Irish Genealogy Research
During Irish genealogy research, you may wish to review a helpful PowerPoint presentation composed by Mike Towey, Dublin, Ireland. The PowerPoint is located at Create My Family Tree using Irish Records.
Dick Towey and his sister Janet Towey Mann did extensive genealogy research from mid-1980s until 2010. Several times did they visit Ballaghaderreen, Dublin, Salt Lake City, St Paul, MN plus the Towey families and genealogy records in surrounding areas. They prepared a Towey family genealogy database inclusive of their relatives and distant cousins. They compiled a qazetteer of all the research sources in Ireland they visited and made available the genealogy locations and records listed herein.
Intent here is to identify and list genealogical information sources for the benefit of persons with the Towey surname and his/her descendants. These sources and links will help gives us all a better understanding of the Towey ancestors and cousins in Ireland and emigration to the United States, England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries around the world.
Click Ireland land divisions to better understand Ireland record keeping for genealogical uses.
Catholic Church Records:
Catholic Church records forDiocese of Achonry are kept in parishes.
Internet address is www.achonrydiocese.org, but no online records are available through this web site.
For convenience, LDS microfilm records for Ballaghaderreen area are cited herein. Microfilms are available at Latter Day Saints Family History Centers. Check LDS website www.familysearch.com for locations.
In Ireland, these microfilms are available at the National Library, Kildare St., Dublin.
Cathedral of the Annunciation and St. Nathy, Ballaghaderreen:
— Address: The Presbytery, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, Ireland.
— Tel: 094-986-0011 (includes Castlemore and Kilcolman parishes)
— Records of baptisms begin November 1851; marriages begin August 1830; no death records
— No records are available for November 1861 through May 1864. St Bridgets Church was used at this time and a fire destroyed them all
— LDS Microfilm 1279232 has Baptisms for 1851-1911; Marriages 1830-1963
Church of St. James, Carracastle:
— Address: Parochial House, Carracastle, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, Ireland
— Tel: 094-925-4301 (includes eastern part of Kilbeagh Parish)
— Records of baptisms begin 1847, marriages begin 1847, no death records
— See LDS Microfilm 1279233 for Baptisms 1847-1908; Marriages 1847-1908
Church of St. James, Charlestown:
— Address: Parochial House, Charlestown, Co. Mayo, Ireland
— Tel: 094-925-4315 (includes western part of Kilbeagh Parish)
— Baptism records begin January 1855; marriages begin May 1845; deaths begin 1878
— LDS Microfilm 1279230: Baptisms 1855-1924; Marriages 1845-1902; Deaths 1878-1950
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Co. Mayo, Kilmovee, Ireland:
— Address: Parochial House, Kilmovee, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, Ireland
— Tel: 094-964-9137 (includes Kilmovee Parish)
— Records of Baptisms begin March 1855; Marriages begin Oct 1854; no death records
— No records are available for September 1883 through October 1888
— See LDS Microfilm 1279230 for Baptisms 1855-1924; Marriages 1845-1902
— Also see www.eastmayo.org for Kilmovee baptisms 1855-1913; marriages 1824-1848 & 1854-1925
— LDS Microfilm 1279233 has marriages October 1810 – February 1814 for Parishes Meelick & Kilconduff
Catholic Parish of Lisacull & Loughglynn, Lisacull:
— The Presbytery, Lisacull, Co. Roscommon, Ireland
— Tel: 0907-8068 (includes Loughglynn in Tibohine Civil Parish)
— Records of baptisms 1817-1826 & 1829-1840; marriages 1817-27, 1836-38 & 1849-1858; deaths 1849-1854, 1868-1900
— See LDS Microfilm 0989753, items 1 to 3.
Carracastle and Kilmovee addresses are located within Co. Mayo (as was Ballaghaderreen before 1898), but they are too small to have their own post office. Their mail service is routed through Ballaghaderreen post office, now located in Co. Roscommon.
Townlands of residence were often omitted during the early years of these records, and this is especially true for marriages.
Irish Genealogy Toolkit
The Irish Genealogy Toolkit has a vast amount of genealogy and historical data. Their web site at www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com is a must for genealogy guidance and information. Blank genealogy forms very useful for recording data is at www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/free-blank-genealogy-forms.html
Ireland National Archives
The National Archives of Ireland, Dublin holds records relevant to Irish genealogy and local history. It has an online as well as an onsite search capability.
Their web site is www.nationalarchives.ie., but not all of its records are available to search or view on the website.
>>> No complete set of census returns survives for the period before 1901; however, Ireland’s National Archives has online the Ireland 1901 and 1911 census information at http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie. When on screen, click any surname or forename to show household occupants. Towey censes information is also located at our web page Census Passenger Extracts.
