Parish Registers

Next Selection Previous Selection


Parish Registers.

FROM the Title of the Population Act, it appears that the object of the Legislature in enacting it, was not only "to take an Account of the Population of Ireland," but also "to ascertain the Increase or Diminution thereof." It therefore becomes necessary to add a few Observations under this head. In the Act there are no provisions for obtaining Returns from the Officiating Ministers of Churches and Chapels throughout Ireland, as is the case in the Population Act for Great Britain, from which such valuable data has been obtained, for ascertaining the Increase or Diminution of the Population of that part of the Empire, during the preceding century. This omission has doubtless arisen from a knowledge of the very defective state of Parish Registers in Ireland. In 1810, the attention of His Majesty’s Commissioners on the Public Records of Ireland was directed to this subject, in consequence whereof they caused a Quere to be transmitted to the several Diocesan Registrars, for the purpose of ascertaining the state of the Parochial Registries of Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths throughout Ireland; the result, of this Inquiry not having proved as satisfactory as could have been wished, the Board, in their Report to the Prince Regent in 1812, expressed their sentiments on; this subject, as follows:mdash;"With respect to Parochial Registers, the Board are so strongly impressed with the public importance of their regular return and transmission to some secure Repository, and of their arrangement and preservation therein; as well as with the long experienced inefficacy of the law, as it now stands, to attain those objects; that they feel themselves emboldened, most humbly, to submit to Your Royal Highness’s consideration, whether it may not be expedient that the provisions of a Bill, now under the consideration of the Legislature, 'for the better regulation and preservation of Parish and other Registers of Births, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, and for establishing General Repositories for all such Registers, in England,’ should, if approved of for that part of the United Kingdom, be extended also to Ireland, where some Legislative provision for the like purpose is certainly very much wanted."


Record Tower, Dublin Castle, 11th July 1823.

Next Selection Previous Selection