Family History Genealogy Search Information
Guide for Irish-Americans Listing the kinds of records where you might find
a mention of the town in Ireland your immigrant ancestor is from. Also listed
are some online sources and research guides for finding these records. Once you
know the name of the town or parish in Ireland then you can pursue further
research in Irish records. Knowing the county is a good first step, but you will
usually need to narrow it down to the specific parish or town.
There is a Bandon Historical Journal, which may help those with
ancestors in the Bandon area.
Catholic. Some Cork County Catholic parish registers survive from as early as
1748, though most go back to only the early 1800s. The originals are usually
still held by the parish priests. Names and addresses for current priests are
listed in the "Irish Catholic Directory" found at LDS and other genealogical
libraries. All of the extant records for Cork County have been filmed by the
National Library and written permission is not required from the priests of any
Cork County parish to research these films. The National Archives also holds a
list of available registers. Records of Catholic families may be found in Church
or Ireland registers. Catholic parishes in the City of Cork are very large and
the format is often very inconsistent from page to page, making them very
difficult to use.
Church of Ireland.
Many original Church of Ireland parish registers are still in the parish of
origin. Names and addresses for current clergy are listed in the "Church of
Ireland Directory". Some have been filmed and are in the Representative Church
Body Library; others are at the National Archives. Written permission of the
local clergy of any County Cork parish is not required to view these microfilms.
A list of surviving registers is held at the National Archives, the National
Library and the Genealogical Office. "O'Kief, Coshe Mang, Slieve Lougher, and
Upper Blackwater in Ireland" by Albert Casey contains Church of Ireland
registers for these areas. Registers for County Cork parishes can be found in
Volumes 8, 11 and 14. The book can be found in public libraries with major
genealogical holdings. It has also been filmed by the LDS.
County and City of Cork Post Office Directory, 1842-1843, filmed by the
A number of directories, which may be helpful in finding ancestors, exist as
Directory of Cork, Youghal and Kinsale, 1787 and 1821, in the National
Library, Society of Genealogists in London, LDS, and in the Journal of the Cork
Historical and Archeological Society, 1967.
Topographical divisions off Ireland
Townland. A townland is an Irish land unit that has existed since the early
1100s. A townland is now the smallest administrative land unit in Ireland. All
larger administrative units are made up of multiples of them. There are 64,462
in Ireland of which 5,429 are in County Cork. Size is based on the quality of
the land. The richer the land the smaller is the townland.
Griffith's Valuation, or the Householders Index, taken from 1851 to 1853
in County Cork, could prove a useful tool in light of the deficiency in real
censuses. It is mainly used when you do not know the parish your ancestor was
from. If your ancestor's name was common, it may be difficult to establish this,
and there is actually little genealogical value to the Valuation. If your
surname was common, the surveyors sometimes added the householder's father's
first name to distinguish between individuals. The original index is housed at
the Valuation Office in Dublin. Copies are widely available in genealogical
libraries, including LDS, and at the National Archives, National Library and the
Holden's Triennial Directory for Cork City, 1809, at the Genealogical
Office and LDS.
Indexes to Marriage Bonds
Marriage bonds were required prior to obtaining a license to marry. Neither
bonds nor licences survived the 1922 fire. However, some indexes to them did
survive. The National Archives possess those for County Cork for the years
1623-1845 for the diocese of Cork and Ross; and for 1630-1867 for the diocese of
Cloyne. Indexes for both dioceses have been filmed by the LDS. Marriage bonds
usually refer only to upper classes and landowners.
The Irish Ancestor Journal has a number of articles pertaining to County
"Trace Your Ancestors in County Cork" by Nora M. Hickey.
Mallow Heritage Centre
The Mallow Heritage Centre has computerized records of Catholic and Church
of Ireland registers in County Cork, except for the City of Cork and its
environs. Cork City records are covered by the Cork City Ancestral Project,
located at the Cork County Library. The Mallow Heritage Centre will conduct an
initial search for $35 or 20 pounds. If any records on your family are found,
they will send the results to you for a further $25 or 15 pounds. Send as much
information on your ancestor as possible.
Militia lists for all males aged 16 to 60 in 1761 in County Cork can be
found in the Genealogical Office.
Rosemary Ffolliott has published an "Index to Biographical Notices Collected
from Newspapers, Principally Relating to Cork and Kerry, 1756-1827". This
"index" is actually a transcription of the complete notices in alphabetical
order. The National Library and the Cork City Library have copies of this index.
It has also been filmed by the LDS.
Various issues of the Journal of the Cork Historical and Archeological
Society contain genealogical data, including local history, gravestone
inscriptions and extracts from Cork directories.
A listing of all available Presbyterian records is at the Presbyterian
Historical Society. Registers for the parishes of Bandon, Cork, Lismore and
Queenstown are still in local custody.
All births, marriages and deaths were registered at Quaker monthly meetings. For
County Cork, pre-1859 registers have survived and can be found at the Library of
the Society of Friends in Dublin. Registers for Cork City from 1625 to 1860 and
for Youghal parish from 1652 to 1839 have been filmed by the LDS.
A religious census, taken in 1766 and listing whether inhabitants were
Catholic or Protestant, survives for many Cork parishes and can be found in the
PRO. Those for the parishes of Dunbulloge and Kilmichael have been published in
the Journal of Cork Historical and Archeological Society, Volumes 51 and 26,
Many other census substitutes for specific parishes have survived, and most are
housed in the National Archives or National Library. Use their indexes or ask at
a local historical society for your parish for what may be available and its
The Tithe Applotment Survey, taken in 1823 and 1837 could also be used
for lack of censuses. This lists only those who occupied agricultural land. If
your ancestor lived in a city, they would not be found here. The Survey can be
found at the National Archives, National Library and the Genealogical Office,
and copies are widely distributed in genealogical libraries, including LDS.
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