>>> An extensive list of genealogy and history links to third party web sites may be found at http://www.nationalarchives.ie/genealogy1/genealogy-websites.
>>> The National Archives is located at Bishop St., Dublin 8. A readers-ticket must be secured upon first visit to work there. An application form is available online.
Irish Family History Foundation
Irish Family History Foundation has an online research service (ORS) with over 19 million records online. IFHF is the co-ordinating body for a network of county genealogical research centres in Ireland for over 25 years. The genealogy centres’ databases include parish church records of baptisms, marriages and deaths, census returns and gravestone inscriptions.
>>> An interactive map of Ireland is at http://ifhf.rootsireland.ie/map.php which helps identify IFHF county centres currently online. Click a county such as Mayo or Roscommon for detailed research.
>>> Ballaghaderreen area was in Co. Mayo until 1898. Search Mayo records first.
>>> Some information about Co Roscommon is at their Roscommon Sources List.
>>> For questions or comments click Online Help. Inquiries may also be sent direct to one of their County Genealogical Centres.
>>> Irish Family History Foundation, is located on Main St., Newbridge, Co. Kildare.
Co. Mayo Genealogy and Maps
Ballaghaderreen and surrounding area were in Co. Mayo until 1898. Therefore, most data for Ballaghaderreen area may be in Co. Mayo until 1898 and Co. Roscommon thereafter.
>>> A treasure trove of historical data and maps for Co. Mayo are indexed and available for downloading at website MayoLibrary.ie using its left navigation panel. Be sure to visit its Local Studies web page.
>>> Its Genealogy Resources web page has links to several genealogy resources in its library and elsewhere in Ireland.
>>> Ordnance Survey Ireland maps of County Mayo 1839 are available at its Mayo Maps web page. Ballaghaderreen area is at far upper right on Co Mayo maps.
>>> William Bald made a map survey of Co. Mayo during 1809 to 1817, but not published until 1830. Evidently Bald asked for more money than originally budgeted by the government. His Co. Mayo maps in 25 sections are available at Mayo Library – Bald Maps.
— A. Toweys will be mainly interested in panel 15 (Ballyhaunis to Bockagh Hill and Ballaghaderreen) and panel 10 (Hawksford & Edmondstown to the Sligo border).
— B. Bockagh-Broher Toweys will notice that panel 15 shows the area was lightly populated.
— C. Barnaboy Toweys will notice their townland was called Balintleva back then, but the larger area was called Brusnagh (Brusna today)
— D. Miller Toweys will be interested in panel 10, even though its area is small.
>>> Contact point for Co. Mayo library is the Local History Department, Castlebar Central Library, John Moore Rd, Castlebar, Co. Mayo., phone: +353 (0)94 9047953. Castlebar is only 35 km on the N5 road west of Ballaghaderreen.
>>> Another ideal location for historical and genealogy research about Co. Mayo is the web site at http://www.mayo-ireland.ie/en/about-mayo/history/history-overview.html.
Co. Roscommon Heritage & Genealogy Company
The Roscommon Heritage & Genealogy Company offers both a fee based online search and commission based research to people with ancestors from Co. Roscommon.
>>> Through its online process you can freely search the index of computerized church and civil records, but the details of the record are obtainable on a pay per view basis payable in advance by credit card. Its online record search system is at www.roscommon.brsgenealogy.com in association with
>>> It also offers full professional research for ancestors from Roscommon. Each application is individually researched and a report compiled by an experienced researcher. Go to web address Roscommon Research Application. Genealogical data is provided but excludes a copy of actual records.
>>> These are basically the same records as listed above for Catholic Churches (mostly baptisms & marriages) and for civil parishes (births, marriages & deaths) located in Co. Roscommon. Its records generally stop at 1900.
>>> The Genealogy Company is located in Strokestown, just off the N5 highway. Strokestown is also location for Strokestown Park, home of the Ireland National Famine Museum. It’s about 23 km east of Ballaghaderreen.
Ireland Census Data for 1901 and 1911
Ireland census data for 1901 and 1911 are available at its National Archives at http://www.census.national archives.ie. All thirty-two counties for 1901 and 1911 are now available on this site. Earlier census records had been destroyed. You may find some fragments of earlier census records available.
>>> When thereat, click Search Census then fill in respective census blocks. Not all blocks need be completed. Click a surname or forename to display household occupants and other links.
>>> The 1901 Census listings by household are also available on the Leitrim-Roscommon Bulletin Board. Go to www.leitrim-roscommon.com/1901census.
