Arses, Elbows and FOMARR

One of the easiest and most dreaded research mistakes is to miss a record you didn’t know about. This isn’t helped by some sites discouraging inmates from peeking over their garden wall (I’m looking at you, Ancestry). But there are now multiple online transcripts of many record-sets, done at different times and (sometimes) using different copies. Each has its own flaws and holes and if you don’t keep an eye out, you can easily fall down the gap. I know. I’ve done it.

The three major collections of online Catholic register transcripts are the local heritage centres’ pricey transcripts at Rootsireland, Ancestry and FindMyPast’s  transcripts of the National Library of Ireland microfilms, free to view after registration, and an entirely separate collection on Ancestry only, of which more below.

Driven as ever by Fear of Missing a Relevant Record (henceforth “FOMARR”), years ago I started listing discrepancies between Rootsireland and the NLI. The table at the bottom of this post tries to give an overview of all the differences. Doubtless there are errors and omissions. Please let me know.

The third collection is not possible to include, because it’s just a pile of (wonderfully clear) images of (bits of) 76 Catholic parish registers, some coming right up into the 20th century.  A full list is here. The images really are exceptional – compare the first page of Bantry register on NLI and this Ancestry collection:

NLI
Ancestry collection 6068

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But Ancestry just piles ’em high and lets researchers sort ’em out.  It’s hard not to conclude that they don’t know their arse from their elbow. The problem is that Ancestry has so many arses and so many elbows.

More in the YouTube video


Catholic Registers with discrepant transcripts

County Parish Comment
ANTRIM Ahoghill Rootsireland lists baptisms from 1844 but they actually start in 1864. Elsewhere baptisms are recorded from 1833.
Ballymoney Rootsireland has eight years of marriages not found elsewhere.
ARMAGH Ballymacnab Rootsireland has 25 years of early baptisms missed by NLI
Derrynoose Rootsireland has 17 years of early baptisms missed by NLI
CAVAN Moybologue The earliest NLI baptismal register is 40 years before the Rootsireland transcript
CORK Aghada Rootsireland has an 18th-century baptismal register missed by NLI
Glounthane The local parish has records almost 50 years earlier than NLI
Newmarket NLI has 13 years of early baptisms missing from Rootsireland
Shandrum Rootsireland has two 18th-century registers missed by NLI
Cork city: St. Mary’s The only transcripts are by Ancestry and FindMyPast from NLI microfilm
DONEGAL Kilbarron NLI has 5 years of early baptisms missed by the LDS and Rootsireland
DUBLIN Artane, Coolock, Clontarf, Santry No NLI microfilm. Rootsireland from 1777
Ballybrack No NLI microfilm. Rootsireland baptisms from 1841
Bohernabreena No NLI microfilm. IrishGenealogy baptisms from 1868
Dublin city: St. Michael and John’s Earlier baptism register on IrishGenealogy
Naul No NLI microfilm. Rootsireland records from 1832
Sandyford Earlier baptismal register on IrishGenealogy
GALWAY Cappataggle Rootsireland has an 18th-century baptismal register missed by NLI
St. Nicholas (Galway city) NLI has 17th and 18th-century fragments missed by Roostireland
Killascobe Rootsireland  (and the LDS) have a very early fragmentary register missed by NLI
Loughrea Rootsireland has an early baptismal register missed by NLI
Moycullen NLI has 4 early baptismal and marriage registers missed by Rootsireland
Rahoon Rootsireland has an early baptismal register missed by NLI
KERRY Killorglin No NLI microfilm. Transcribed from 1798 on IrishGenealogy.
Dingle Baptisms 1828-1837 missing from IrishGenealogy, covered by NLI
Moyvane 25 years of early baptism and marriage records on IrishGenealogy, missing from NLI
Sneem Early baptism and marriage records on IrishGenealogy, missing from NLI
KILDARE Athy Rootsireland has an 18th-century baptismal register missed by NLI
Ballymore Eustace NLI has an earlier baptismal register
Clane (Rathcoffey) NLI has several earlier registers than Rootsireland
Kill Several early registers on Rootsireland (and Ancestry) not covered by NLI
KILKENNY Ballycallan Earlier baptismal and marriage registers on Rootsireland
Graignamanagh Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
Kilkenny city: St. John’s Earlier baptismal and marriage registers on Rootsireland
Kilmacow Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
Mullinavat Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
Galmoy Earlier baptismal register on NLI
LAOIS (QUEEN’S) Mayo and Doonane Earlier baptismal and marriage registers on Rootsireland
LEITRIM Bornacoola Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
Kiltoghart Rootsireland include records of Kiltoghart-Murhan missing from NLI
Oughteragh Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
LIMERICK Bruff, Grange and Gilnogra Rootsireland has an 18th-century baptismal register missed by NLI
Feenagh Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
Limerick city: St. Patrick’s Earlier baptismal and marriage registers on Rootsireland
Monagea Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
LONDONDERRY Ballinascreen (Draperstown) NLI has 2 early baptism and marriage registers missed by PRONI and Rootsireland
Tamlaghtard Rootsireland has an early baptismal register missed by NLI
LOUTH Dunleer Much earlier baptismal registers on Rootsireland
Togher Rootsireland includes baptisms and marriages 1829-1868 missing from NLI
MAYO Backs Several early registers on Rootsireland (and Ancestry) not covered by NLI
Ballycastle Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
Burrishoole Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
Crossboyne and Taugheen Earlier baptismal and marriage registers on Rootsireland
Kilbeagh Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
Kilcommon Erris No NLI microfilm. Transcribed from 1860 on Rootsireland
Kilvine No NLI microfilm. Transcribed from 1870 on Rootsireland
Tourmakeady Earlier baptismal and marriage registers on Rootsireland
MEATH Donymore (Curraha) Earlier baptismal register on NLI
Kildalkey No NLI microfilm. Transcribed from 1782 on Rootsireland
MONAGHAN Donaghmoyne Earlier baptismal and marriage registers on Rootsireland
Killanny Earlier baptismal register on NLI
OFFALY Aghancon Much earlier baptismal and marriage registers on Rootsireland
Lusmagh Earlier baptismal fragment on NLI
Tullamore Earlier baptismal fragment on NLI
ROSCOMMON Oran No NLI microfilm. Rootsireland from 1865
Roscommon and Kilteevan Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
SLIGO Castleconnor Earlier baptismal and marriage registers on Rootsireland
Geevagh Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
Sligo: St. John’s Earlier baptismal, marriage and burial registers on Rootsireland
TYRONE Dungannon Rootsireland has an early baptismal register missed by NLI
WATERFORD Aglish Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
Ardmore Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
Clonmel: Ss Peter and Paul NLI has earlier marriage registers
Killea Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
Modeligo Earlier baptismal and marriage registers on Rootsireland
Stradbally Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland
Waterford city: Ballybricken Earlier marriage register on Rootsireland
Waterford city: St. John’s Earlier baptismal and marriage registers on NLI
Waterford city: St. Patrick’s and St. Olaf’s Earlier baptismal and marriage registers on Rootsireland
WESTMEATH Nougheval No NLI microfilm. Rootsireland from 1857
WICKLOW Arklow Earlier baptismal fragment on NLI
Blessington Earlier baptismal and marriage registers at Rootsireland
Roundwood Earlier baptismal register on Rootsireland. Earlier marriage register on NLI

