Diocesan Archives

Archive Story of the Month - Starting in May 2015;

a monthly story featuring an item from Limerick Diocesan Archive.

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The archive constitutes a small but important collection, the bulk of which, in common with most other Irish dioceses, relates to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Black Book of Limerick, dating in part from the fourteenth century, includes transcripts of twelfth century documents relating to the diocese. Included in the archive are the papers of successive bishops of Limerick beginning with Dr Denis Conway, bishop of Limerick, 1779-96. The Limerick Diocesan Archive seeks to preserve these records, making them available to the diocese, its people and to researchers as appropriate. Access to the archive is by appointment only.

Diocesan Archivist: David Bracken BA, BD, MesL, MA

Address: Limerick Diocesan Office, Social Services Centre, Henry St., Limerick.

Tel: 061-315856 Fax: 061-310186 Email: david@ldo.ie

Search for (please click on the word/phrase you are interested in):

A brief history of the diocese of Limerick

A particular parish history

A particular church by name or by geography

Map of Limerick parishes (pdf)


Parish Baptismal and Marriage registers are not held in a central repository: they are conserved in individual parishes. For conservation reasons, direct access to the registers is reserved to parish personnel. While parish staff make every effort to faciltate researchers, they are unable to prioritise queries. Access extends to entries up to and including 1914. Alternatively, The Irish Family History Foundation or Roots.ie provides a gateway to Irish ancestry, roots, genealogy and family history from anywhere in Ireland with access to church records pre 1900. Limerick Genealogy, the Irish Family History Foundation's designated centre for Limerick city and county, provides a professional genealogical service to researchers. Researchers should also be aware that microfilm copies of parish registers are available in the National Library. Find below, a list of sites as an aid to research.

Where to begin?

Irish Genealogy: exploring your Irish family history step-by-step. Also civil registration indexes including births to 1913, marriages to 1938 and deaths to 1963.

National Archives of Ireland: a guide to resources for researching the family tree.

Cenus, property valuation, civil registration and other sources

Census of Ireland 1901 and 1911

Griffith’s Valuation, the primary valuation of Ireland provides information on where people lived in the nineteenth century. See also www.irishorigins.com

Ireland, Civil Registration indexes, 1845-1958; these include births registered between 1864 and 1958; marriages, 1845-1958; deaths 1864-1958.

Tithe applotment books 1823-37; compiled to determine the amount which occupiers of agricultural holdings over one acre should pay to the Church of Ireland.

Wills: Calendars and administration of wills, 1858-1920 and Soldiers wills 1914-17

Looking in Limerick

County Limerick Genealogy: Limerick maps and townlands.

Limerick City Archives: with an online collections database, notably Mount St Lawrence Burial Ground registers, 1855 - 2008; Mount St Lawrence, New Extension, February 1960 - April 2010; Mount St Oliver Burial Ground registers February 1960 - April 1998.

Limerick City Library: Local Studies, an extensive online collection of Limerick-related materials.

Limerick City Museum

Limerick County Library: Local Studies. See the Family History Research pages which include a comprehensive listing of sources regarding grave inscriptions.

Limerick Genealogy: the Irish Family History Foundation's designated centre for Limerick city and county, provides a full and professional research service for enquirers. Initial correspondence usually receives a reply within two weeks. Church records to which Limerick Genealogy has access include:

the earliest Catholic parish records date from 1745,

the earliest Church of Ireland records date from 1692,

Presbyterian records from 1828 and Methodist records from 1824.

Limerick's Life: Limerick local history site, including a helpful introduction to a variety of sources for the study of family history. How to trace your Limerick family history.

University of Limerick Special Collections Library: the Leonard collection of books on Limerick city and county is of particular interest.

Looking in Ireland; Irish Archives

Irish Archives Resource contains information about archival collections open for public research in Ireland. Its purpose is to aid researchers in finding collections relevant to their studies.

Learn About Archives in Ireland: a practical information service on archival material and archives in Ireland.

The Irish Archives: an internet based family history research tool with links to a cross section of sources.

Other helpful sources

Placenames database of Ireland

Historic Graves: a community based heritage project which digitally records and publishes historic graveyard surveys and stories.