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Tracing your Ballinasloe ancestors

 Damian Mac Con Uladh

These guidelines are designed to help people with Ballinasloe heritage explore their family roots in the town. As a voluntary internet initiative, Ballinasloe History Online is unable to carry out research for individuals on local family history. Hopefully these guidelines, which provide an overview of the most important records essential for genealogical research, will help people create their own family trees.

1. Census records

Those starting out on genealogical research should first consult the census records for 1901 and 1911. The census returns contain a wealth of useful information, such as the names of the people living in a household, their ages, religion, occupation, educational standard, literacy and whether they spoke Irish or English. A summary of the returns for Ballinasloe is available in Noel Farrell's book, Exploring Family Origins in Ballinasloe. This is not a complete record, however, and contain only the names of each household.
Complete records of the 1901 and 1911 census can be consulted in the National Archives of Ireland. A microfilm copy of the 1901 census is available at the local history section of the Galway County Library at Nunís Island, Galway.

2. Parish records

Ballinasloe is made up of the two parishes of Kilclooney (sometimes spelt Kilcloony) & Creagh. Parish records consist of baptismal, marriage and death registers, and contain a wealth of information. Here is an overview of the records for the parish of Kilclooney & Creagh (Ballinasloe):

Baptisms Marriages Deaths Available at: Reference no.:
1820-1900 1853-1902   LDS BFA 1279217 items 9-17
1820-1900 1853-1900 1825-1830 EGFHS  
1820-1880 1820-1841 1820-1841 NLI Pos. 2432

LDS = The Latter Day Saints (more commonly known as the Mormons). The Mormons have copied almost all of the family records described in these guidelines. All of the parish registers for Kilclooney & Creagh (Ballinasloe) are available on microfilm. To use these records, it is necessary to contact the nearest Mormon Family History Centre. There are three such centres in Ireland, located in Dublin, Limerick and Cork. To find the addresses of these and other centres, please click here. Some of the Mormon records are already online and are available on the FamilySearch webpage (particulary good for birth records for Ballinasloe from 1864 to 1870).

EGFHS = East Galway Family History Society, Woodford, Co Galway. The centre has computerised about one million pre-1901 records. The centre provides commissioned research for a fee. Please contact the EGFHS for more details.

NLI = National Library of Ireland, Dublin. The NLI website has its own useful guidelines on carrying out family research.

3. Birth, Marriage and Death certificates (civil registration)

These records are the most reliable but only date from 1864 (for Catholics). They are also the most inaccessible and costly to consult. The central holding for all these records is the General Registrar Office, 8 Lombard St, Dublin 2. Records can be consulted and photocopies can be made of the original entries for a fee. The GRO has rather limited opening hours and the service is far from satisfactory. Anyone planning on using this resource are advised to plan their visit in advance and to have made maximum prior use of the sources described above. 
The office of the Superintendent Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths in Galway can also provide copies of certificates.

4. Tithe Applotment Books

The Tithe Applotment books were compiled between 1823 and 1837 in order to determine the amount which occupiers of agricultural holdings should pay in tithes to the Church of Ireland (the main Protestant church, and the church established by the state until its dis-establishment in 1871). There is a manuscript book for almost every parish, giving the names of occupiers, the amount of land held, and the sums to be paid in tithes. Available at the National Archives of Ireland, Dublin.

5. Griffithís Valuation

The Primary Valuation (also known as Griffith's Valuation) was carried out between 1847 and 1864. There is a printed valuation book for each barony or poor law union, showing the names of occupiers of land and buildings, the names of persons from whom these were leased and the amount and value of the property held. Available at the National Archives of Ireland, Dublin; and Galway County Library, Galway.

6. - And donít forget this essential resource!

For any queries regarding Ballinasloe relations/ancestors/roots/etc. please use our Genealogy Forum.

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