21 thoughts on “Arses, Elbows and FOMARR”

  1. Hi John,
    Thanks for the exhaustive detail. Can you tell us where the records at irishgenealogy.ie fall in all of this – are they they same as one of the other 3 sources that you mention or are the different scans yet again?

    Given how poor many scans are, I’m also curious as to where the originals of these registers exist now and whether any of them are accessible, either to individuals or to any new scanning project.

    1. IrishGenealogy Church records cover only about 20% of the island and consist of three types of transcript:
      1. From NLI manuscripts for the Catholic diocese of Cork and Ross (west Cork) and Dublin (part), so duplicating the microfilm transcripts on Ancestry/FindMyPast. (and mostly only up to 1880)
      2. From transcripts of Catholic records done by local heritage centres in Kerry and Dublin (up to 1900)
      3. From fresh scans of Church of Ireland records from Carlow, Kerry and Dublin city

      1. Thanks! I didn’t realise how lucky I was to be from west Cork! (well, I did, but not from the genealogy point of view).

  2. Thanks for this. It answers a question I had about records for Bornacoola. I’ve seen some baptisms from the 1840s on RootsIreland, with no linked image. Apparently the Family History Library has the microfilm. Hope to make a trip there someday.

    1. I live just a few block from the Family History Library. If you have a film number and your family’s names, dates I could take a look for you. The library’s hours are mostly still restricted to the same hours and days that I work but I’ll try to get there when they’re open on a Saturday. Mary

  3. John, you have made me laugh. The Catholic registers with discrepant transcripts is extremely helpful. It is another reminder to search in multiple places. Thank you for posting the information.

  4. John,
    These records can be frustrating. I happened to stumble across some records which may be my forebears. Ancestry has them listed as Galway records. I was almost positive the family came from Laois, so almost ignored them. Glad I didn’t because the records give Rathdowney and Ballinakill as places of residence, so seems they should be from a Laois parish? So why does Ancestry have them as Galway?? Perhaps the trouble is that I am not well versed in which churches belonged to which dioceses, but frustrating in any event!

  5. Catholic baptisms for Dingle from spring of 1828 through 1837 are missing from IrishGenealogy.ie. They are available at the National Library.

    1. I’ve just started researching a family from County Clare and have found parish records at a couple of the websites John listed in this blog post. In my experience thus far, Ancestry.com’s indexing doesn’t seem to be as accurate as the local indexes (only certain parishes) available as spreadsheet files on the Clare Library’s site:

      https://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/library/local-studies/catholic_parish_records.htm

      BTW, that same library has some other nice resources for genealogists: https://www.clarelibrary.ie/index.htm. Look for the “County Clare” box at the bottom right for useful links.

  6. I am looking for Catholic Baptismal Records for Suttons Parish and Wexford from 1800 – 1820. Where would I begin to search for these records.

  7. Hello
    I am looking for Baptismal and birth records for Suttons Parish Co. Wexford for the years 1800 – 1820. Apart from the NLI microfilm where would I access parish records for the time period? Is the website Rootsireland a reputable and useful source?
    Thank you
    Kevin Flynn

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