Great news! We’ve added a further 7,000 records to the IGRS’ Early Irish Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes. This latest update adds 7,000 new references to lesser-used and obscure sources for Irish births, marriages and deaths, noting an additional 14,000 names,. This brings the total combined record count to just over 143,000 individual entries, comprising 26,000 births, 91,000 marriages and 26,000 deaths. The total number of names is 274,000.
This latest tranche of data includes references to many deaths culled from Irish newspapers. One particular poignant news item relates to the collapse of part of the Music Hall located in Fishamble Street, to the rear of Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin. A room there, known as the Grove Room, attached to the Music Hall, was being used for a meeting of the Trade Guild of St Luke, which combined the city’s cutlers, painters, paper-stainers and stationers, in order to nominate a candidate to stand for election to parliament. The room was about 20 feet above ground and was crowded with somewhere between 300 and 400 men. The thunderous applause and stamping of feet eventually caused one of the main support beams to give way and the entire body of men disappeared into the depths of the building below.
Máire Kennedy, former Librarian at Dublin’s Gilbert Library, says this of the event in her online Blog: “Nobody seems to have been killed outright, but at least eleven people died shortly afterwards of their injuries. Many were carried to their homes stretched on doors, or taken in sedan chairs. Dublin’s medical personnel must have been under severe strain that afternoon and evening with so many casualties. Faulkner’s Dublin Journal reports that the sight of the maimed being carried through the streets caused the greatest consternation in the city. Finn’s Leinster Journal informs us that few escaped without severe injury and many were in a ‘situation that made death desirable’. The Hibernian Magazine predicted that many of the injured ‘will exhibit melancholy monuments, to perpetuate the memory of this dreadful event, by the loss of their legs and arms’.
From Walkers Hibernian Magazine we learn the names of some of those who eventually died: Mr Taylor, High street; Mr Deey, Attorney; Mr Byrne, cutler; Mr McMahon, Abbey Street; Mr Pemberton, Capel Street, Mr Johnson, Cutpurse-row; Mr Shaw, Essex-bridge; Mr Scot, Joseph’s-lane; and Mr Dobson, Capel Street.
Also included in this update are 850 references to marriages noted from the Registry of Deeds. Roz McCutcheon, the BMD project’s manager, notes that “many of these marriage references came from formal marriage settlements, but which were hidden by the manner of their inclusion in the contemporary index volumes. Including them in this index probably shines the first light on their existence in two hundred or more years.”
Marriage settlements can be extremely illuminating documents about family relationships and alliances. For instance, one registered in November 1759 notes that Nicholas Biddulph was to marry Elizabeth Dempsey, the daughter of Charles Dempsey and that the groom was to be taken on in employment by the bride’s father; and that Nicholas had a brother called Francs who resided at Stradbally, in Queens (Laois) county. Other relatives of the bride named were Samuel Dempsey, noted as a clerk to another man also called Charles Dempsey, assumedly cousins.
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Marriage Index – Free to all
Birth Index – Name search only for non-members
Death Index – Name search only for non-members
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