If you have Irish Catholic ancestors, you’re in luck. Well, at least you might be. Are you feeling lucky? Is the luck of the Irish with you today?
One of the wonderful things that can happen with Y DNA testing at Family Tree DNA is that you match someone who does have a direct ancestor connection overseas to a place and time. In my case, my McDowell line matches a McDowell line in King’s Moss, Northern Ireland. Of course, that doesn’t mean my Murtough McDowell who died in 1752 was born in the same place in Ireland, but it’s more information that I had before and it gives me a place overseas to search. Where to begin that search? Well, the church records make the most sense, if they exist, and now many are newly available.
Irish Catholic record images are now online back through 1740 where the records are available. Catholics, in general, keep fastidious records and they are often full of great genealogical information. Plus, you have more than one opportunity. It’s not just births/baptisms, marriages and deaths that are recorded. Often confirmations are included as well.
Furthermore, these are indexed, just not in the same online location. The bad news…unless I’ve missed something, which is certainly possible as I only did a quick look-see, you have to check each parish individually. I hope that sometime in the future they can provide a single index since many of us don’t know where our ancestors were from in Ireland or exactly when they were born.
Also, I noticed in the Irish Ancestors search that they note “all known copies excluding originals in local custody.” Hmmm. So maybe this isn’t quite everything.
You can read more about the project here and access the registers here. You can inquire by surname here and here.
Dare we hope for Protestant records to be indexed and brought online as well? That would help a lot with those Scotch-Irish families.
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Irish Catholic parish records are in various places and forms, and after spending the better part of two years slogging through them I have a few tips. RC parish records, the earlier ones, say pre 1875 are lacking in the death records department. You will rarely see them listed. Inference helps. Sometimes the death of a young child might be suggested by a birth/baptismal record with the same parents that repeats the name of the departed child, in total, or in part. So no, there aren’t two Joseph Edward Smiths born three years apart in the same family because it was common for the next child of the same gender to be named after the departed older sibling. Tip two is that RC priests had an irritating tendency, in some parishes, to “Latinize” the forename in the baptismal record. Paul might end up as Paulious, Ellen as Ellenora, Luke as Luccam and endless variations spelled in crazy ways. Tip three is keep track of the sponsors if they are listed and check them against the image, if it’s available (those images have information often left out of the transcriptions so they are really important). Once 16, a sibling could stand as sponsor at a baptism and tracking sponsors can help clarify the family unit and clue you in to “missing” older relatives, uncles and aunts and occasionally, the next wife, should you find a suspected baptism with the same father, parish, address, etc. but a different wife/mother listed. Go backwards, if you can, and look among those sponsors that are friends of the family that might “become” the family at a later date. Also, there are quite a few COI records coming online. They are often much more detailed and they do include death and burial records the RC records don’t keep. You may even find a duplicate marriage record because the happy couple tried to make both sides of the family happy and were married in both RC and COI churches (or maybe they were just making sure they were “covered”). Have fun!
Latin to English names in Ireland.
Adalbertus = Albert or George
Adam (Ade) = Adam
Aedus = Hugh
Aemilia = Emily
Agna = Agnes, Nancy
Agneta = Agnes
Alanus = Alan
Albertus = Albert
Alesia, Alicia = Alice
Alfredus, Aluredus = Alfred
Alicia = Alice, Elsie, Alyssa
Alienora, Eleanora, Elianora = Eleanor
Aloisius = Aloysius, Louis, Luis
Aloysius = Aloysius or Lewis
Alvredus = Alfred
Amica, Amata, Amia = Amy
Anastasia = Anastasia or Nancy
Andreas = Andrew
Anna = Ann, Anne
Antonius = Anthony
Arcturus, Artorius, Arturus = Arthur
Audoenus, Audoinus, Oeneus, Oenus = Owen
Augustinus = Austin
Avelina = Evelyn
Bartholomeus = Bartholomew
Beatrix = Betteris, Beatrice
Benedicta (f.)= Benedict, Benet
Benedictus (m.) = Benedict, Benet
Bertrandus = Bertram
Brigida, Brigitta = Bridget, Brigid
Carolum, Carolus = Charles, Carl
Caterina, Katerina, Katharina = Catherine
Catharina = Catherine, Kathryn, Kathleen
Cecilia = Cisley, Cecily
Cecilius = Cecil
Christiana, Christina = Christine
Christophorus = Christopher
Constantia, Custancia = Constance
Daniele = Daniel
Denisia, Dionisia = Denise
Dionisius, Dionisius, Dionysius = Denis
Donatus = Duncan
Dorothea = Dorothy
Eadmundus, Edmundus = Edmund, Edmond
Eadwardus, Eduardus, Edwardus = Edward
Lena = Helen, Ellen
Elias = Ellis
Elisabetha, Elizabetha = Elizabeth, Beth, Betty,
Erchenbaldus = Archibald
Eustachius = Eustace
Eva = Eve
Felicia = Felice
Francisca (f.) = Frances
Franciscus (m.) = Francis, Frank
Fridericus = Frederick
Georgius = George
Gerardus = Gerard
Gilebertus, Gislebertus = Gilbert
Giraldus, Geroldus = Gerald
Godefridus, Godefredus = Godfrey
Goisfridus, Gosfridus = Geoffrey
Gratia = Grace
Gualterus = Walter
Guglielmus, Gulielmus, Guilhelmus, Gulielmo, Gulielmum = William
Haraldus = Harold
Helena = Helen, Ellen, Nell, Aileen, Eileen
Henricum, Henricus = Henry
Henrietta = Henrietta or Harriet
Hereweccus, Herveius = Henry
Hieremias = Jeremiah
Honorah = Nora, Norah, (Jane, Jean, Joan!)
