Friday, 12 December 2014

North Tipperary records added to RootsIreland

Tipperary North Genealogy Centre has added the Roman Catholic parish of Loughmore-Castleiney from 1798-1899 to its database at, also accessible via

COMMENT: RootsIreland is a transcript based site, and currently the largest online presence for Irish parish records available. I just wanted to flag up an example of how the site can both hinder and yet help at the same time.

Last week I was trying to locate a marriage from Ulster for a couple that I believed were Church of Ireland in terms of their religious denomination. I had located children from the mid-1860s, but could find no marriage on GRONI's GENI site (, which was odd, as the civil registration of Anglican marriages commenced in April 1845. There was similarly nothing in the Anglican parish records, which I consulted on microfilm in PRONI. As a last resort, I tried to find the marriage on RootsIreland. The couple I was searching for was a Robert McCOLLUM and a Letitia MOONEY, and no such entry was found. However, a Roman Catholic record in the same village dating back to 1850 was located for a couple called Patrick McCOLLUM and Letitia MONEY. It seemed unlikely, but I took a look at the microfilm anyway - and found that the RootsIreland transcript was in fact wrong. Not only was 'Patrick McCOLLUM' in fact a mistranscribed 'Robert McCOLLUM', but 'Letitia MONEY' was in fact recorded in the Catholic register as 'Letty MONEY' - Letty was what she was recorded as in some of the children's records that I had previously found. The fact that it was the right couple was confirmed when I later discovered that their (known about) first daughter was in fact baptised as Roman Catholic also. Not only had the transcriber misinterpreted Robert as Patrick, but he or she, for reasons best known to him/her, had also deliberately changed Letty to the more formal version of Letitia, which is not at all what was recorded in the register.

This flags up two points - the first is that the RootsIreland database can be exceptionally helpful as a finding aid. The second is, however, that it can also make some fairly spectacular mistakes with its transcripts. The moral here is that if using a transcription site (and RootsIreland is but one of many), ALWAYS check the original records if you can also. With Irish Roman Catholic registers this will become certainly much easier to do when the National Library of Ireland places its digitised microfilms online for free next summer 2015.


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