCutcheon, October 2015


Members-only page                                                                Page updated 3 October 2015


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