Honoria = Honour, Honor
Hugo = Hugh
Isabella = Isabel
Ioannes, Joannes, Joannis, Johannes, Johannis = John
Jacobus = James or Jacob
Joanna, Johanna = Joan, Jane, Jeanne, Jeanette, Joanne, Sinead, Siobhan
Johanna = Jane, Joan, Jean and Honora
Josephum = Joseph
Josias = Josiah
Laurencia, Laurencius, Laurentium = Laurence, Lawrence
Lucas = Luke
Ludovicus, Lodovicus = Lewis, Louis
Malachias = Malachy
Marcus = Mark, Marcus
Margareta, Margreta = Margaret
Margeria = Margery
Maria = Mary, Maureen, Molly, Marie
Maria Anna = Mary Ann, Marian, Marianne
Mariana = Marion
Martinus = Martin
Mathaeus, Mattheus, Mathias, Matthias = Matthew
Matilda, Matildis, Matillis = Matilda, Maud
Mauricius, Meuricius = Maurice
Michaelem = Michael
Milo = Miles
Moyses = Moses
Muriella, Miriela, Mirielda = Muriel
Oliva = Olive
Patricius, Patritius = Patrick
Petrus = Peter
Philippa, Philippe = Philip
Radulfus, Radulphus = Ralph
Randolphus = Randal, Randolph
Reginaldus = Reynold
Reimundus = Raymond
Ricardus = Richard, Dick
Rugerius = Roger, Rory
Samuelem = Samuel
Stephanus = Stephen
Theodoricus = Theodore, Derek
Thomasum = Thomas
Timotheus = Timothy
Tobias = Toby
Vincencius = Vincent
Willelmus, Guillelmus= William
I think I can add one … Gualterus, Walterum = Walter
Sorry I saw you had that name and intended to add another. Both are in my ancestry.. Hammondus=Hammond
Thank you so much for this list.
Wow, now that’s a fantastic list. I’m going to print it out and attach to my surname notebooks. Thank you.
Wow! Thanks for the list of names. I’ve often wondered why I would see some of these names spelled in what I assumed was Latin, then I would see the person listed again as something familiar like Peter or Raymond. And thanks for another interesting and informative article.
Reference: Roberta: “In my case, my McDowell line matches a McDowell line in King’s Moss, Northern Ireland. Of course, that doesn’t mean my Murtough McDowell who died in 1752 was born in the same place in Ireland, but it’s more information that I had before and it gives me a place overseas to search.”
Is there any proof that your Murtough McDowell’s family is related to Ephraim McDowell born 1673 Londonberry, Northern Ireland and his wife Margaret Irvine born 1674 Aberdeen Scotland?
I understand they (Ephraim and Margaret) were great-grandparents of the “famous” Ephraim McDowell (born 11 Nov 1771 in Augusta County, now Rockbridge County, Virginia), the ninth child of Samuel McDowell (1735-1817) and Mary (McClung) McDowell.
Ephraim McDowell (1771-1830) of Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky and is where he began his practice as a surgeon. In 1802, he married Sarah Shelby, daughter of Isaac Shelby, war hero and twice governor of Kentucky.
On December 13, 1809, Dr. McDowell diagnosed an ovarian tumor in Jane Todd Crawford of Green County, Kentucky. In his house on Christmas morning, 1809, Dr. Ephraim McDowell removed a 22.5 pounds tumor without anesthetic or antisepsis. This was the first successful removal of an ovarian tumor in the world. Mrs. Crawford lived another 32 years.
Note: Samuel McDowell (1735-1817) served under George Washington in the French and Indian War, served as an aide-de-camp to Isaac Shelby in Lord Dunmore’s War, and was part of Nathaniel Greene’s campaign in the Revolutionary War. He was appointed one of the first district court judges in what would become the state of Kentucky. He was one of the leaders of the movement to separate Kentucky from Virginia, presiding over nine of the state’s ten constitutional conventions.
Alice Ramer Rice Bratcher, ARBratcher@aol.com, Kentucky
DNA shows that the Ephraim McDowell line is not my McDowell line.