rare ol' times

This wonderful old photograph of Clogheen's main street is taken from Barrack Hill, just above the church (to your left out of picture), looking down the street. You can see what is now Halley's bar to the right and most of the buildings are still recognisable.

Use this index section to guide you around this page

Registry Office




Catholic Church Records

Baptisimal Register

Marriage Register


Griffiths Valuation

Tithe Applotment Books

Historic Links

Genealogical Links

Genealogical Query? - Why not visit our Genealogy Bulletin Board

If you are from America, Australia, England, or anywhere else for that matter, and you are searching for your roots in or around Clogheen: WELCOME HOME! Hopefully these few pages will help to get you started and also help to maximise the amount of time you spend researching rather than wasting that precious time trying to find out just what material is available, where it is, and who you should contact.

Presumably you will have a grandfather's or grandmother's name before you start. If you have a townland name, then so much the better. If your ancestor is from the immediate vicinity of the town, it is well to remember at this early stage, that the name 'Shanrahan' applies to a civil parish, a church parish, (which are more or less the same ) and a townland. Parishes in Ireland are divided into smaller townlands.

The modern day parish of Clogheen /Burncourt is the old parish of Shanrahan. Similarly, Templetenny is now Ballyporeen; Tullaghhorton is now part of Ballylooby/Duhill, as is the old parish of Tubrid. Don't be dismayed. The people you are going to meet will know exactly the place you are looking for. It is debatable whether you should do a search of church records, which are older, or the civil registers first. Research is a matter of working backwards, so starting at the civil records would in that case come first. You may well come up with some information after using the church records which entails a second visit to the civil books. It is also quite likely that once you have started on your family history you will become hooked! This will mean several visits to several places over the years!

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This picture is taken from the river at the historic Shanrahan graveyard, 1.5 miles along the Ballyporeen road from Clogheen, looking toward the picturesque Knockmealdown mountains. The graveyard is the resting place of the famed Fr. Nicholas Sheehy.

Clogheen means Little Stone


1864 is the earliest date at which civil registers of births and deaths were kept in Ireland. The registers for most of the parishes in South Tipperary, including the above parishes are kept at the Registrars office in the County Clinic building on the Western road in Clonmel. Ms Anne Hallinan is the registrar. The phone number is: 052-22011. No need to dial the prefix 052 if you are calling locally. Copies of the registers are nowadays kept at the Heritage centre in Cashel, twenty miles north of Clogheen, and it is to this centre that the family historian must go if he or she wishes to conduct a search. The registers are divided up into districts and years, and each one is indexed.

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Start with the register of births. If you find the name you are looking for and the address is right, and the date is about what you expected, you will immediately have the names of your subject's parents. Your great-grandparents? Well done. Now, using this new information and the aforementioned index you can search forward twenty years or so, and back the same number of years. Whether your subject was the first, or last child of those parents, using this method you will soon know the names of all your subject's brothers and sisters. Easy isn't it?

Be warned! Many things have to be taken into account when doing these searchs. Your subject may have been born in a hospital or other institution outside the parents' normal place of residence! Just as today, a Clogheen mother giving birth in Clonmel will have the birth registered in the Clonmel book, and a search of the Clogheen book will prove fruitless. You will also need some 'local' knowledge before undertaking such a search. Clogheen, for instance, is divided by the River Tar. The residents of Bridge Street certainly live in the town of Clogheen, but they are officially residents of Ballboy West townland in the parish of Ballylooby/Duhill. If you come across something that looks promising except for the 'Dwelling-place' of father, make a note of it, just in case!

Other things to keep in mind when searching are the possibilities of second marriages, births outside of marriage, and in some extreme cases, name changes. A recent visitor to Clogheen discovered, after many years of research, that the name her ancestor gave on entering the United States was different than that on her birth certificate.

In the birth register you will find the following:

date and place of birth; name of child; sex; name, surname and dwelling place of father; mother's name, surname, and maiden name; rank or profession of father; signature of informant; date registered.

