Unless you have been under a rock
for the last two weeks, you will know all about The National Library of Ireland's
brand new website for Catholic parish
. Simply put, it's a joy to use. There has been plenty of coverage
all about it so there is no need for me to rehash it all. So what can
researchers in the U.S. and Canada get from the website? Well, the most obvious
benefit is free, unlimited access to digitized images of the registers. That's
a no brainer.
Beyond that, there are some other
benefits that will be of particular use to researchers who are tracing
immigrant Irish ancestors. Genealogy research is all about trying to get
original records, or if that is not possible, a photocopy, picture, or digital
scan of the record; it allows a researcher to see all that has been written
on the document. This includes all the necessary information needed to create the document and any possible notations, later amendments or commentary
that has been added by the record creator or another party. Having access to digital scans of
the Catholic register microfilms allows a researcher to do this.
This ability can be very useful
when we consider the possibility of Ne
positively impacting on our research. Ne Temere
was a decree of Catholic matrimonial law in relation to marriage,
with one part stipulating that all marriages must be registered in the place or
places where the contracting parties were baptized.
With Ne Temere
force in 1908, conceivably, it can be expected that such register amendments
will be found from about 1848 to 1890, if a person who is born in Ireland gets
married in the U.S./Canada between the ages of 18 and 60.
Some examples of this are evident
in the registers. The following entry is found in the baptismal registers of
Kilmore Erris parish in County Mayo:
Married John Naggius [?] 27 June 1928 in St Paul's
Cathedral, Pittsburgh USA
13 [February 1870] Mary Barrett [daughter of]
Richard [and] Peg Murphy [from] Cross [townland]; [Sponsors] Tom Barrett [and]
Ellen Do [Ditto, therefore Barrett]
Another example comes from Keel parish in County
15 [Septembris 1878] Idem bapt Juliaus f. leg.
Thomas Griffin et
matrimonius _____ est ___ Ioanne Hennessy ____ S. Benan
___ New York ___ 20 Julius 1910
Julia Duggan Sp Ioannes Flynn et Maria McElligott
[15 September 1878; the same, baptism, legitimate daughter of Thomas Griffin
Marriage ____ of __ John Hennessy ____ S. Benan ___ New York ___ 20 July 1910
and Julia Duggan; sponsors John Flynn and Maria McElligott]
With this example, the proof of this later addition can be seen in the
index for marriage records from New York City
Other interesting notations that can provide possible clues about immigration to the U.S. are also evident, such as this example, also from Kilmore
16 [December 1860] Wm [?] Dixon [son of] Rodger
[and] Bridget Kilcar [from] Tip [? townland]; [Sponsors] Pat Dixon & Mary
If you come across a relevant entry in the registers, make sure to examine closely around it and elsewhere on the page for such notations and additions.