Searching by person

The online search facility in this website allows you to search for records using the name of the person, a location, by using a date or a combination of all three.
The person search allows you to search for a record using the name of a person referred to in the records. Where the first name and surname is known, both may be entered, (e.g., John McCarthy). Similarly, where only a surname is known, that can be entered (e.g., McCarthy). In this latter situation, the number of results may be large and you may wish to narrow your search (see the relevant help section).

It is important to remember that the names on this site have been transcribed as they were written on the original church registers. We have not corrected spellings. Some names were only partially legible. You may, therefore, have to try a number of strategies to find the person you seek.
If you are unsure of the spelling of the person's name, you can use a wildcard character. Use an asterisk (*) to represent letters of which you are not sure, e.g. M*Carthy will present results for McCarthy and MacCarthy. Names that begin with O as a prefix, like O'Brien, can be transcribed as O'Brien, O Brien or Obrien. Try all the variations. Please be aware that, on occasion, some name variations are very difficult to anticipate. For an example in the Kerry records, consider the name McKenna, which is often recorded as Gna, Gnaw, Guinaw, etc. This situation can arise due to local pronunciations and custom.

In order to assist in finding your chosen record, the search facility incorporates a surname variation search. A database of surname variations, including many of the known spelling variations, is automatically searched when a name is entered and variations of the searched name are presented. Thus a search for McKenna, will also present results for MacKenna, Mc Kenna, M’Kenna, Gna, Guinaw, etc, etc. Please note that this surname variation facility is only provided as an aid to searching and it does not purport to highlight all name and spelling variations nor does it purport to indicate direct relationships between different surnames. For example, the surname McElligott, which occurs commonly in Kerry may occasionally have been transcribed as Elliot but the latter is also an entirely separate and unrelated surname and occurs more commonly in the Dublin records.

A further complication can occur if the first names were recorded in Latin, rather than English, as was sometimes the case. Some of the more common Latin-English first name translations are as follows:

  • Carolus - Charles
  • Demetrius - Jeremiah, Diarmuid, Darby
  • Gulielmus - William
  • Honoria - Nora
  • Jacobus - James
  • Joannes or Ioannes - John
  • Petrus - Peter
  • Thaddeus - Timothy

The results presented include all records in which the name appears. The person may be a spouse, child, parent, sponsor or witness, etc. This is done to give the greatest possibility of finding the required record and to facilitate the establishing of family connections. For instance, sponsors and witnesses may be closely related (e.g. a brother, sister, cousin, etc.) to the child or the spouses.
If you hover the cursor over a result, you will be presented with a pop-up of a subset of the record details to assist you in locating the desired record. You may also click on a record to view the full record.