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Remember that not all deaths were registered. While searching is usually a labour of love rather than a race against the clock, if your time is limited you do not want to waste it looking for the baptism records of great-great-grand-uncles who died two days after they were born! It is more likely that such a relative would not have been registered at all. If the ancestor, whose death you are looking for, died at a ripe old age after but close to 1864, then you will have a link to the 1780s or 1790s. As with the births you have to take into account the place of death of the person you are looking for. It sounds obvious, but again, a resident of Clogheen who dies in Cork for example, will have the death registered in Cork.

The entry in the death register will give you the following information:

date and place of death, name and surname, sex, marital status, age at last birthday, occupation, cause of death, signature and residence of informant.

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If the ancestor you are searching for was married in the area, then you should be able to find the record of that marriage in the appropriate register. The bride's name as well as the groom's name are given, their addresses, and, sometimes, their ages as well as their parents' names and occupation. If ages are provided for the bride and groom and you have not already found a birth certificate, now you have a date to work on. For a fee, any certificates that you wish to acquire can be obtained before you leave.


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The Baptismal Register of Clogheen/Burncourt parish goes back to the year 1778. The original books are still preserved in St. Mary's Catholic Church but are too fragile to be made available to the public. The earliest years of the register include the parish of Templetenny (modern Ballyporeen). Ballyporeen became an independent parish in 1816. The Marriage Register dates from 1814.

All the parish records that are available for the old Shanrahan, modern Clogheen/Burncourt parish are on microfilm at Waterford Heritage Centre in Waterford city. This is where you should go to carry out your research as the computerised records are more easily accessible and cover many parishes, but do come back to Clogheen to share your findings with us. You will note that during the years of famine in Ireland, the number of baptisms decreased remarkably. This as obviously a reflection on the smaller number of births in those years, but it is also important to remember that children may have been born in circumstances that prevented the parents from having them baptised.

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Because the Birth Register did not start until 1864, the Baptismal Register for the parish which dates from 1778 is a very valuable source of information. First names are in Latin in the original book, and this is another reason for going to Waterford where they are in English. For instance, in the original book James becomes Jacobus, William becomes Gulielmi, and so on. For Catholic parents in the last century, having their offspring baptised in the Church was more important than having the birth registered in some official register so this might be where you find your ancestor. Babies were normally baptised a few days after birth, so you will be able to establish approximate date of birth quite easily. Some of the entries have a short address, maybe the name of a townland, but only some of them. Most have sponsors names. These sponsors' names can be important in later research, as they were almost always, close relatives or neighbours. The mother's maiden name is always used, which makes identification easier.

Remember too that the priest who entered the information in the book may have used a spelling of the name different to that used by your family. An obvious example of this is the use or non-use of the prefix O'.

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The information contained in the Church Marriage Register can be sparse enough depending on the officiating priest. Bride's and groom's names will be found, date and location of marriage, and usually the witnesses are listed.

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Unfortunately, during the Civil War in Ireland in the early 1920s, the Four Courts in Dublin came under attack. The Four Courts had for many years been the official repository for all official records, and after the attack, the forces holding the building set explosives in it before surrendering. Vast numbers of documents essential to the researcher were destroyed including Censuses from the last century. Some censuses had been destroyed a few years earlier, by the authorities, who thought that those documents no longer served a useful purpose. Fortunately, the censuses of 1901 and 1911 were preserved and with each passing year these become more and more important. Later censuses have not as yet been released for public viewing. After 1911, the next census was held in 1926. This, and all subsequent censuses, by law have to remain confidential for 100 years.

The Tipperary returns for the 1901 census are available on microfilm at Tipperary County Library in Thurles. You will have telephoned the very helpful Mary Guinan Darmody, in the local studies department at the library, a day or two before going there and booked time on the microfilm machine. The number is 0504-21555.

