Researching Presbyterian Ancestors in Ireland

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 192 pages
Author: W. Roulston
Year: 2020
ISBN: 9781909556850
Other: maps, appendixes
Publisher: Ulster Historical Foundation

Written by Dr William Roulston, author of the best-selling Researching Scots Irish Ancestors and Research Director of Ulster Historical Foundation, Researching Presbyterian Ancestors in Ireland is a new genealogical guide to help you find your Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors.

Millions of people around the world have Presbyterian ancestors from Ireland. The aim of this book is to help those with Irish Presbyterian roots find out more about their forebears. It considers the different strands of Presbyterianism in Ireland and explores the range of records generated by these religious denominations and where this material can be accessed by researchers. Much attention is focused on the documentation created by individual congregations, though consideration is also given to the records created by the higher courts of Presbyterianism and other bodies, as well as the personal papers of Presbyterian ministers.

Whether your ancestors were Covenanters, Seceders or Non-Subscribers, whether they were devout or merely nominal, whether they lived and died in Ireland or departed from these shores, this publication will assist you in understanding more about Presbyterians and Presbyterianism in Ireland.


1. Introduction: The many shades of Presbyterianism

1.1 The Presbyterian Church in Ireland

1.2 The Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church

1.3 The Secession Church

1.4 The Reformed Presbyterian (Covenanter) Church

1.5 Other Presbyterian denominations in Ireland


2. Presbyterian congregations

2.1 The formation of congregations

2.2 The boundaries of congregations

2.3 The names of congregations

2.4 A History of Congregations

2.5 Congregational histories


3. Presbyterians and their records

3.1 Presbyterian record-keeping

3.2 Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland

3.3 Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

3.4 Guides to records in PRONI and PHSI

3.5 Other archives and libraries in Greater Belfast

3.6 Archives and libraries in the Republic of Ireland

3.7 Keeping an open mind

3.8 The absence of records


4. Registers of baptisms and marriages

4.1 Presbyterians and baptism

4.2 Registers of baptisms

4.3 Presbyterians and marriage

4.4 Civil registration of marriage

4.5 Registers of marriages


5. Other congregational records

5.1 Minutes of Session meetings

5.2 Minutes of committee meetings

5.3 Calls to ministers

5.4 Visiting books, communicants’ lists, etc

5.5 Migration records and transfer certificates

5.6 Financial records

5.7 Other congregational records


6. Records of the higher courts and other Presbyterian bodies

6.1 Records of the higher courts

6.2 Using the records of the higher courts for research

6.3 Other Presbyterian bodies


7. Presbyterian ministers

7.1 Presbyterian Fasti

7.2 Family background

7.3 Ministerial income

7.4 Ministers’ personal papers, diaries, sermons, etc

7.5 Autobiographies and biographies

7.6 Presentations to ministers

7.7 Ministers and emigration

7.8 Ministers as overseas missionaries


8. Presbyterian places of worship and burial

8.1 Places of worship

8.2 Title deeds

8.3 Records relating to the building and repair of meeting houses

8.4 Seating arrangements and records relating to them

8.5 Places of burial for Presbyterians

8.6 Presbyterian burial grounds

8.7 Records relating to graveyards and burials

8.8 Memorials and inscriptions

8.9 Published inscriptions


9. Presbyterian publications

9.1 Presbyterians and the printed word

9.2 Presbyterian magazines

9.3 Missionary magazines

9.4 The Banner of Ulster

9.5 The Witness

9.6 Overseas Presbyterian publications


10. Presbyterians and education

10.1 The emphasis on education

10.2 Sunday schools

10.3 Day schools

10.4 Congregational libraries

10.5 University education

10.6 Belfast Inst

10.7 The Presbyterian College

10.8 Magee College


11. Other places to look for Presbyterians

11.1 Landed estate papers

11.2 Petitions of Protestant Dissenters, 1775

11.3 Official records in the National Archives of Ireland

11.4 Newspapers

11.5 Civil registration of births, deaths and marriages

11.6 Census returns

11.7 Testamentary records

11.8 Electoral records

11.9 Valuation records

11.10 Ordnance Survey Memoirs

11.11 Emigration records

Conclusion: Some research suggestions


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