Each record will show you an image of the burial register and a transcript of all the vital information found in the register. The detail found in each transcript can vary depending on the age and condition of the parish register, but most will include the following.
Burial year - If a year could not be found on the burial record, the year is recorded as the year range of the register book.
Parish and Diocese
Link to the National Library of Ireland’s website
Archive and microfilm reference
A copy of the original burial register is a tremendous addition to your family history records. You can download or print the image by clicking the options in the bottom right corner of the image.
The Catholic parish registers were recorded in either English or Latin. Latin was the official language of the Catholic Church until the 1960s. In the burial registers, you will often find the word sepultus which means buried. Individuals’ names were often Latinized too, for example, the name Patrick will appear as Patricius. For this reason, we always recommend that you choose to search for names using the name variant option.
Many of the burial records will also show an amount of money listed next to the deceased’s name. This money was for the cost of digging a grave and/or a donation to the church. However, not all parish churches had a graveyard, in these cases the monetary amount listed would be a donation.
Findmypast is excited to bring the National Library of Ireland’s (NLI) full Catholic parish registers collection online in their new indexed and transcribed form. Since the 1950s, the NLI set forth to capture all the Catholic parish records in Ireland through microfilm. More than 3,500 registers were filmed. Since then, the microfilms have been digitised and are available to view on the library’s website. On Findmypast, we have further indexed the records, which means that they are available for search by name. The Ireland Roman Catholic Parish Burials include burial records from 338 parishes. However, the Catholic parishes did not keep thorough burial records until around the 1900s.
As a result of the restrictions placed on the Roman Catholic Church by the Penal Laws in Ireland, folk traditions flourished round the celebration of the sacraments. In many parts of the country, marriages and baptisms took place in the home. One tradition that still continues in parts of Ireland today is the Irish wake. After the death of a family member a ‘wake’ occurs in the home. It is a communal event with family, friends and neighbours. The priest would come to the home and deliver the last rites. It is customary during the wake for the body of the deceased to stay in the home until burial. The family would host relatives and friends and provide food and drinks as a celebration of the person’s life. A wake is an occasion of both sadness and merriment. The tradition has continued from Celtic origins.
Throughout the nineteenth century, the Roman Catholic Church began to standardise the sacraments in Ireland. In 1831, the Dublin diocesan statutes ordered that the funeral mass was to be held in the church. Further reforms took place in 1850, when Archbishop Paul Cullen called the Synod of Thurles. The synod resulted in the standardising of religious teachings, administration and practices of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. These reforms led by Archbishop Cullen meant that the sacraments were moved from the home to the church.
Use the wildcard function to help with your name search. This function will help you to search for English and Latin variations of your ancestor’s name. For example, searching for Pat* will return Patricius, the Latin for Patrick.