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Irish: Court Records, State Papers, Parliamentary Documents
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If you are considering this course, you probably have experienced or learned an amazing amount of detail on genealogical strategies and Irish record collections. Many of these involve direct connections to "pure genealogical detail", meaning: the strategies for research, and the record collections upon which they are based, tend to provide assured genealogical detail. In other words, if you use the strategies properly in conducting your research and use them on the record collections described in the basic and intermediate level Irish record courses, you will find pure genealogical information. It may or may not be relevant to your family however it is direct genealogical information.

In the advanced level of the Irish Certificate, we begin to examine some of the record collections that are less reliable in providing pure genealogical detail and the genealogical detail in them is often difficult to locate specifically. These documents are further, often hard to locate; often are not indexed, abstracted or even available to the public; and tend to be very difficult to wade through. Often the genealogical detail they hold is very elusive. The great thing about these records, however, is that in most cases the information, if found, will be direct and often provide good primary evidence of facts on subjects and events in periods where few other genealogical records survive.

Unlike tax & electoral records which you learned about earlier, court records/state papers/parliamentary documents are always present for examination for the bulk of most recent Irish history, though their details will often vary significantly from period to period. Like tax & electoral records, however, they tend to be a very underused record collection by genealogical researchers.

The sad fact, of this is that we underestimate their potential for research extensions and this hinders our own pedigree developments significantly when it comes to undertaking Irish research. If we have not already learned this, for Ireland, every record collection needs to be examined because of the lack of available comprehensive & extant historical records.

Further, these record collections are often seldom discussed by many writing genealogists because they are so misunderstood and because they are simply very difficult to research, all giving rise predominately therefore to their lack of use. This course will provide you with an understanding of the importance of court, state & parliamentary records when undertaking your genealogical research.

Most genealogists and family historians do understand inherently the significance of all source materials for extracting genealogical information though often we forget that some sources, no matter how little of information they sometimes provide (or appear at the onset to provide), often those little bits of information establish the important details of ''presence'' and ''locality'' which, if nothing else, may confirm further research into other more detail and primary source documents.

As genealogists we cannot discount, or even underestimate, the importance of establishing presence and locality on someone for these are the two basic building blocks to any pedigree development. Without either one of these, you are looking for the proverbial ''needle-in-a-haystack.'' How many of us have seen pedigree''s with only dates and no localities of events, or even worse only names of ancestral relationships? Pedigrees of this order are useless and one cannot establish meaningful lineal relationships without knowing or determining the basic building blocks which you have learned through these courses and your other genealogical studies.

The one thing that becomes apparent with this collection is that, unlike, many other genealogical sources, court/state/parliamentary records cover almost the entire period of late Irish history from the 12th century (in general) to the present. No other genealogical record collection has survived in Ireland for so long and cover such a wide swath of human history on the Irish people. The downside, at least towards using them for genealogical research, is that most of the material is of Irish people with property, social status, or involving strictly social, economic, and political policy of the times. Therefore, for these record collections to be of any use to most of us, our ancestors need to have (for the most part, but not always) had money and/or political influence of one sort or another. The reason I say, ''not always'' is that there are still many, many documents in these collections that deal with and report on the common man and woman (e.g.: religious returns, petitions of dissenters, etc.).

So, do not feel that because your family may not have owned property that some of your ancestors won''t be in these collections—as you will learn in this course. This may be no further from the truth.

Like, electoral and taxation sources, however, these record collections can supply, particularly for pre-1850 Ireland, some of the best pointers on periods of presence and locality, as well as indications of social strata, details on occupations, residences, physical descriptions, and family relationships or family structures.


Course Content

Module 1
 
Introduction
• General Value In Court, State & Parliamentary Records
• Who Was Recorded
• General Types & Coverage
• Solving Research Problems
Referencs & Further Reading
 

Module 2
 
Court Record Collections
• Brief History of Irish Court Records
• Records Under the Temporal System
• Records Under the Ecclesiastical System
References & Further Reading
 

Module 3
 
Value of Irish Court Records
• Challenges With Irish Court Records
• Description of Contents in Irish Court Records
• Temporal Court Records
• Court of Chancery
• Court of King's Bench
• Court of Common Pleas
• Ecclesiastical Records
• Church Government Business
• A church seat dispute over granting of pew
• A Cause relating to Fornication
References & Further Reading
 

Module 4
 
Court Record Collections
• Description of Contents in Irish Court Records
• Ecclesiastical Records
• Testamentary & Probate Business
• Nuncupative Will of Robert Cooper (1701)
• Personal Responses in a Testamentary Dispute
• Marriage Business
• Bond Entered into by Richard Eaves Upon Separation from Wife (1745)
• Defamation Actions
• Deposition of William Horne of Co. Derby (1735)
• Availability of Irish Court Records
• Temporal Courts
• Ecclesiastical Courts
• Bibliographies and Indexes to Irish Court Records
References & Further Reading
 

Module 5
 
State Papers
• Brief History of Irish State Paper Collections
• Value of Irish State Papers
• Challenges with Irish State Papers
• Description of Contents in State Papers
• Availability of Irish State Papers
• Bibliographies and Indexes to Irish State Papers
References & Further Reading
 

Module 6
 
Parliamentary Records
• Brief History of Parliament & Parliamentary Records
• The Beginning of Irish
• Model Parliament (1295) under Edward
• Medieval Parliament in England
• Parliament's Rise in Power
• Bill of Rights
• The Irish Parliaments'
• Value of Irish Parliamentary Records
• Challenges with Irish Parliamentary Records
• Description of Contents in Irish Parliamentary Records
• Availability of Irish Parliamentary Records
• Bibliographies & Indexes to Irish Parliamentary Records
 
Concluding Comments
References & Further Reading
APPENDIX A to I
• Maps of Ireland
• Major Roads Systems and County Seats Within Ireland
• Other Important Irish Genealogy Websites
• Other Important Irish Research Resources
• Northern Ireland Archives
• Republic of Eire Archives
• Ireland's Heritage Centres
• Irish Series Bibliography
• Articles for Review
 
 

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