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Irish Genealogical Research Terms By Fiona Forde
Posted by IRISH ROOTS on Tuesday 9 April 2019


Genealogical Term


Further Details



Administrative church area comprising of dioceses.  In Ireland today there are 4 Roman Catholic archdioceses.



A group of civil parishes.  Baronies originally related to tuatha, tribal division of old Ireland.



The first relatively accurate Irish census took place in 1821, and were taken approximately every 10 years until 1946, where they were taken every 5 years.  However, apart from a few fragments, nothing remains prior to 1901.

Church Parish


A group of parishes make up a diocese.  In Ireland, Roman Catholic Church records are based on these.

Civil Parish

Consist of a number of townlands, generally map to Church of Ireland Parishes.

Civil Registration


Civil registration is the system by which a government records the vital events (births, marriages, and deaths) of its citizens and residents.  Civil registration in Ireland commenced in 1864, when it became compulsory to register all births, deaths and marriages. Non-Catholic marriages were registered with the civil authorities from 1845.



Latin for surname (family name).


Congregational Records


Part of Irish parish registers, not belonging with the baptisms, marriages or burials.  They feature records relating to other sacraments e.g. Communion, Confirmation, donations, and many other administrative records for the parish.


Consanguinati en tertio grado

Latin for second cousins.




Latin meaning blood relationship (usually found on parish marriage records).





There are 32 counties in Ireland.



Administrative church area controlled by a bishop.  In Ireland today there are 22 Roman Catholic dioceses.

Down Survey


Taken in the years 1656-1658 by William Petty, the Down Survey of Ireland is the first ever detailed land survey on a national scale anywhere in the world.

English Mile


5,280 feet, this dates back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1 in the 16th century.




Political movement in the mid-nineteenth century in favour of an independent Ireland. Its name comes from the mythological Fianna army of Fionn MacCumhail.



Latin for daughter.




Latin for son.



Latin for brother.




A book that alphabetically names and describes places e.g. Lewis Topographical Dictionary of Ireland.

Griffith's Primary



The valuation was undertaken by Sir Richard Griffith to ascertain the monetary value of all landholdings and buildings in the country for tax purpose.



The General Register Office (Oifig An Ard-Chláraitheora) is the central civil repository for records relating to births, stillbirths, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships and adoptions in Ireland.



Irish Republican Brotherhood - was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic republic" in Ireland between 1858 and 1924.

Irish Mile


6,720 feet (1,440 feet longer than an English mile).

Landed Gentry


Historical British social class consisting of landowners who could live entirely from rental income, or at least had a country estate.  It was distinct from, and socially "below", the aristocracy or peerage.




Latin for mother.




Latin for month.





The National Archives was established on 1 June 1988 under the National Archives Act.  Under this legislation, when records of Government Departments and their agencies are thirty years old, they are transferred to the Archives.  It took over the functions previously performed by the State Paper Office (1702) and the Public Record Office of Ireland (1867).


The National Library of Ireland is located on Kildare Street beside Leinster House.  The Library has a dedicated staffed Genealogy Room.



The Full List  A-Z Of Genealogical Terms For Irish Research Was Published In Issues 107 And 108 Of Irish Roots Magazine And Can Be Purchased As A Digital Download Or A Print Issue Through Our Website  Subscribe To Irish Roots magazine today! Fiona Forde Is The Irish Family Detective - Visit:-

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