My purpose today was twofold. I was looking for information on two individuals who might have been Anglican priests and I only had a general idea of the timeframe. The RCBL has a list of all of the Church of Ireland clergy (rather than checking each individual diocese). Unfortunately, I struck out on both...I think there’s a chance that they were both Presbyterian. The second was to view the records of Enniskillen in Fermanagh. According to all of the reference books, these records cover births from 1667; marriages from 1668; and deaths from 1667. The RCBL is listed as having extracts to 1789. Generally, Church of Ireland registers are available on microfilm at the National Archives as pre-1860 they were considered state records, (Roman Catholic registers at the National Library). When I checked at the National Archive I was told that the originals burned in the fire and the only copy was the transcript at the RCBL. When they pulled the transcript, it was two pages, and represented the records for just two families, the Johnstons and the Nixons.
Many of the Church of Ireland records are still held in local custody, and I was able to get the name, phone and email address of the rector of two other parishes. That killed most of my morning and I headed back to the National Library.
My goal for the Library was to view the records of an Encumbered Estate in county Mayo. On Friday, I had checked the references and alreadyhad my request form completed. I was told that the book was large and was assigned one of the large reading tables.
Next the bad news. My request for the Encumbered Estates book was denied. I was informed that the book was not in good condition and could not be issued until it was repaired. It was not known when that would happen because of the staff cutbacks. Just as in the U.S., the economic problems have forced cutbacks in many programs, and the Library and Archives have been hit hard. Here’s a recent article on the the problems at the Archives.
Just one day left. Then I’m off to England.