Updated 6 April 2001
The Irish Manuscripts Commission was setup in 1928 under a warrant to
report on collections of manuscripts and papers of literary, historical
and general interest relating to Ireland, whether in private or public
ownership. The Commission has a membership of eighteen at present.
The Commission has not published a Catalogue of Publications since 1968,
but hope to publish one in 1999. Some 160 titles have been published,
although only 60 of these are still in print; however, nine titles have
been published this year.
The Commission's works were published by the Irish Government's
Stationery Office (now known as the Government Supplies Agency) during the period 1928-1990. The Commission started publishing its own works in 1991. Some of these publications can be of great value to genealogists.
Address: Irish Manuscripts Commission, 73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Tel: 353 1 676 1610 Fax: 353 1 6623832
Mainly letters, both from officals and private persons, they include
reports and memoranda, working papers and private correspondence,
accounts of royal revenues and possessions and cover practically every aspect of England's relations with Ireland and with the Irish.
The destruction of early Dublin Castle records in the burning of the
Public Record Office of Ireland in 1922 make them uniquely valuable, not
only to Tudor historians but to any serious scholar working on England's
long and tortuous relationship with Ireland, students of literature,
local historians and genealogists.
From Henry VIII to Elizabeth I, from Thomas Cromwell to Walsingham and
Burghley, from the Earl of Essex to Edmund Spenser, from Burkes and
Cusacks to Fitzgeralds, Kavanaghs and O' Neills, all the major figures
This series completely replaces the defective 19th century calendars for
the period whose inadequate brevity and erroneous identification of
places and persons has long been notorious. An example of the new
calendar describing the Rathlin Island massacre of 1575 appears next to the old.
The Register of Milo Sweteman, Archbishop of Armagh 1361-1380
ed Brendan Smith PB IRP15 HB IRP30
Title: The Register of Milo Sweteman - Archbishop of Armagh 1361-1380 Publishers:Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, Ireland Editor: Brendan Smith New Editions ISBN 1 874 280 07 X pp. xxvi + 318 HB IRP30 PB IRP15 ---------------------------------------------------- Since the destruction of public and other records in the Public Record Office, Dublin in 1922, one of the most important collections of original medival records to survive in Ireland is the seven volumes of registers of the archbishops of Armagh.
These in chronological order, are those associated with Archbishops Sweteman, Fleming, Swayne, Mey, Octavian de Palatio and Cromer. Only that of Archbishop Mey (1443-56) has so far been published in full, thanks to the pioneering work of Sir George Quigley and the late E.F.D. Roberts, though calendars of those of Sweteman, Fleming, Swayne and Cromer have been published, as well as a calendar of the late 17th century transcript of that of Archbishop Dowdall.
The publication now of the full text of Sweteman's register is an important event, particularly as it is the beginning of a major project whereby all the remaining registers will be published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission.
These records are of value not only to ecclesiastical historians, but to anyone interested in the history of medieval Ireland. They provide information about the 'common man' which is not easily accessible elsewhere and also offer remarkable insights into how the Church operated in a divided society.
The division of Ireland into areas settled by the English and those controlled by the Irish was firmly established by the 14th century and dictated the character of the Irish Church. The English-controlled diocese of Meath, for instance, never saw an Irish bishop after 1200, while Raphoe (Donegall) or Derry never saw an English one.
The situation in the diocese of Armagh was particularly complex as it contained within it, areas of both English and Irish control. In the south, County Louth was solidly English, while in the north - which included the cathedral city of Armagh itself - power lay with O' h-Anluain (Milo Sweteman wearly observed that he had excommunicated him many times 'whereupon he behaved worse than before')! and behind him, his more powerful sponsors the Ui Neill.
Sweteman was of English settler stock from Kilkenny; as archbishop he lived among the English of Louth, at his manors of Dromiskin and Termonfeckin but his relations with the local settler elite were not always smooth either.
