County Leitrim, Ireland Genealogy
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Guide to County Leitrim ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.
- 1 History
- 2 Archives and Libraries
- 3 General County Research Information
- 4 Cemeteries
- 5 Census
- 6 Church Records
- 7 Civil Jurisdictions and Parish Research Information
- 8 Civil Registration of Births, Marriages & Deaths
- 9 Estate Records
- 10 Land and Property
- 11 Maps
- 12 Place-Names
- 13 Probates
- 14 Societies
- 15 Websites
From the Early modern period, County Leitrim is named after the village. Leitrim has the smallest population of the counties of Ireland. In 1925, Leitrim village comprised 30 houses with 5 being licensed to sell alcohol. Liatroim was a strategically important ford of the River Shannon connecting Ulster and Connacht. The Irish Annals makes mention of Leitrim village many times. In 1270 the Battle of Áth an Chip between Normans and Connacht probably occurred on Drumhierney townland beside Battle-bridge.
The population of County Leitrim is roughly 485 people.
Archives and Libraries
General County Research Information
Further information about County Leitrim is available at;
A nation-wide compilation of headstones was created some years ago. Visit the FamilySearch Catalog (online) under "Ireland" and Cemetery records - Indexes" for availability.
- 1901 - Ireland Census, 1901 at FamilySearch — index
- 1911 - Ireland Census, 1911 at FamilySearch — index
Church of Ireland
The Representative Church Body Library has all surviving Church of Ireland registers. Some copies are held at:
- the local parish
- local archives and libraries
- FHL (Family History Library) has few transcription copies of Church of Ireland parishes
The vast majority of Presbyterian chapel registers have never been centrally archived, and thus are found in various locations. [Regretably, preservation of these precious records and the rich Presbyterian heritage of local Presbyterians as well as descendants of same, at large whose roots originate from Ireland, are at risk unless and until such time as when these registers are all copied into at least microform or, better--a digitized format.]
You must conduct exhaustive, thorough studies to determine to which Presbyterian denomination your ancestor belonged; and to then, determine the whereabouts of surviving registers--if any. The following most likely places to start your search to find and search Presbyterian registers starts with checking at the following locations:
- the local Presbyterian church/chapel (if still in use)
- distant Presbyterian chapels (if the local chapel closed) as registers transferred usually to the next nearest chapel
- town libraries
- county archives/libraries
- PRONI (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland) - has significant collections
- The National Archives, Dublin
- The National Library of Ireland
- Presbyterian Historical Society, Belfast - has older registers for some chapels/congregations
- for Presbyterian ancestry for especially earlier years after the church was created, be sure to look in the Church of Ireland parish registers for vital events.
- The excellent RootsIreland web site for County Leitrim has a few Presbyterian chapels' data now available online; some from as early as 1829.
- Search FamilySearch Catalog (FamilySearch Catalog) to determine availability of transcription copies of Presbyterian chapels.
Most Methodist Church registers of baptisms and marriages are still held locally at the Methodist churches. You must contact the minister office of each chapel, bearing in mind that they may or may not conduct ancestral searches on your behalf.
PRONI (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast) possesses the largest collection of Methodist registers which is mostly available only on microfilm.
The Wesley Historical Society Archives, at Edgehill College, in Belfast also has significant record holdings in both microform format of records and hard copy registers. You may initially contact them; however, they will not perform genealogical searches for you. You will likely need to contact a professional researcher or a record agent on your behalf. Here is the contact information for:
Edgehill Theological College
9 Lennox Vale
Belfast BT9 5BY
Tel: 028 9068 5870 Email: email@example.com.
RootsIreland.ie has 7 chapels' data available online currently, from as early as 1842. In the future this web site might have some Methodist data available to researchers online. Keep checking back often.
The FHL (Family History Library) has several copies of the original Roman Catholic parish registers of County Leitrim parishes in its collection. You can identify these listed online at FamilySearch.org. IF you know the name of the civil parish in which your Catholic ancestor resided, or was from, click "Catalog" and type in the name of the parish and then highlight/click on "Church Records".
