Saturday, 22 August 2015

Church of Ireland search forms for pension claimants

From FindmyPast (

Church of Ireland parish record search forms

Containing over 11,000 records, the Church of Ireland parish record search forms filled out by Irish Public Records Office staff while dealing with Old Age Pension applications. The pension was introduced in Ireland 1864 (Chris - incorrect, it was 1908!) and record office staff would be required to prove an applicant’s eligibility by checking dates of birth in parish and census records. Since many births, marriages or deaths were not recorded in Church of Ireland registers, confirmation of the applicant’s age would then be looked for in the 19th Century censuses. Many Irish census records were destroyed in the Public Records Office fire of 1922 making these records and invaluable census substitute for those with Church of Ireland ancestors.

The forms were used by Record Office staff to document their findings and often contain notes on other family members uncovered during the course of their research. Each record contains a transcript and an image of the original search forms. The information varies according to what kind of search was carried out but will usually list the applicants name, birth year, parents name as well as the source type, year, parish and county.

COMMENT: Census records were also used for proof of age with the pension - for the equivalent search forms for these, as held at the NAI in Dublin, visit PRONI ( also has additional books for the north (Form 37s) which are indexed via Note also that when consulting Church of Ireland vestry records on microfilm, you may also find some photographed letters to the local minister asking for proof of age for pension purposes.


For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit

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