He clashed dramatically with perhaps the most powerful man in the county, Sir Thomas de Verdon, denouncing him as a heretic for robbing a church of a box containing the Eucharist; Sir Thomas in turn, not to be outdone, returned the compliment to Sweteman!
Across the frontier of the Pale, in the areas controlled by the Irish, Milo faced a world very different from his own. In purely ecclesiastical terms, the Irish Church operated without a parochial structure while recognising types of clergy, the 'comharbai' and 'airchainnigh', which were unknown elsewhere in Christendom.
The most notoriously lax of Milo's suffragans was Riocard O' Raghallaigh Bishop of Kilmore, whom Milo excommunicated in 1366 on charges of incest and adultery with his first cousin. Enforcing such sentences in areas where English power did not hold sway was far from easy.
Note: Brendan Smith, is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and a former Newman scholar at University College, Dublin, lectures in medieval history at the University of Bristol.
Select Guide to Trade Union Records in Dublin (BR>
This has details of unions operating in Ireland until 1970
ed Sarah Ward-Perkins PB IRP12
The Edith Somerville Archive in Drishane, Co. Cork.
A Catalogue and Evaluative Essay by Otto Rauchbauer IRP17.50
Calender of material relating to Ireland from the High Court of Admiralty
Examinations 1536-1641 ed John C. Appleby
pp xxi + 375 ISBN 1 874 280 037 IRP40
Crown Survey of Lands 1540-1541 with the Kildare Rental begun in 1518
ed Gearoid Mac Niocaill IRP40
Croftus Sive de Hibernia Liber by Sir William Herbert
ed. A Keaveney and J.A. Madden. Latin text with English translation. A view of Ireland, particularly Munster in the 1590s. IRP25
Calendar of Exchequer Inquisitions formerly in the Office of the Chief
Rembrancer of the Exchequer prepared from the Mms of the Irish Record
Commission, Dublin 1515-1698. IRP50
Affairs of Ireland before the King's Council ed G O Sayers IRP25
The Irish Cartularies of Llanthony Prima and Secunda
ed. St. John Brooks IRP25
Dessi Genealogies ed. Seamus Pender pp vii + 179 (1937) IRP30
Calender of Ormond Deeds ed. C. Curtis vol vi pp xix + 240 (1943)
The Bishopric of Derry and the Irish Society of London
Vol. ii ed. T.W. Moody and J.G. Simms IRP35
Franco-Irish Correspondence 1688-1692 ed. Sheila Mulloy
Vol 1 IRP49 Vol 2 IRP54 Vol 3 IRP33
Negociations de M. le Comte D'Avaux en Irlande 1689-90
facsimile into. James Hogan IRP50
The Letterbook of the Earl of Clanricarde 1643-1647
ed. John Lowe IRP42
The O'Doyne (O'Duinn) Manuscripts ed. K. Nicholls IRP30
King's Inns Admission papers 1607-1867 IRP40
ed. E. Keane, P.B. Phair, T.V. Sadlier.
Title: Convert Rolls
Publishers: Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, Ireland
Editor: Eileen O' Byrne pp xvii +308 (1981) IRP25
'An Act to prevent the further growth of Popery' passed in 1703
compelled converts from Catholicism to Protestantism to provide proof of conformity.
The legal disabilities imposed on Catholics by the Act ceased to operate
'from the time of enrolment in the High Court of Chancery of a
certificate of the Bishop of the diocese in which he shall inhabit
testifying to his being a Protestant and conforming himself to the
Church of Ireland as by law established.'
The original Convert Rolls kept by the Court of Chancery under this Act
were transferred to the Irish Public Record Office in 1869 and destroyed
there in 1922. Two volumes of calendars of these Rolls were preserved.
Vol. 1 covering the years 1703-89 contains about 5,500 names and Vol II
for the years 1789-1883 has about 380 with only 73 names for the years
1800-1838. The names are entered in alphabetical order and order of date
under each letter.