The National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin, is the custodian of all available Roman Catholic parish registers from throughout the country--including County Leitrim.
The rootsireland.ie web site has data from numerous Roman Catholic parishes now online for searching. There are fees attached (about $7 for each entry).
Civil Jurisdictions and Parish Research Information
Civil Registration of Births, Marriages & Deaths
Government-sponsored registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1845 (Protestant marriages only) and 1864 (whole population) for all births, marriages and deaths. To find information on the vital events of your Irish ancestor, here are some helpful websites for obtaining critical information.
- 1845-1913 - Ireland Civil Registration, 1845-1913 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1845-1958 - Ireland Civil Registration Indexes, 1845-1958 at FamilySearch — index and images
- To obtain certificates of birth, marriage or death for your ancestor[s], write to or contact the following record office; the cost is €10 (about $13) per certificate:
General Register Office, Government Offices,
Convent Road Roscommon.
Tel: +353 (0) 90 6632900
LoCall: 1890 252076
Fax: +353 (0) 90 6632999
Fax: +353 (0) 90 6632988
There are fees for performing particular searches; see their website for further information.
Estate records may provide names of households in such records as leases, rents, and mortgages. These ought to be consulted and used when extant, especially when church registers do not exist for the time period being researched. Here are some web sites which hold estate records and some transcriptions of same:
- Connacht Province Landed Estate Database (online)
- Freeholders Records - many Irish freeholders
Land and Property
1885 County Map: Courtesy of London Ancestor
Here are two important place-name aids/tools for locating your Irish place and its parish jurisdiction[s]:
- List of All Townlands, Towns and Townships in County Leitrim. - click county "Leitrim"; then click "Submit" to view a complete alphabetical listing of all townlands, towns and townships and the parishes in which they reside
- Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel A. Lewis; at LibraryIreland.com - provides a rich 1837 historical perspective of each Ireland parish and large township; great for determining which churches existed in each parish--Church of Ireland or Nonconformist
Here are two online County Leitrim probate sites to visit with data from early to at least 1810:
The Family History Library (FHL) has "Abstracts of Some Ardagh, Clogher and Kilmore Diocesan Wills. Alphabetical list of Wills proved mainly 1739-1810, in the above Diocese. Article in The Irish Ancestor, vol.VI.no.2.1974. pages 112-121, Family History Library Ref. 941.5 B2i v5-6. Possibly also available in most major university, research libraries and some larger public libraries.
Family history societies often publish helpful journals, transcripts, compiled genealogies and host helpful websites. They may have ongoing projects to transcribe records and create indexes. Most societies publish queries in their journals and maintain lists of members’ research interests that may be helpful to you. You may want to join one of these societies, reap the benefits of their expertise and resources or support its efforts.
To view a list of Leitrim web sites, visit FHLFavorites.info for some great sites. Also see the "Genealogy" section (above) for more sites.
- Leitrim Resources and Help pages RootsChat Leitrim Resources and Help pages. (Free).
- Irish Times, also lists all county Heritage Centres' addresses
- Digital Irish Genealogy Data is a subscription web site which provides online transcribed data to several County Leitrim record sources.
- From-Ireland web site provides some links for County Leitrim ancestry--some of which is at no cost
- John Grenham's web site is an excellent one with several links for those with County Leitrim ancestors
- The Leitrim-Rosscommon web site also lists some links for this county. However, some links are old and do not work, i.e. The Emigrant Savings Bank Index Project.
- GenWeb Ireland - has numerous online links to data-rich lists of Leitrim County families
- John Grenham's web site has several helpful links for Leitrim names
- Leitrim County Surname Query board is here
- CMCRP Project (Leitrim) - has a few records for the county
- Civil Registration of births marriages and deaths for County Leitrim, online, 1864