Transcribed from the original register by members of
Blessington History Society
Beth Halligan, Janet Halligan, Maureen Phibbs, Crena McGee
The originals from which these records were transcribed were discovered in a bookshop by someone who realised what they were and the Parish Priest in Blessington acquired them. The register was not in good condition. It consisted of pages from a resister and other loose sheets. Where an earlier priest had left a space on a page another priest had filled it up with later records. All the pages have been bound together but the entries are not in chronological order and some of the writing is difficult to read. It is therefore very difficult to find what you are looking for. For these reasons we sought permission from the Parish Priest to do the transcription to make it easier for people to find their ancestors in the register.
There are very few records for the early years, only one in 1819, one in 1825 and none in 1826.
At the time the register was in use Blessington Parish included Kilbride and Eadestown.
We have transcribed names exactly as they appear in the register. In some of the early entries the Christian names were in Latin and these have been translated. In some cases the same person has their names spelt in several different ways, for example, Croak, Crook, Crooke or Elizabeth, Eliza and Betty. The same record was sometimes entered twice in the original register with small differences and both entries have been included here. In some cases there was no date, in others only the year was legible and was entered here as 1st January and where only the month and year was available it was entered as 1st of that month.
This register is divided into Baptisms and Marriages.
The Baptism records are presented in two ways. The first section is in chronological order. The first three pages contain the records that have no dates. The second section is in alphabetical order of the father’s surname, which also gives you families. The Marriages are sorted in chronological order.
These are the priests who made entries in the register:
Parish Priests: Rev. Michael Donellan, Rev. Mr. O’Toole, Rev. Francis J. Archer, Rev. James Hamilton.
Curates: Rev. Francis Quin, Rev. Mr. Young, Rev. Mr. Delany, Rev. George Brophy
The following pages are copies of some of the entries from the original register illustrating the difficulties experienced in doing the transcription.
We wish to thank Fr. Kevin Lyon for allowing us to use the records for this project.
Blessington History Society
1819 to 1852 alphabetical order
1852 to 1900 alphabetical order
Symbols that appear by a name in the Marriage Register
2 The bride and groom are second cousins
3 The bride and groom are third cousins
** The person is a widow or widower
# Married in St Anthony’s Liverpool
// Relationship ended by consent
^^ Brother and sister-in-law. Dispensation by Pope Leo XIII
!! The sponsors of Simon Dowling lately returned from America made before C. Dennehy J. P. a declaration of his freedom to marry
Here is a list of deaths from
Interest in exploring one’s roots has always been a hankering lurking in the inner recesses of the genre: Homo sapiens. Even the authors of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke were keen to track the genealogy of the Messiah; that Jesus owed his Semitic origins to Abraham, ‘Our Father in faith’ (Matthew), and was akin to us in his human origins from the time of Adam, ((Luke). And so the odyssey of reflecting and noting events such as births and marriages, over past generations has continued through the centuries receiving fresh impetus in recent decades from computer software that can facilitate the recording of family history.
For instance an Ogham stone discovered some years ago in the town land of Crehelp in the parish of Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow, owes its very name from our ancestral etching in stone of past generations: Craobh Elpi >Crehelp>the genealogical tree of the Claim Elpi.
This assembled recording of births and marriages from the embryonic parishes surrounding Blessington dating from 1819 to post-Famine times forms a rich vein of information that chronicles an important era in Irish history. It was a time when the names of Daniel O’Connell, Thomas Davis, Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria, Archbishop Murray and Pio Nono (Blessed Pius IX) were prominent. This is also a social history where glimpses of current events appear. Sometimes the entries are from scraps of paper accumulated by busy itinerant pastors and finally committed to a more permanent abode.
Great credit is due to the Blessington History Society for their enthusiasm and attention to detail that places this modest volume in the archives of Irish historical resources. It establishes a milestone in the ever-changing demography and topography of Blessington and District. Kevin Lyon C.C.