The Irish Registry of Deeds



Online access

In the 1960s, the LDS Family History Library microfilmed the indexes and the full set of memorial books from 1708 to 1929. In early 2017, the Library began to make these films freely viewable online at familysearch.org/search/catalog/185720. As of August 2018, all 2686 films are freely viewable online. This access promises to change profoundly the status of the Registry as a research source.

Using the site requires mimicking the procedure in the Registry itself: first examine the Index covering the period and place or person you are interested in. Remember that before 1752, the New Year began on March 25, making it perfectly possible for a deed to be dated in July and the memorial registered in January of the same year. Some of the Names Index volumes set out the surnames year by year and some consolidate all the surnames for the period covered. It is important (and difficult when using the online microfilm) to be sure which type the volume is - otherwise it is easy to miss a whole run of years. Note the years searched and the volume, page and number of any memorials to be examined in detail. Find the volume number - in the research room if onsite, further down the page on FamilySearch. Go to the page specified and identify the memorial number. Online, this is best done by opening another browser window or tab and calculating a rough location to start: each image represents two pages. It is necessary to download the entire film at a go and many of the films hold more than one volume. Researching the memorials online is not a job suited to a slow connection, a mobile or a tablet computer.

The Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland (www.irishdeedsindex.net) is a long-running volunteer project under the aegis of the IGRS that aims to abstract and make available all personal information from the memorials. So far (April 2020) they have covered 33,825 Grantor Index entries and 72,088 Lands Index entries, almost all eighteenth-century. They also have very useful direct links to the precise starting pages of the various Names and Lands indexes within the digital microfilms:

Using the online microfilm images is initially cumbersome, but not much more than hefting the giant index and memorial volumes around the Registry of Deeds reading room. With a little practice, the process becomes much clearer and the ease of access it allows is nothing short of revolutionary.


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