The archives and local studies collections contain many great sources for genealogy. Of course, so many key sources are now available online. Here is a guide to them, starting with more recent ones. Remember, in genealogy always work backwards in time.
1901 and 1911 Censuses
The two complete pre-Independence censuses that survive are those from 1901 and 1911. The household returns are arranged by district electoral division and townland. Online access is available on census.nationalarchives.ie.
Civil or state records of non-Catholic marriages began in 1845 and of other marriages, and all births and deaths in 1864. They are now available online at irishgenealogy.ie, but there are cut-off points: 100 years for births, 75 years for marriages and 50 years for deaths.
All original Catholic parish records are held by local clergy. Images of the registers to about 1880 are available at registers.nli.ie. Longford registers to c. 1900 are available on the subscription website longford.rootsireland.ie.
Church of Ireland parish records are held by local clergy or are in the Representative Church Body Library, Churchtown, Dublin. Many registers to about 1877 were destroyed in the fire at the Public Record Office, Dublin, in 1922. The full list of surviving registers, with locations, is at ireland.anglican.org. Many of the Longford records are available on the subscription website longford.rootsireland.ie.
For information on Presbyterian records, see presbyterianhistoryireland.com, the website of the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland, 26 College Green, Belfast.
For information on Methodist records, see methodisthistoryireland.org, the website of the Methodist Historical Society of Ireland, Edgehill Theological College, 9 Lennoxvale, Belfast.
Griffith's Valuation for Longford, 1854
The valuation of property, commonly known as 'Griffith's Valuation', was compiled between 1848 and 1864. The Longford valuations were published in 1854. They are arranged by poor law union, barony, civil parish (generally equivalent to the Church of Ireland parish) and townland. They list all occupiers of property, no matter what it consisted of. 'Immediate lessors', to whom occupiers paid rent, are given and all acreages are in statute measure. The Local Studies Department has hardcopies of the books for the county. Online access is available through askaboutireland.ie and includes the Ordnance Survey maps that show the properties.
The Tithe Applotment Books 1823-1837
The Tithe Applotment Books, 1823-37 are a vital source for genealogical research for the pre-Famine period, given the loss of the 1821-51 census records. They were compiled in order to determine the amount which occupiers of agricultural holdings should pay in tithe (a tax) to the Church of Ireland. There is a manuscript book for almost every civil parish (generally equivalent to the Church of Ireland parish) in the country. They give the names of occupiers of each townland, the amount of land held and the sums to be paid in tithes. Because the tithes were levied on agricultural land, urban areas are not included and the books provide only the names of heads of family, not other family members.
The book County Longford Residents prior to the Great Famine (South Bend, Indiana, 2003) by Guy Rymsza contains a complete index to the county's books.
Wills and administrations
Surviving original wills and administrations (where a person died without a will), and transcripts are in the National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8. From 1858 onwards, annual calendars have been published, which give summary details of the original documents. Sadly, most originals, pre-1904, were destroyed in the Public Record Office fire in 1922. However, the transcripts of many from 1858 onwards survive. The calendars of wills and administrations (and many transcripts), 1858-1982, are at willcalendars.nationalarchives.ie.
Other Genealogical Sources
The Simon de Montfort Collection
Life-long member of County Longford Historical Society and member of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, Simon de Montfont, generously donated a major collection concerning Longford families. It is available to view in the Longford Local Studies Department.
- 'Family registers' for about 400 families, mostly those with property or businesses in the county, including pedigrees
- 'Notes' for another 600 families about which less information was available
- Indexes to births, marriages and deaths for The Longford Journal (1839-1868)
- Indexes to family names in various sources including directories, wills and deeds that were consulted by the author
Ancestry.com Library Edition
Ancestry.com Library Edition is a valuable genealogy resource available through Longford Libraries.