>>> For census data specific to Toweys, see our Census Passenger Extracts web page.
Ordnance Survey Maps
This is Irelands National Mapping Agency that has an online interactive map of Ireland for selection and purchase of downloadable copies of high quality custom maps as well as professional maps and tourist maps.
>>> OSI website is www.osi.ie. Use the OSI free map viewer to locate a desired map. Click Help (at its upper right) for a helpful video.
>>> A Historic 25″ map is suggested for genealogy purposes and may be purchased and downloaded in .PDF format.
>>> A professional hardcopy map of Ballaghaderreen and surrounding townlands and roads is in OSI Discovery Series, Map 32.
>>> OSI is located at the northwest end of Phoenix Park, Dublin 8, so it is a lengthy walk, or a bus or taxi ride, from Dublin’s city center.
Griffiths Valuation Survey from 1848 to 1864
The Griffiths Valuation Survey is a research tool to locate Ireland land owners & lessors and a specific rural farm location for our ancestors. The map reference column helps locate our ancestor farmland; however, many Toweys have the same name which makes it difficult to pinpoint our ancestor’s farmland. Family lore or a local citizen in Ireland may help.
>>> Griffith’s Valuation Survey is available online at www.askaboutireland.ie. Remember that most Ballaghaderreen area townlands were in Co. Mayo during this survey period.
>>> When at Ask About Ireland, type the Family Name and select the County from the drop down list. Type the First Name if desired then click the Search button. Note the following example:
>>> Click the larger Original Page icon for a townland occupier list. Its Reference to Map column is keyed to locations on the Griffith map. Click the larger Map Views icon to locate a map view of that townland and farmland. However, you must zoom in and move about the map to locate the townland and the Reference to Map locations therein.
>>> Irish a, r, p land measurements in 1800s were: acre = 43,560 sq ft; rood = 10,890 sq ft; perch = 272.25 sq ft. Valuation £ = English pound, s = shilling and d = pense. A pound = 20 shillings and each shilling = 12 pense, making 240 pence to the pound. Ireland converted from British pound to the metric and Euro systems during 1970s to 2005.
>>> Other useful information about the Griffith Valuation is at www.origins.net.
>>> Also www.genealogical.com has compact disk Item #: GPC7188, entitled “Index to Griffiths Valuation Survey to Ireland 1848-1864.” Though omitting the acreage, valuation, and description of the property, this index still gives the full name of the householder and his county, parish, and townland of residence.
Civil Vital Records
Ireland’s Civil Vital Records are held by its General Register Office (GRO), Roscommon, Ireland. but it does not engage itself in genealogical, family and history research. Nevertheless, the GRO has a genealogical/family history research facility in Dublin.
— A. The GRO web site is at www.groireland.ie for information and fees. Its Research web page, identifies that civil records of births, marriages & deaths begin on 1 January 1864 and continue to the present.
— B. In the 1860s, not all families reported births to the local General Register Office in Ballaghaderreen. Later, the penalty for reporting a birth late by a month or more was so severe parents sometimes reported a later birth date. (This explains why birth dates are often recorded AFTER they were baptized.)
— C. The General Register Office (Oifig An Ard-Chláraitheora) maintains a family research facility at Werburgh Street, Dublin 2.
— D. The General Register Office also maintains certain records at Government Offices, Convent Road, Roscommon, Co. Roscommon. See www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/GRO_Research for registers of life events that are maintained solely at Roscommon.
Ireland National Library
This library is a treasure house of books, magazines, newspapers, manuscripts, etc. used for family history research. It has microfilms of Catholic parish registers (such as St Nathy’s), copies of the important nineteenth century land valuations (the Tithe Applotment Books and Griffith’s Valuation), trade and social directories, estate records and newspapers.
>>> The Main Library is on Kildare Street, Dublin, the Library building is nearby at 2/3 Kildare Street and the National Photographic Archive is in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin, Ire.
>>> Their website is: www.nli.ie
>>> Open hours differ per day of week. Check their web site
Tithe Applotment Books
Manuscript Tithe Applotment Books were prepared for almost every parish in Ireland, giving the names of land occupiers, the amount of land held and the sums to be paid in tithes during the period 1823-1838. These records are available on microfilm in the Ireland National Archives Reading Room.
>>> The LDS church also has microfilms of the Tithe/Tythe Applotment Books. These records are scheduled to come online. Information is at LDS web site Ireland Tithe Applotment Books.
>>> This record source is NOT useful for tracing the Towey family history. It is nominally a “head of household” survey of persons responsible for paying tithes to the Church of Ireland (whatever was one’s religion & Catholics were not exempt) during the period 1823-1838.
