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  Home / Library & Arts Service / Trace Your Ancestors

Trace Your Ancestors

  • Tracing your Family History

    Family History Services.

    With advance booking on 021 4285640 we can assist you with your research when you come to use Family History resources.

    Booklet Cover

     A very helpful guide to the subject called Walking in the Footsteps of Your Ancestors; a beginner's guide to family history in Cork has been compiled by the Local Studies library. The online version of this book can be accessed by clicking on this link  and choosing the Online Edition button. We hope researchers will find this useful.

    The principal resources are:

    The Tithe Applotment Books.
    This is a list of landholders, essentially farmers, in County Cork in the 1820s and 1830s. It doesn't include the landless or those living in towns but because nineteenth century census returns no longer exist it is an invaluable Family History resource. It is in microfilm format and is also searchable within the website of the National Archives of Ireland. Click here for a direct link to the Tithe Applotment pages.

    The Primary Valuation for Cork.
    Held on both paper and microfilm. Assistance with both these and with newer internet versions can be provided. Commonly called Griffith's Valuation, this is a comprehensive list of all those who held property in the 1850s. From the widow with a cabin and a small garden to the large landowner. This is also accessible on the Ask About Ireland website. Click here for a direct link to the Griffith's Valuation pages.

    The 1901 Census
    The library holds the 1901 census returns for the county and city of Cork on microfilm. This is one of our most heavily used resources and can provide a fascinating glimpse into the families of your past. It is the earliest surviving full census for Ireland. This is also accessible on the National Archives of Ireland website. Click here for a direct link to the 1901 Census pages.

    The Baptism and Marriage records for the Parish of  St.Mary & St. Anne
    Often called the North Cathedral Parish or the North Chapel this is one of the largest Catholic parishes encompassing Cork city and surrounding countryside. Its records begin in 1748 and have now been indexed alphabetically by surname. Marriages have been indexed both by bride's surname and by husband's surname. As yet, these records are not available for consultation anywhere else other than through Cork County Library.

    Residential Directories
    These show who was living where and who was in business doing what. An early Directory compiled by Richard Lucas will let you see what life was like on St. Patrick Street in 1787. Of more comprehensive coverage are those published later by Francis Guy & Company. A range of those spanning the 1870s and 1940s gives a good indication of the Cork city and county's population at that time.

    Birth, marriage and death announcements in old newspapers are a significant source of family history. These increased steadily and became less exclusive from about the 1860s onwards. Other useful features are advertisements and law cases. The latter can yield fascinating information right down to quoted words. Microfilmed newspapers begin in the 1700s and provide an in depth coverage of Cork city and county. Click here for a list of newspapers held by Cork County Library.

    O'Kief Coshe Mang, Slieve Lougher and Upper Blackwater
    This is a multi-volume work that was undertaken from the 1950s to the 1970s by Alabama pathologist, Dr. Albert Casey, and a team of researchers. It includes a wide variety of sources - baptisms, will extracts, newspaper notices. Concentration is primarily, though not exclusively, on North-West Cork and East Kerry. 

    The Cork Collection
    When delving into Family History the researcher usually finds that people and places are inseparable. To this end the Cork Collection is a unique and valuable collection of books and journals whose main topics of interest include Cork city or county in some shape or form. Items might consist of a GAA club history, a biography of a Cork notable, a history of a village or community or an account of an archaeological dig conducted in the city. The variety is wide ranging and can add a rich dimension to a family history.

Cork County Library & Arts Service, County Library Building, Carrigrohane Road, Cork.
Phone: 021-4546499 - Email