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County Roscommon
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Guide to County Roscommon ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

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Background[edit | edit source]

County Roscommon is an inland county of the province of Connaught, bounded on the north by the county of Leitrim, on the north-west by those of Mayo and Sligo, on the south-west and south by that of Galway, and on the east by the counties of Leitrim, Longford, Westmeath, and King's. As of 1837, County Roscommon comprises an area of 609,405 acres. The population in 1821 was 208,729 and in 1831, 249,613.[1]

Rathcroghan, near Tulsk, a complex of archaeological sites, the home of Queen Medb, was the seat of Kings of Connacht and then to the High Kings of Ireland. This was the starting point of the Cattle Raid of Cooley, an epic tale in Irish mythology.

County Roscommon as an administrative division has its origins in the medieval period. With the conquest and division of the Kingdom of Connacht, those districts in the east retained by King John covered County Roscommon, and parts of East Galway. These districts were leased to the native kings of Connacht and eventually became the county. In 1585 during the Tudor re-establishment of counties under the Composition of Connacht, Roscommon was established with the South-west boundary now along the River Suck.

The population of Roscommon is roughly 64,436 people in 2016.[2]

An 1812 detailed description of the county was published in 1832 and is available online.

See Weld, Isaac, 1774-1856. Statistical Survey of the County of Roscommon. Dublin: R. Graisberry, 1832.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

The following cemeteries have online data at Internment.net:

  • Baslic Cemetery
  • Boyle Assylinn Cemetery (partial listing)
  • Boyle Kilnamanagh Cemetery (partial listing)
  • Croghan Estersnow Cemetery (partial listing)
  • Elphin Town Saint Patrick Churchyard Cemetery (partial listing)
  • Elphin; Kiltrustan Cemetery (partial listing)
  • Kilcooley Cemetery (partial listing)
  • Shankill; Old Shankill Cemetery
  • Stokestown Cemetery (partial listing)
  • Tulsk; Kilcooley Cemetery
  • Tulsk Village; Tulsk Cemetery (partial listing)

See also:

Census[edit | edit source]

Census Substitutes

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church of Ireland[edit | edit source]

The Representative Church Body Library has just about all surviving Church of Ireland registers from the 1922 Four Courts, Dublin fire. Some transcript copies are held at:

See also:

Presbyterian[edit | edit source]

Presbyterian records began much later than those for the Church of Ireland, some from the mid to late 18th century, but more especially from the early 19th century.

The vast majority of Presbyterian chapel registers have never been centrally archived, and scanned and imaged. They are found in various locations. [Regretably, preservation of these precious records and the rich Presbyterian heritage of local Presbyterians as well as descendants at large whose roots originate from Ireland, are at risk unless and until such time when these registers are all copied, or digitized and preserved.]

You must conduct a thorough study to determine to which Presbyterian denomination your ancestor belonged; then, determine the whereabouts of surviving registers--if any. The following most likely places to find and search Presbyterian registers starts with checking the following locations:

  • PRONI (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland)
  • the local Presbyterian congregation/church (if still in use)
  • distant Presbyterian chapels (if the local chapel closed) as registers transferred usually to the next nearest chapel
  • town libraries
  • county archives/libraries
  • The National Archives, Dublin
  • The National Library of Ireland
  • Presbyterian Historical Society, Belfast - has older registers for some chapels/congregations

Other

  • The excellent rootsireland web site for County Roscommon currently has no Presbyterian chapel registers data available online. Keep checking back to see if this status changes.
  • The FHL (Family History Library) may have a few transcription copies of Presbyterian chapels. Do a "Place" search in the FamilySearch Catalog (FamilySearch Catalog) under the name of the civil parish (if known) in order to find available ones to search. To view a list or see a map showing the civil parishes for County Roscommon, visit IrishTimes.com.
  • The Civil registrations of marriages beginning 1845, holds much Presbyterian data. To search the database of these marriages, from 1845 to 1958, visit FamilySearch.org and click "All Records Collections" and scroll down to "Ireland Civil Registration Index 1845-1958".
  • Try "Google!"-ing the three search terms (words) of [name of] "township/civil parish", "Presbyterian" and i.e. "marriage", etc, for on-line data.
  • Searches in Church of Ireland parish registers ought to be performed as sometimes events surrounding Presbyterians were recorded in these for many areas--especially in earlier years

Methodist[edit | edit source]

Most of Methodist Church registers of baptisms and marriages are still held locally at the Methodist churches. You must contact the minister office of each chapel, bearing in mind that they may or may not conduct ancestral searches on your behalf.

