Ireland’s Roman Catholic Kilmacteige Records.

Ok this was the main page for this Web Site that started it all — as Ireland’s Roman Catholic (RC) Parish (roughly 98% of the population) Church Records were in disarray for many, many, years.
Then came Computers, the Internet and the World Wide Wed and HTML  and eventually this solved most of those problems and the records are now widely available (and parsed into different packages, which is what We are going to do with them). The next year will be amazing as we are packaging the Census into mapped clusters, and Families which We hope to link from then, to now ! Hang On !!
In 2003 the DVD images of South Sligo Parish RC Church records (St. Attracta in Tourlestrane mainly) were obtained from a nice researcher who scanned the images – but no index (We tried for years to index them) – but this was only  part of the total records for Kilmacteige, Sligo — as Castleconnor, Sligo  was the place many records of Our Ancestors were kept pre-1898 – meaning if your Ancestors were from Kilmacteige in 1880, their records were in Castleconnor (or West Sligo), and it was only later (1901/1911) they were in Kilmacteige/Tourlestrane/Tubbercurry{Tobercurry). and where they had to go to Register any BMD record — Birth/Baptism, Marriage, or Death — when they lived in or around South-Sligo and Mayo  (before the Sligo/Mayo changes/split in 1898).
So IF you only had a little Local History knowledge (or none) you would not know the land areas covered at different times (and if you want to find the records of your ancestors in Kilmacteige). This is where many made a “critical” error as pre-1898 records were in Ballina or Castleconnor.
Many become frustrated and gave up —
Also the story of the burned records during the Irish Civil War “that all records were lost in the 1922 fire at the Four Courts” was repeated so much that it literally became Myth. Many who wanted to research their Ancestry, heard this and many gave up before they even started based on this story (which I was told too – I didn’t care, I started digging)! — These People were incorrectly told nothing was available – tons is available !
Not all the records were lost in the 1922 fire (as many of the local Parish records remained in the local Parish, as the Parish Priest did not send them to Dublin as requested). And many other records survived and could be used as “substitutes” — they only came into regular use after it was widely known they survived  — and most not till the computer age that these records were used to do research. As word spread, more people started researching (and the TV shows did not hurt either). The bottom line is computerization revolutionized Ancestral research. DNA makes it possible to break down the “brick walls” many encountered. Today, almost anything is possible given the Technology we have and that which is just now coming online.
So while it is true many irreplaceable records went up in flames at the Fourt Courts in 1922, the NLI put what was left online in 2015 as now most church record images are online (finally) mainly due to demand of the diaspora! Ancestry has others and LDS has others. Combined, we can now “collect” all these and present them to those who want to know – this is the future. And for those who have been doing it themselves, they still can sift through them if they wish.

Here the link is to the Roman Catholic Church registers:

and the main NLI might also help:



(and this chaos of records in Ireland has a long, long, history) – see the below links if your interested in the tortured History of the records :

Destruction Of The Irish Chancery Rolls (1304–1922)

Introduction: The Four Courts Fire 1922

It was tedious work transcribing these records (anyone who has done it knows) and after a day of this your eyes are crossed !! Try something else, as OCR was just coming to be efficient at the time.


5 thoughts on “Ireland’s Roman Catholic Kilmacteige Records.”

  1. Dear Sir/Madam
    My name is Elizabeth Caffery nee Cawley in Queensland Australia. I have been trying to find a marriage record of my great grandfather, James Cawley born in Sligo 1863. As far as I have been able to establish he was married in Sligo to Anne Kennedy (born 1858 also in Sligo) possibly 1881/1882. I don’t have any confirmation of this however their first child James was born in December 1882 in Liverpool England where they moved to obtain work. Thank you for your help…I would appreciate any assistance you can offer.

      1. Home1901/1911 Census, IrelandSearch

        Sort by:RelevanceSurnameForenameTownland or StreetDEDCountyAgeSex

        Surname Forename Townland/Street DED County Age Sex Birthplace Occupation Religion Literacy Irish Language Relation to Head of Household Marital Status Specified Illnesses

        Cawley Anne J Market Street Ballymote Sligo 26 F Co Sligo Assistant Catholic Read and write English Daughter Not Married

        Cawley Mary J Distillery Lane Sligo East Urban Sligo 21 F Co Sligo Sewing Roman Catholic Read and write Daughter Not Married

        Cawley Michael J Greyfield Drumrat Sligo 12 M County Sligo Scholar R Catholic Read and write Son Not Married

        Cawley Mark J Greyfield Drumrat Sligo 2 M County Sligo R Catholic Cannot read Son Not Married

        Cawley Edward J Tullylin, or Ballyfeenaun Castleconor East Sligo 4 M Co Sligo Farmer’s Son R Catholic Cannot read Son Not Married

        Mc Cawley Mary J Aughnacloy Ballynashee Sligo 28 F Sligo Farmers Daughter R Catholic Read and write Daughter Not Married

    1. Elizabeth, Hello, how is it downunder?

      I would follow the research instructions of the first-page {}, and check the three biggest databases, (1) 1901/1911 Irish Census, (2) Griffiths Valuation, and then (3) Parish Records.

      I am assuming at some point, someone was sent to Australia? Most were Catholic so I would just assume that for the present, and start searching for the names you know – the British kept meticulous records esp. of (what they then called, even though they were NOT really) “crimes” and the sentence of “transportation” —

      Your noted name (“…Sligo to Anne Kennedy (born 1858 also in Sligo) possibly 1881/1882…”) is where I would start.

      Do not let the Census dates throw you as families or cousins surely were still present in all odds (Irish usually had quite large families) so try to find them then work backwards. Its not hard. MAKE SURE to keep track of where you search (the URL or address) and the results download them on your computer (e.g. do not pay ancestry to keep it) – if that is hard, just google it.

      Then You should PRINT the Citations when you find something, one page not tons — so if a Researcher were to check your research, they could go right back to the same page, where you found useful information. You would provide them a URL/Link to every record, 1., 2., 3., ect..then go on to the other databases. Sometimes it is quick and easy, sometimes hard – VARY spelling. look for Families, that is the key as they had Parents and Siblings, and Cousins.

      It is pretty straightforward is you follow the instructions – if you do not understand something or it is not clear how to do it, please post it so We can clean it up…this is more than 10 yrs. old site, added over time – its not perfect and its not paid nor ads, so We eat the costs of providing this so others can find their ancestors free.

      Cheers, Sligo Researcher

    2. Hello Elizabeth I was just researching my family history and came across your message from 2018, regarding James Cawley and Ann Kennedy from Sligo. They were also my great grandparents; my grandfather was Patrick Cawley born 1886 in Liverpool and his older brother was James (your great grandfather?) who sadly died in WWI after emigrating to Australia. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find much Irish information on James or Ann and wondered if you had managed to find anything? I have found them in the UK censuses.
      Carol Davis nee Cawley

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