Returns: Outdoor or Indoor Book Drops Only. Holds Pick-Up: In-Branch Self Checkout, Curbside or Drive-Up Service. In-Branch: Technology services, browsing collection, self checkout. Virtual Branch is available 24/7.

Please visit the Locations page for current operating hours. For more information on current services and how the Library is keeping customers and staff safe, visit the MCPL COVID-19 Information and Updates page.

Back to top

Irish Church Records

Irish Church Records

March 4, 2021

When researching Irish ancestors, church records are a valuable resource. Before civil registration was instituted in Ireland in 1864, church records were the only source for births, marriages, and deaths. That source did depend on what denomination your ancestors were. The Penal Laws (1695-1710) forced Irish Catholics and Protestant dissenters (such as Presbyterians) to accept the reformed Christian faith, the English state-established Anglican Church (Church of Ireland). Among the laws was the restriction of keeping church records. 

For many years, these non-Anglican Church denominations did not keep records, though some did go against the law secretly. Unfortunately, baptismal and marriage records before 1864 are church records. The Penal Laws were repealed in 1791, so you never know until you check what you may find!

Some online resources to check for church records are RootsIreland, Irish Genealogy, Ancestry Library Edition, FamilySearch, and the Ulster History Foundation. For example, on the Irish Genealogy website, you can find Catholic baptism records for County Kerry back to the mid-1700s in some places! FindMyPast Library Edition (in-Library use only) also has many Catholic and other ecclesiastical records.

Exhaust those research sources, and you may be lucky and find the record you were looking for. Just remember: If you are lucky enough to be Irish, then you are lucky enough! 

Sheri V.

Midwest Genealogy Center


I am trying to find how by Great-grandfather died in 1854 the same as my great-grandmother died in 1854 in Pleasant Hill Missouri

From Billy Gibson (not verified)
Sat, 03/06/2021 - 10:10am

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

View All Blogs

Read Similar Blogs:

Resources You May Also Like

Times Digital Archive

Search more than 200 years of the London Times.
More Info

America's GenealogyBank

Investigate resources, some dating to the 1600s.
More Info

Historic Map Works Library Edition

View city directories, land ownership maps, and more.
More Info

Genealogy Connect

Browse and download eBooks focused on genealogy.
More Info

Events You May Also Like

Using Fold3 (ZOOM)

Tue, Jul 6 2021
2:00pm - 3:00pm Central
Virtual Event
Learn how to use Fold3 to access U.S. military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who have served.

Blogs You May Also Like

MGC Lock-In

In November, Stay Up Late at MGC

Join us at the Midwest Genealogy Center on Friday, November 8, from 6:00 to 11:30 p.m.
Read More
engraved cemetery

Engraved in My Memory

A couple of years ago, I was driving through a small town on Memorial Day.
Read More
What’s Cooking?

What’s Cooking?

I love to hear and read about the foods that my relatives and ancestors ate.
Read More
save money

Get Healthy, Get Promoted, Get to the Library this New Year!

Make 2019 the year that you finally check off those recurring resolutions with a little help from
Read More

Was this page helpful? Yes No