The census is a wonderful source of information which makes the loss of the earlier ones all the more regrettable. In it you will find your family grouped together under one roof, with all their ages given, as well as occupations, religion, ability to read and write in Irish and/or English. Type of house, number of rooms, material on roof, are all included. Only people staying in the house on census night are entered on the form. While you may discover that certain members of the family were away that night, you will very often find visitors or servants listed there. It is possible, given time, to search through an entire townland looking for missing family members. Very often they will turn up as servants at a neighbouring house, maybe in a neighbouring townland.

In order to see the 1911 census, you will have to go to the National Archives at Bishop Street, Dublin. Check opening hours by calling 01-478-3711.

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The Beautiful Baylough (Bealough), a glacial lake lying in the Knockmealdown mountains just a few miles along the Lismore / Cappoquin road from Clogheen

Bay Lough


While you are in Thurles Library, you will certainly want to see Griffith's Valuation of Ireland from 1851. In the absence of a census listing from that year, the Griffiths Valuation is the next best thing. If you have worked back through the Register of Births in Clonmel you will by now have a name and a townland and obviously a county to look up in Griffiths. As townland names are not unique to any area, it is important to know the parish name as well. Only one name is given in Griffiths for each family, nearly always the head of the family. After the establishment of the Poor Law system in Ireland and the subsequent building of the workhouses, a system of rates (taxes) on property was put in place. The occupier of every house in Ireland is listed here, broken down into parishes and townlands. Never intended as a research document, it was compiled solely as a means of identifying those liable for rates. If there was land attached to the house, the amount of land is given. Immediate lessors are also given.

A map reference number is given for each property. The original maps are held at the Valuation Office in Ely Place, Dublin. These maps are available for inspection, but at the time of writing, copies are no longer available. The map will pinpoint the position of a house which corresponds with the name you have found in Griffiths Valuation. Maybe the house is still standing! All changes which occurred in the ownership or in the occupation of each property are noted in the Valuation Books, which are also available for inspection at Ely Place. These Valuation books follow the history of the house you have identified from 1850 right up to 1930. Again in the absence of a census for the middle of the nineteenth century, Griffiths will give you a good indication of the economic status of your relative at that time. A change in ownership to someone with a surname the same as the preceeding name usually indicates a death of a father and the property being passed to a son, brother, or wife. Here is a reason to go back to the Register of deaths (assuming it was after 1864).

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Between 1823 and 1837, all agricultural land in Ireland was surveyed and valued. If you have found the ancestor that you are looking for in the Griffiths Valuation and that ancestor had land, then the Tithe Applotment book for the same area will let you see if that person was the occupier of the same land prior to the Famine. Tithes were a tax of ten percent of income which had to be paid by all landholders, no matter what their religion, to the Established Church of Ireland, the Protestant Church. The Tipperary listings from the Applotment Books are available at the library in Thurles.

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Genealogical Query? - Why not visit our Genealogy Bulletin Board

Other Historic Links

 Fairy Tree

St. Cathaldus

 The Sword of Robert E. Lee

Pictures page: from both today and yesteryear

Clogheen Bulletin Board: contacts and queries

many of historic & genealogical interest

Also check out the web pages put up by Margaret and Jonathan Skean with postcards from Ireland picked up by Margaret's Grandparents on their trip there in 1910.

If you have specific historical questions you may consider emailing Ed O'Riordan who has studied the history of the area in some depth and wrote the delightful "Historical Guide to Clogheen". This guide, like many of the other stories on this site, are taken from the book. Contact Ed for a copy. The cost is 7.50 Euro plus shipping fees (1 Euro anywhere in Ireland and 3 Euro overseas).

Genealogical Query? - Why not visit our Genealogy Bulletin Board

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Genealogical Links

County Tipperary Historical Society

Griffith Index for County Tipperary

Parish and Record dates for Tipperary

Roman Catholic parish listing for Tipperary

Listing of Tipp North and Tipp South Parishes (these open in new windows, just close the window to get back to this page).

Caplice Parish and IGI records for Clogheen / Ballyporeen - site put up by genealogical enthusiast in Australia

If you have specific genealogical questions you may consider emailing Ed O'Riordan who has much experience in this area

Genealogical Query? - Why not visit our Genealogy Bulletin Board

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