>>> During this period the areas around Ballaghaderreen where Toweys lived were leased by their owners on the “rundale” system of collective responsibility for rents and tithes. Typically only one tenants name per townland is shown while neighboring farmers made payments to him and therefore were not listed.
Land Valuation Records
The Land Valuation Office is the Ireland property valuation agency. Their archives contain original books and surveys carried out in the 1840s, books and maps of Griffith’s Valuations in the 1850s, and documentation showing the subsequent revisions.
>>> These records are useful for tracing how farm tenants and owners changed since the Griffith Survey. Irish Catholics were mainly farm labourers and tenant farmers through the end of the 19th century, but many became owners in the early 20th century when the Congested Districts Board helped them make purchases from English landlords.
>>> Their records date from 1850s to 1930s and to present.
>>> Website is www.valoff.ie. Click their link Archives Genealogy Public Office. For genealogical research you need the name of the County, the name of the Townland and the name of the person or family. Online information is limited but is expanding.
>>>The Land Valuation Office is located at Irish Life Centre, Block II, Abbey St. Lower, Dublin 1, (2 blocks east of O’Connell St.). It has the registers from which the Griffith Survey records were taken, as well as some earlier years and later years to the present. This office sells maps associated with Griffith listings, which helps in identifying ancestors’ residences.
Look for Ordnance Survey\Griffith maps 64 & 74 for starters.
>>> The LDS Family History Library has microfilms of the Land Valuation registers in eight volumes (not in chronological order) from the 1850s to the 1930s.
— A. For Castlemore & Kilcolman townlands in the Castlerea Rural District, see microfilms 0867962 & 0867963.
— B. For the portion of Kilcolman parish in Co. Sligo’s Coolavin Rural District, see 0868136.
— C. For the Kilbeagh Rural District, see microfilm 0867547, for Kilkelly 0877548 & for Kilmovee 0857710.
Irish Townland Maps
National Map Centre is an eCommerce site that fulfills orders for Ordnance Survey Ireland maps. Their internet site is www.Irishmaps.ie
>>> Most useful for Ballaghaderreen area are Ordnance Survey maps of 1839 identified as “Full Colour First Edition Full Sheets.” Each covers 6 miles east-west and 4 miles north-south (33” wide x 23” high). Townland, parish & county borders are clearly marked, but you won’t notice any markings for Co. Roscommon or Co. Sligo on a Co. Mayo map.
>>> Sheet 74 for Co. Mayo includes Ballaghaderreen, and Sheet 64 includes much of Kilcolman Parish just to the north of Sheet 74 (Attiantaggart to Kilgarriff).
>>> These may be ordered from National Map Centre Ireland, Unit 1, Church Lane South, Dublin 8, Ireland. Tel – +353 (0)14760471
Poor Law Unions (PLUs)
Destitute poor were cared for in various ways. Then in 1838 the English Poor Law system was extended to Ireland and supervised by English Poor Law Commissioners until 1847 when a separate Poor Law Commission was created for Ireland. The Poor Law system was abolished in Ireland in 1925 and replaced by county boards of health and public assistance.
>>> Poor Law Unions were subdivided into district electoral divisions (DEDs) for the taking of censuses. They are also important Irish land divisions for studying valuation records.
>>> Another purpose of the PLUs was to set up workhouses for the destitute poor. Housing, food, work and medical care were from little to menial to none.
>>> Generally look for Toweys in Ballaghaderreen area in Castlerea PLU, Gurteen [Kilcolman Parish in Co. Sligo] in Boyle PLU, and Kilkelly [Kilmovee Parish] and Lowpark [Carracastle Parish] in Swinford PLU. A few in Loughglynn Parish of Co. Roscommon, are also in Castlerea PLU.
>>> Information about PLU records may be found at www.from-ireland.net/irish-civil-registrations. PLU records in Ireland may be found at General Register Office (GRO), Roscommon, Ireland. Also see Civil Vital Records above.
>>> A history of 160+ PLU workhouses in Ireland is at www.workhouses.org.uk/Ireland.
Irish Genealogical Society International
Though based in St. Paul, MN, this society is a worldwide community of Irish Genealogical researchers – people looking for their Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors in Ireland and around the world. It’s an all-volunteer non-profit organization and has members in ten countries and all fifty US states.
>>> The society offers Internet research of their Genealogical Indexes, personal research for you by IGSI research staff and on-site research assistance at the St Paul location (membership required).
