More records – and half-price sale extended

The Ulster Historical Foundation (UHF) has announced the addition of 51,000 new birth, marriage and burial records to its website.

A few days ago we shared their announcement about a 50%-off sale on bmd lookups. To celebrate the addition of the new records,UHF has extended their half-price sale to February 14, 2016.

Here’s UHF’s description of the new records:

The majority of these records relate to baptisms and marriages in
Roman Catholic churches in Belfast from 1900 to 1930 which are not
available online elsewhere. We have also added over 27,000 burial
records from Milltown, the main Catholic cemetery in Belfast. These
burial records include the name, age and address of the deceased and
cover just the first volume of burial registers from 1869 when the
Cemetery opened, to 1895…

Catholic baptismal records can be very informative as often details of
the individual’s later marriage – the date, place and name of spouse –
were recorded alongside the baptismal entry. Places of marriage
recorded in the St Malachy’s baptismal register include: Brisbane,
Australia; Cairo, Egypt; London, England; New Jersey, USA and Ottawa,
Canada. Other later notes included details of ordinations. Priests
also often made notes if a parent was deceased, not a Catholic or from
outside the parish, for example: ‘Mother a native of Falcarragh, Co.
Donegal’. These additional details can be of huge importance in
searching for ancestors, for example, within the baptismal register of
Dundrum and Ballykinler in County Down the priest noted the following
information on two baptisms:

‘Father is a Protestant living at 40 Garwood St Belfast; baptised
conditionally in Ballykinlar chapel having previously been baptised in
a Protestant church in Belfast.’

‘Father Presbyterian. Child received into Catholic Church at about 7
years old; both parents deceased, mother Catherine married a second
time a Protestant named Nelson.’

Marriage records vary in detail. For example the priest at St Joseph’s
Church recorded the names and address of both parents of the bride and
groom as well as the names and addresses of the witnesses from 1873;
St Vincent de Paul registers include this level of detail from 1913.
Civil marriage registers never record the names of the mothers or the
addresses of the parents and witnesses so these are invaluable details
unavailable elsewhere. In particular if the bride or groom had moved
to Belfast but were not born there, it can often be very challenging
to discover their original place of birth but marriage registers that
include the parents’ address can suggest a potential area to research.

It should be noted that the addresses of the bride and groom referred
to their address on the day of marriage, which was not always their
usual residence. Often one spouse stayed somewhere other than their
usual residence on the night before the wedding, to be close to the
church. This is demonstrated in one register where the couple gave
their address as Carrick Hill in Belfast but the priest noted ‘One
night in Carrick Hill, immediately from Newry’. Often witnesses were
found to be siblings of the bride or groom; knowing the addresses of
the witnesses at the time of the marriage can help confirm these

There are examples of additional notes written by some priests in
cases where the parents of the bride and groom were not Catholic, were
deceased or were living elsewhere: ‘Father of bridegroom in
America’. Other details recorded included whether the bride or groom
were converts or had any sort of blood relationship, which required a
dispensation from the Church. This was something to which priests in
certain parishes seemed to pay particular attention. Other pieces of
information, not always available elsewhere may have been recorded,
for example, a priest recorded that the groom had been ‘shot in Boer
War’. Finally, many priests made a note to say which parishes they had
notified about the marriage which can also suggest a possible place of
birth, for example: ‘Notice sent to Barrow-in-Furness; notice sent
to Lisburn’.

We hope you will enjoy poring over the Foundation’s latest release of
Catholic parish registers>

It is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of our current
half-price sale>
and search the new records.


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