The greatest concentration of enrolment is in the period 1762-1771 (1347
names) and from 1772-1789 (1421 names). Most of the converts were men
but almost 1500 were women.
Ed. Micheline Walsh Vol iv IRP15
Title: Spanish Knights of Irish Origin
Publishers: Irish Manuscripts Commission
======================================== There are some two hundred knights of Irish origin on the rolls of
Spanish Military Orders of Santiago, Calatrava, Alcantara, Montesa and Carlos III.
The records of the Orders are preserved in the Archivo Historico
Nacional in Madrid and include the genealogy for each candidate for the knighthood with affidavits from sponsors, mainly Irish residents in
The supporting documentation includes copies of wills, testimonials and certificates of baptism, marriage and death, some brought from Ireland and from other continental countries, where candidates and their
families had lived.
The collection includes the names of well over 2000 individuals of Irish origin who acted as sponsors for these knights. Microfilm copies of many of these records are in the overseas archives held by the Department of Archives, University College, Dublin.
These documents edited by Micheline Walsh have been published on behalf of the Commission in a series of four volumes in the years 1960-78.
The only volume still in print is Volume IV. (1978) IRP15
This volume includes genealogies of families of Bourke, Kindelan,
O'Calaghan, O'Donnell, O'Donju, O'Farril, O'Mara, O'Milrian, O'Reilly, O'Ryan, Power, Terry, and Wadding.
The supporting papers for the genealogy of Juan Mac Kenna, Madrid, 1764, includes a certificate of his baptism at Glaslough, Co. Monaghan, 1754, and a list of sponsors and certificates.
The Walshingham Letter Book ed James Hogan IRP35
pp xx +279 (1959)
Registry of Deeds, Abstracts of Wills Vol 3, 1786-1827
ed. E. Ellis and P.B. Eistace IRP30
The Correspondence of Daniel O'Connell ed. Maurice O'Connell
Vols. 2,3, and 4, IRP30 each.
The American Commission on Irish Independence 1919 IRP15
The Diary Correspondence and Report ed. F.M. Carroll
The Civil Survey 1654-56 ed. R.C. Simington
Title: Civil Survey 1654-56
Publishers: Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, Ireland
Editor: Robert C. Simington
-------------------------- The Civil Survey is a descriptive record of the land of Ireland and its owners in 1640 based on the knowledge and evidence of 'the most able and ancient inhabitants of the country'.
It was written down from the testimony of juries representative of Gael and Norman in the years 1654-56 and it provided details of the estates of landed proprietors for 27 of the 32 counties in Ireland, including the name and residence of owners, valuations, areas in tillage and
pasture, mills, and antiquities.
It records Gaelic and Norman ancestral tenures, as well as titles by patent from the British Crown and includes particulars of deeds and
wills.For every barony, parish and townland, there are descriptions of 'meares and bounds' (boundaries) with reference to rivers, streams and woodlands.
These surveys are extraordinarily rich in place names many of which have long since gone out of use and they also provide information regarding Irish families. The Civil Survey has the further advantage of separate returns of Church lands, Crown lands and tithes.
The surviving manuscripts of the Civil Survey covers Counties Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Wexford, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Donegall, Derry and Tyrone, the barony of Muskerry, Co. Cork and the cities of Cork,
Kilkenny and Waterford.
This material was published by the Commission in ten volumes in the years 1931-61. Most of these volumes are now out of print but the
following are still available:
Vol. III, Cos. Donegall, Derry and Tyrone, pp. xxxvi + 532 (1938) IRP30 Vol. IV, Co. Limerick, pp xlviii + 532 (1938) IRP45
Vol. VII, Co. Dublin, pp lii +317 (1945) reprint 1995 IRP25
Vol. VIII, Co. Kildare, pp xlvi + 294 (1952) IRP35
The Comission plans to publish reprints of other volumes in the Civil
Survey if there is a reasonable demand. These volumes are:
Vol. I, Co. Tipperary E & S, pp xxvi + 388 (1931)
Vol. II, Co. Tipperary, W & N, pp xxxii + 418 (1934)
Vol. V, Co. Meath, pp xlviii + 410 (1940)
Vol. 3 Co. Donegall, Derry and Tyrone IRP35
Vol. 7 Dublin IRP25
Commnetarius Rinuccinianus ed. S. Kavanagh
Vol. 1 and Vol. 6 IRP30 each.
