Trace Your Roots

ii3799 Round Tower Clones


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 townland in which the family lived is unknown there are a number of index files which may be consulted and these are outlined below.

1901 - 1911
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.

1850 - 1860s
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 Library Clones.

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.

ii3110 Old Church CarrickmacrossParish 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 ancestors.

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 are also card indexes to Testamentary Records, Miscellaneous Documents, and Genealogical abstracts in the Public Records Office which may be helpful.

Other sources of information

  • Gravestone 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
  • Directories
  • Estate Rental Books
  • 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‚Äôs 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, Co Monaghan.

Opening Times
Monday - Friday: 11am - 5.00pm
Monday nights: 6pm - 8pm

Prior 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 

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

Establishment Name: Carrickmacross Workhouse
Tel: 042 966 4540
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Address: Shercock Road
Town: Carrickmacross

Carrickmacross Workhouse provides a Genealogy Service focused on families in South Co. Monaghan. Records include graveyards, surveys, revisit books, newspapers, etc.

There is a nominal charge for a Genealogy query, which can be submitted via the website.


Establishment Name: Clones Libary
Tel: 047 74713
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Address: 98 Avenue
Town: Clones

Monaghan County Library Services published a booklet on Researching your ancestors in County Monaghan. View this booklet in PDF format below, which also lists sources available in the Local History Collection.

Local History & Genealogy Research Facilities:

There are 3 Microfilm readers & printers located in the Clones Library. It is advisable to book in advance for use of the microfilm reader by contacting the staff at Clones Library 047-74712

Access Hours for the Microfilm reader is as follows:

Monday 11.00am - 8.00pm
Tuesday to Friday 11.00am - 5.00pm

Local History & Genealogical Services Contact Person - Catriona Lennon.


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How to Trace Your Roots in County Monaghan >>