>>> Their web address is http://www.IrishGenealogical .org
>>> An extensive list of genealogy and history links to third party web sites may be found at http://irishgenealogical.org/research/irish-counties
>>> Address is 1185 Concord Street North, Suite 218, South St. Paul, MN 55075
>>> Copies of their The Septs, a quarterly publication, may be in a local library.
Latter Day Saints Online Family History
>>> LDS allows access to its huge genealogical databases at its Family History Library.
>>> The LDS website is at www.familysearch.com. It is also useful to locate your local Family History Center that offers public access to genealogical records from all over the world. Besides Salt Lake City, there are locations in more than 80 countries
>>> There may well be a local Family History Center in your area and it may be located at https://familysearch.org/locations.
LDS Family History Microfilm
The LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City has extensive records online and on microfilm including Ireland’s Civil Vital Records (GRO). These include Indexes of births, marriages & deaths for 1864 to the 1950s. LDS also has actual records for some years: births 1864.1 – 1881.1, 1900.1 – 1913.4 and 1930.1 – 1955.1; marriages 1864.1 – 1870.4; deaths 1864.1 – 1870.4. These are the original records from GRO, bound separately by calendar quarters.
>>> The Indexes show only a person’s name and the Poor Law Union (PLU) & page no. for each calendar quarter, e.g., the first quarter of 1864 is 1864.1. An index entry for “Patrick Towey CAS-138″ indicates a record for him in Castlerea Poor Law Union on page 138 for that period. It is cumbersome but necessary to use both sources, unless you know a precise date.
>>> Actual records for unlisted years have NOT been released by GRO to the LDS.
>>> LDS records are located at the LDS Family Search web site. You can use the Family History Library Catalog to find out what resources are available at your Local LDS Family Search Location.
>>> LDS also has PLU Records for 1864 to 1877. Look in the volumes for each year designated as nos. 4 for Q 1, 9 for Q 2, 14 for Q 3 and 19 for Q 4. Beginning in 1878, volumes are numbered 1 thru 5 during each calendar quarter, so always select 4.
— A. There is usually one microfilm per volume per year for the index. Rural residences are by townland designation only, which can cause problems of identification when there are many Towey families living in the same townland such as in Dernacartha or Barnaboy. There may be more than one family with “Pat Towey married to Bridget Towey”, because lots of Toweys married Toweys around Ballaghaderreen who were 3rd or 4th cousins or more distant.
— B. Example: LDS Microfilm 258152 for period 1913.1 volume 4-1 Castlerea PLU on p. 99, line # 240 date of birth: Oct 16, 1912 residence: Barnaboy townland given name: Peter, male, son of John Towey & Bridget Towey fathers occupation: farmer mother signed report date Jan 7, 1913. (My fathers cousin).
LDS Census Microfilm for Ireland
1901 Census: The LDS Library also has Ireland 1901 census available on microfilm, but cataloging at www.familyresearch.org is rather insensitive to obvious topic entries. It is easier to examine these records by inserting the following microfilm numbers at their Library Catalog page:
>>> For the Ballaghaderreen Electoral District, Co. Roscommon, see microfilms 0850479, 0850480 and 0850481 for divisions 55, 57 & 59 respectively in Castlemore parish, and 0850480, 0850481, 0851572, and 0851584 for divisions 57, 58, 71 & 8 in Kilcolman parish.
>>> For Carracastle and Kilkelly in 1901, see Co. Mayo microfilms 0850480, 0846250 and 0846251 for divisions 57, 115, 116, 117 & 118.
>>> For Kilbeagh Parish, see microfilms 0846246, 0846247, for divisions 107, 108 & 109.
1911 Census: The LDS Library also has Ireland 1911 census available on microfilm.
>>> For Castlemore Parish, see 2146803 for Ardkill to Ishlaun (alphabetically arranged by townland), and 2146816 for Kilkeeran to Toomanagh, plus 2146950 , item 2, for Aghalustia & Roosky and 2146961 for Cappagh & Lissian.
>>> For Kilcolman Parish, see 2146816 for townlands Ballaghaderreen to Doogary, and 2146817 for townlands Hawksford to Tonregee + Ballaghaderreen town and for the townlands around Edmondstown, see 2146818, and 2146920 for Banada and Keelbanada. For the Sligo portion, see 1840413.
>>> For Kilmovee parish, see 2193303, 2193304, items 1, 2, and 2193305, item 1, and for Kilbeagh Parish, see especially 2146816, 2193353, items 1,2 and 2193355.
The California State Library, Sutro Branch, in San Francisco, has a set of microfiche of these volumes from 1821 through 1851, so they may probably be found elsewhere.
Other Commercial Genealogy Sources are:
www.ancestry.com when there, also visit their Learning Center at