Tracing your Tyrone roots will get a whole lot easier when the National Library of Ireland gives free online access to the Catholic Church records of the county’s 43 parishes in July.
This will enable millions of people around the world to trace their roots in parishes from Termonamongan in the far west of the county to Ardboe in the east, and Donaghedy at the northern tip of Tyrone to Aghaloo at the southern.
The records being made available date from the 1740s to the 1880s, and most parishes have records of the dates of baptisms, marriages, including the names of godparents and witnesses to such events.
Often comments were added by the registrars about illegitimacy, cause of death or other interesting facts.
The parish register records are the most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the Census of 1901. They date from the 1740s to the 1880s, cover 1,091 parishes throughout Ireland, and consist primarily of baptismal and marriage records.
They are especially important for finding ancestors pre-1864, when Ireland began civil registration of births, marriages and deaths.
Currently, anyone who needs the parish records to fill in the missing branches in their family tree must go to the NLI’s Genealogy Microfilm Reading Room on Kildare Street in Dublin, or pay an outside service or researcher to access the records for them. Access has been hampered in recent years by high demand and increased pressure on resources.
Putting the records online opens access to people across Ireland and for the Irish diaspora around the world.
The National Library first announced details of the project in December, and just shared the July launch date.
“This is a great advancement for those researching their Irish family history,” commented Clare Doyle, Heritage Resource Manager with Ireland Reaching Out, Ireland’s program for the diaspora.
“No matter where they are in the world they will be able to access historical information from parish records. It reaffirms Ireland’s status as one of the leading genealogy centers of the world.”
The following Tyrone parish records will be available from July 8: Aghaloo, Aghalurcher, Arboe, Ardstraw, Artrea, Ballinderry, Ballyclog, Bodoney Lower, Bodoney Upper, Camus, Cappagh, Carnteel, Clogher, Clogherny, Clonfeacle, Clonloe, Derryloran, Desertcreat, Donacavey, Donaghedy, Donaghenry, Donaghmore, Dromore, Drumglass, Drumragh, Errigal Keerogue, Errigal Trough, Kildress, Killeeshil, Killyman, Kilskeery, Learmount, Leckpatrick, Lissan, Longfield East, Longfield West, Magheracross, Pomeroy, Tamlaght, Termonamongan, Termonmaguirk, Tullyniskan and Urney.