Tracing your Irish ancestors can be a very enjoyable way to spend
a holiday in Ireland. Doing the research yourself will give you
a better understanding of Ireland's past history and present culture
and with a bit of luck you could find your long lost cousins. Here
are a few hints on the groundwork to trace your County Monaghan
ancestors. As a starting point you need to know:
1. The family name ( The nickname is also helpful, especially if
they had a popular name).
2. The parish and townland in which they lived.
3. An approximate date.
In the event that the parish or town land in which the family
lived is unknown there are a number of index files which may be
consulted and these are outlined below.
County Monaghan's earliest surviving Census Returns is the Census
of 1901. The Census was taken in Ireland every 10 years from 1821,
unfortunately however the Co. Monaghan records prior to 1901 have
been destroyed. So when searching for a person living around 1901
or 1911 look at the 1901 Census Returns which are available on microfilm
in the County Library in Clones - Telephone (047) 51143.
For persons living in the 1850's or 60's look at Griffiths Primary
Valuation which is a survey of land and property carried out between
1847 and 1865 for the purposes of local taxation. A copy of Griffiths
Primary Valuation is available for reference in Clones, Monaghan,
Carrickmacross, Castleblayney and Ballybay Libraries.
1820 - 1830's
For persons living in the 1820's or 30's look at the Tithe Applotment
books, which are available on microfilm in the County Library in
Clones. A hardback copy is also available in Clones, Monaghan, Carrickmacross,
Castleblayney and Ballybay Libraries. These books were compiled
between 1823 and 1837 for the purpose of determining the amount
which occupiers of agricultural land should pay in tithes (taxes)
to the established church, the Church of Ireland. The applotment
book for each parish gives the name of occupiers, the amount of
land they held and the value assigned to it. Opening Times for County
Date of Births, Marriages & Deaths
If the date of a birth, marriage or death is known more details
can be found. A system for state registration of births, deaths
and marriages began in Ireland in 1864. Records of all births, marriages
and deaths occurring after this date should be preserved in the
Office of the Registrar General, Custom House Dublin.
The records for County Monaghan can be obtained from The Registrar,
Births, Marriages and Deaths, North Eastern Health Board, Rooskey,
Monaghan -Telephone 047 30444.
Births, Marriages & Deaths prior to 1864
Information on Births Marriages and Deaths prior to 1864 can
be found in parish registers. The surviving Catholic Registers for
the period up to 1880 are available on microfilm in the National
Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2 - Telephone 01 6030200.
The registers of the Church of Ireland for the period up to 1870
are Public Records. Some are preserved in the Public Records Offices
while others remain in the custody of the local clergy. The Public
Records Office is based at 8 -11 Lombard Street East, Dublin 2 -
Telephone 01 6711968.
If your ancestors were Presbyterian, The Presbyterian Historical
Society, Church House, Fisherwick Place, Belfast BT1 6DW, may be
able to help - Telephone 04890 322284. The Public Records Office
of Northern Ireland, 66 Balmoral Avenue, Belfast BT9 6NY, may also
be of assistance - Telephone 048 90 251318.
Parish or townland unknown
In the event that the parish or town land in which the family
lived is not known there are a number of index files which can be
consulted. These however are best employed when the family name
is an unusual one, otherwise it will be a long list of people with
the same surname who may or may not be related. So look at the following
documents and try and cross reference them to get leads on your
1. Griffiths Primary Valuation and Tithe Applotment books.
2. Calendar of Wills and Administrations - there is a volume for
each year since 1858. Prior to that there is an Index of Prerogative
Wills 1536 - 1910. These documents are available in the Public Records
Office Reading Room in Dublin.
Some information on marriages prior to 1864 is also available in
the Public Records Office relating to Marriage Licence Bonds. These
were for persons wishing to marry in the Church of Ireland without
having to have banns called and were a guarantee that there were
no impediments to the marriage.
3. Indexes to Wills and other Testamentary records can often be
found in family papers, in the records of solicitors' firms and
among other holdings received from non-official sources. All wills
since 1904 and copies of most wills proved in district registers
since 1858 are also available in the Public Records Office.
There is also card indexes to Testamentary Records, Miscellaneous
Documents, and Genealogical abstracts in tshe Public Records Office
which may be helpful.
Inscriptions - A large number of graveyards have been inspected
over the years and the inscriptions recorded in printed sources.
These are available at Monaghan County Library, Clones.
- Local Newspapers
- Estate Rental
- Parish Histories
and Family Histories could also prove useful in your research.
A valuable collection has been added to the Local History/Genealogy section of the Monaghan County Library. It includes a number of volumes containing all
- Death Notices and Obituaries recorded in the Northern Standard from 1839 - 1869
- Death Notices and Obituaries recorded in The People’s Advocate 1876 - 1906
- Index to the North Monaghan Inquisition Book April 1846 - December 1855, held by William Charles Waddle, Coroner for County Monaghan.
Information Courtesy Monaghan County Library, Clones,
Monday - Friday: 11am - 5.15pm
Monday nights: 6pm - 8pm
booking of the Microfilm Reader is desirable by ringing (047) 51143
. The Microfilm Reader is only available during opening hours.
Monaghan County Libraries have recently published a guide on 'How
to trace your Ancestors in County Monaghan'. Copies are available
free of charge from all branch libraries.
For a personalised professional service contact :
Co. Monaghan Genealogy at 6 Tully, Monaghan.
(Postal Enquiries Only)
Irish Genealogy Research
Irish surname history
and Irish Coat of Arms, Ancestor Reports, plus information on tracing your
Irish Ancestors - visit the web site here