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Archive of the Month March 2014 – St Peter’s Drogheda registers of baptism, burial and marriage 1702–1900 – indexes online

RCB Library Notes

Added on 01/03/2014

St Peter's parish church, Drogheda, and the label attached to the front cover of combined register RCB Library P854/1/2 comprising baptisms, marriages and burials 1702-1748Continuing a commitment to publish and make more widely available the vast collection of parish registers available in its custody (where over 1000 are held) the RCB Library in Dublin, in conjunction with the parish of St Peter’s, Drogheda, is pleased to release online pdf indexes of the baptisms, marriages and burials recorded in the parish registers between 1702 and 1900, as the March 2014 Archive of the Month.

Local and family historians with an interest in the evolution of this strategic urban centre which was created a borough with its own corporation from medieval times, will benefit from ease of access to the original information contained in the parish registers which was painstakingly put together under the direction of the late Revd Mervyn Kingston (1947–2013), formerly rector of Ballymascanlan union of parishes.

From about 1997 onwards, he first initiated the task of transferring the extensive records of the seven parishes comprising his own parish group to a database. He then founded the South Armagh Genealogy project covering the parishes of south Armagh and county Louth as a public database, and many of the church records transcribed for the project can still be viewed at this address: http://creggan.armagh.anglican.org/fifth.html

A similar task was next undertaken for the parish of St Peter’s, Drogheda, one of two parishes in the town – and the only one on the north and county Louth side of the River Boyne. It was Mervyn’s vision that making accessible and sharing church records from the different denominations provided an opportunity for ecumenical and cross–community engagement and promoting tourism. Thanks to his initiative, a database of all of the entries of baptism, marriage and burial for St Peter’s between 1702 and 1900 was created.

Whilst this database has been available locally and also in the RCB Library for some time, the Library is now providing online access to the pdf copies of the indexes of surnames of all the people baptised and buried in the parish, and additionally the index of surnames of all brides and grooms married in the parish from the beginning of the 18th century and up to 1900, so as to assist researchers with ancestral and local history interests in this important community.

When Revd Kingston Mervyn and his team compiled the database (during the late 1990s) they worked in St Peter’s church where the records were then held. Subsequently during the early 2000s, these were transferred to the RCB Library, by the rector, the Revd Michael Graham, who made an additional smaller deposit in 2012, and where they are catalogued as P854.

To view the complete list of St Peter’s Drogheda records now available at the RCB Library and to access the register indexes 1702–1900 see: www.ireland.anglican.org/library/archive

For further background about the parish of St Pater’s see http://stpetersdrogheda.ie/history/

A small number of parish registers have been digitised to date, and are available to view here.

For further information about the collections of parish registers in the RCB Library please contact:
Dr Susan Hood
RCB Library
Braemor Park
Churchtown Dublin 14
Tel: 01–4923979
Fax: 01–4924770
E–mail: susan.hood@rcbdub.org