Saturday, 17 September 2016

Filling in the blanks just got way easier

Only last month I published a chart summarising all I knew about the children of my great-great-grandparents, Francis Byrne and Margaret McGrane. Many blanks remained, despite it being the product of over five year's genealogy research. Then, just last week, the Registrar released our copy birth, marriage and death registers - for free, online - and look at all the blanks now filled!

Child’s Name
Birth date
Death date
Spouse, marriage year
Myles Byrne
15 Jan 1873
2 Nov 1928
Elizabeth Bethel, 1897
James Byrne
18 May 1874
29 Jul 1948
Christina Devine, 1897
Francis Byrne
21 Feb 1876
14 Dec 1950
Maryanne Drennan, 1896
Charles Byrne
6 Mar 1878
12 Apr 1879
Margaret Byrne
15 Nov 1879
25 Jul 1932
James Fay, 1920
Mary Ann Byrne
about 1882
6 Mar 1960

William Vickers, 1901   
Jane Byrne
3 Aug 1883
17 Mar 1919
James Fay, 1916
John Joseph Byrne
21 Dec 1885
15 Jan 1930
Margaret Burke, 1910
Michael Byrne
21 Oct 1887
10 Jan 1889
Patrick Byrne
10 Mar 1890
26 Jul 1923
Catherine Mills, 1916
Paul Byrne
18 Sep 1891
8 Feb 1959
Kathleen McDuff, 1916
Kate Byrne
13 Jul 1893
11 Jun 1931
Ben Byrne
21 May 1896
Annie Porter, 1918

before 1911

Birthdates for Jane, John, Patrick, and Kate are known. However, baptism records are available for the older children and it's clear the Byrnes sometimes delayed registering their newborns' births. For example, at Francis’s baptism on 28 February 1876, his birthday was said to be 21 February. 21 April was the date later registered. He was certainly not baptised before he was born, so the register must be wrong. And, if it's wrong for Francis, it may be wrong for the younger children too. Bear in mind, a penalty was charged for late registration, which the family could ill afford to pay. Maybe it was easier to give the wrong date and avoid a fine.

I also found out what happened to Patrick, the son who died young and shares his parent’s grave. He was born at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, on 10 March 1890 - likely a more accurate date, given the hospital registered his birth. On 3 September 1916, he married Catherine Mills in the Pro-Cathedral. They lived in Upper Rutland Street. Patrick died of heart failure at St Vincent's Hospital in 1923, following an intestinal stricture. 

Historic Irish death registers contain little identifying information, other than the deceased's name and last address, and the possibility the informant might be recognised as a relative. With common names, it is often difficult to know when you’ve found the correct record. Myles Byrne, Francis's son, registered his death. Our Francis had a son called Myles, born in 1903, so this record probably relates to my great-granduncle. Kathleen Byrne, an unmarried soap maker, just a year off our Kate's age, died at the Mater Hospital, Dublin, aged just thirty-six years. She gave her last residential address as Lower Jane Place, where our Byrne family lived. This was probably my great-grandaunt, though further research may prove me wrong.  

© Black Raven Genealogy


  1. Look at that chart--complete! It is good to know that not only are records finally more readily available but also that they exist for your ancestors.

    1. I know, I'm solving loads of family mysteries since they've been released!

  2. I have to check this out. I was born at the Rotunda in 1952 and baptised at Pro-Cathedral.

    1. Jackie, I was born in the Rotunda too! Online civil births are subject to a 100 year cut-off, so only those before 1916 are included. You're too young to make the cut!

    2. Glad for you Dara! Feels good to fill in those blanks doesn't it?

    3. It sure does, Ellie, I LOVE these records!

  3. Wow. Your chart looks beautiful. I just filling in blanks!


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