PRONI (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast) possesses the largest collection of Methodist registers which is mostly available only on microfilm.

The Wesley Historical Society Archives, at Edgehill College, in Belfast also has significant record holdings in both microform format of records and hard copy registers. You may initially contact them; however, they will not perform genealogical searches for you. You will likely need to contact a professional researcher or a record agent on your behalf. Here is the contact information for W.H.S.A.:

Wesley Historical Society Archives
Edgehill Theological College
9 Lennox Vale
Belfast BT9 5BY
United Kingdom
Tel: 028 9068 5870
Email: archives@irishmethodist.org.

The rootsireland web site for County Roscommon currently does not have any Methodist data online. In the future this web site might have some Methodist data available to researchers online. Keep checking back often.

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

The FHL (Family History Library) has copied by far, the vast majority of Roscommon original Roman Catholic parish registers and are available on microfilm. You can identify these listed online at FamilySearch.org, if you know the name of the civil parish in which your Catholic ancestor resided, or was born. Visit the FamilySearch Catalog and type in the name of the parish and click search. Then click on the "Church Records" heading. [Note: If you know a place-name in Ireland, but do not know the name of the civil parish, visit the& excellent http://www.thecore.com/seanruad/ website (under the auspices of the Leitrim-Roscommon/ Ireatlas.com site) to help you determine the name of the civil parish in which the place-name was found.]
The National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin, is the custodian of all available Roman Catholic parish registers from throughout the country--including County Roscommon.

Now, the rootsireland.ie website has made data from numerous Roman Catholic parishes online for searching. There are fees attached to viewing the transcribed details (about $7 to view each entry), however, the web site allows users to search their indexes.

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Government-sponsored registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1845 (Protestant marriages only) and 1864 (whole population). To find information on the vital events of your irish ancestor, here are some helpful websites for obtaining critical information:

General Register Office, Government Offices,
Convent Road Roscommon.
Tel: +353 (0) 90 6632900
LoCall: 1890 252076
Fax: +353 (0) 90 6632999
Fax: +353 (0) 90 6632988

There are fees for performing particular searches; see their website for further information.

Civil Jurisdictions[edit | edit source]

Estate Records[edit | edit source]

Estate records may provide names of households in such records as leases, rents, and mortgages. These ought to be consulted and used when extant, especially when church registers do not exist for the time period being researched. Here are some web sites which hold estate records and some transcriptions of same:

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Military[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Voting Records

Emigration Records

Place-Names[edit | edit source]

Here are two important place-name aids/tools for locating your Irish place and its parish jurisdiction[s]:

  • List of All Townlands, Towns and Townships in County Roscommon. - click county "Roscommon"; then click "Submit" to view a complete alphabetical listing of all townlands, towns and townships and the parishes in which they reside
  • Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel A. Lewis; at LibraryIreland.com - provides a rich 1837 historical perspective of each Ireland parish and large township; great for determining which churches existed in each parish--Church of Ireland or Nonconformist

Poor Law Records[edit | edit source]

Probate[edit | edit source]

School[edit | edit source]

Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

County Roscommon Heritage & Genealogy Company
Church Street
Strokestown
Co. Roscommon
Ireland
Telephone: 00 353 (0) 71 963 3380 Email: info@roscommonroots.com

Societies[edit | edit source]

Family history societies often publish helpful journals, transcripts, compiled genealogies and host helpful websites. They may have ongoing projects to transcribe records and create indexes. Most societies publish queries in their journals and maintain lists of members’ research interests that may be helpful to you. You may want to join one of these societies, reap the benefits of their expertise and resources or support its efforts.

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel. "Roscommon," A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837, LibraryIreland, accessed 5 September 2018.
  2. Wikipedia Collaborators, "Roscommon," In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/County_Roscommon. Visited 25 October 2017.