Dowdall Deeds ed. Charles McNeill, D Lit. and A.J. Otway-Ruthven, Ph D.
Calendar of papal Letters relating to Gt. Britain and Ireland
Vols. v, vi, vii, viii, ix, x, xi, and xii, IRP75 each.
Vols. xiii Part 1, Part 2, and xiv IRP75 each.
Vol. xv ed. M.J. Haren (1978) IRP50
Vol. xvi Alexander VI (1492-1503) ed. Anne P. Fuller (1986) IRP50
Vol. xvii Part 1 Alexander VI (1495-1503) ed. Anne P. Fuller (1994) IRP50 Vol. 18 Pius iii, ed. M.J. Haren (1989) IRP50
This ambitious book represents an attempt to make up for some of the
damage done by the 1922 fire in the Dublin Public Record Office which
destroyed the records of whole sections of Ireland's past - especially
the records of the period 1485-1641, the age of the Kildare ascendancy,
the Tudor re-conquest and the plantations.
Suspecting that much Irish archival material remained undiscovered in
Britain, in 1988 the authors began an extensive survey of the hundreds
of regional and specialised record offices that exist across England,
Scotland and Wales. In the course of their work they visited many archive
centres to check through catalogues and indexes.
Their findings, listed in detail here, reveal thousands of documents
dealing with all aspects of Irish life that might otherwise have been
forgotten. It is expected that this book will quickly become an essential
reference work and research tool for all students of late and medieval
and early modern Ireland.
Analecta Hibernica No 37
pp. x + 336 ISBN 0791 6167 (Jan 1998) IRP20 & IRP3 p&p
Fynes Moryson's Itinerary of Ireland 1626
138 pp ISBN 1 874280 134 (Jan 1998) PB IRP7.50 & IRP3 p&p Impressions of Ireland, from Mountjoy's secretary.
A 'Census' of Ireland c.1659 ed Seamus Pender with a new introduction by
Prof. William Smyth. Reprint long out of print.
ISBN 1 874280 150 (April 1998) IRP50 & IRP10 p&p
Calenders of Papal Registers of Letters, relating to Gt Britain and
Ireland. ed Anne Fuller, 400 pp ISBN 1 874 280 142 IRP50 & IRP10 p&p
Vol xvii pt2
Vol xix, ed Michael Haren 900 pp app. 1 874 280 88 (1998) IRP50 & IRP10 p&p
Dublin Society of the United Irishmen 1791-1794 ed R B McDowell
144pp, ISBN 1 874 280 169 PB IRP7.50 & IRP3 p&p
This is a reprint of over a hundred letters and reports of meetings sent to the British Government by the informer Thomas Collins, member of this radical club until its suppression in 1794.
Guide to the Genealogical Office
pp xx + 248, ISBN 1 874 280 177 PB IRP9.99 & IRP4 p&p
This is a reprint of John Barry's guide to records in the Genealogical Office (Analecta Hibernica 26, 1970) and Beryl Eustace's index to 7500 will abstracts (AH 17, 1949) with a new introduction by Fergus Gillespie, Deputy Chief Herald.
Irish Exchequer Payments 1270-1473 ed Philomena Connolly
pp x + 600 app. ISBN 1 874 280 185 HB IRP45 & IRP8 p&p
PB 2 vols IRP15 each & IRP4 p&p
Memoranda Roll Irish Exchequer, Edward 11 ed David Craig 800 pp
ISBN 1 874 280 193 IRP50 & IRP10 p&p
Introduction 200 pp ISBN 1 874 280 207 PB IRP12 & IRP3 p&p
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