Saturday 3 June 2017

Buried in Fingal

Last month, Fingal County Council released a superb new FREE online database called ‘Buried in Fingal’. It contains the details of 65,000 people buried in graveyards across north county Dublin, from the late nineteenth century onward. It was exciting to think these registers might contain the answers to many of my open questions! 

St Sylvester's Cemetery, Malahide, Co. Dublin, 2016
Yellow Walls Cemetery, Malahide, 2016

First off, I found my paternal grandfather, James Byrne. He died at his residence in ‘Far Yellow Walls’ on 22 December 1964. He was buried that Christmas Eve in the graveyard at Yellow Walls, Malahide.[1] 

Burial of James Byrne, 1964, St Sylvester's Cemetery, Malahide, Co. Dublin
Burial of James Byrne, Yellow Walls Cemetery (click on image to enlarge)

We always knew James shared a grave with his wife Lena (O’Neill) Byrne. I cannot show you the page with her details unfortunately, as it failed to load fully to the website. But, by downloading the register for the entire cemetery, I could scroll to the relevant page and see her entry. It confirms she died at her residence on 27 October 1956 and that James organised her funeral the following day. He paid a £5 burial fee, or maybe that was the cost of the plot.[2] 

James Byrne’s father, Michael Byrne, died in Yellow Walls on 22 December 1927 and by unhappy coincidence he too was buried on a Christmas Eve.[3] had hoped these registers would confirm where exactly he was buried. The Yellow Walls Cemetery opened in 1918, but he’s not there. So, he was probably interred in the Abbey Graveyard at Malahide Castle, the original burial ground for the area. If he is there, no tombstone was ever erected on his grave. 

Fingal County Council maintains the Abbey Graveyard, as well as its records, but they have not been published on their new website.
This also scuppers my chance of answering a second burning question - Was
Peter Radcliffe, my fourth great-grandfather on Mam’s side, buried at the Castle, too? Peter died in Yellow Walls in March 1887, more than twenty years after his wife, Anne.[4] We know Anne was buried at the Castle, because Peter erected a tombstone there, in her memory.[5] Peter also fought through the courts for many years to protect his right to be buried beside her, so it would be nice to know, for sure, if he realised this goal.[6]

Anne Radcliffe (c.1799 – 1866), Castle Abbey Graveyard, Malahide, Co. Dublin
Anne Radcliffe (c.1799 – 1866)
Transcript of tombstone, Castle Abbey Graveyard

My final question relates to my granduncle Michael Byrne - James Byrne’s youngest brother. Where was he buried?  He is said to have died in England about 1962 or 1963, so his death isn't registered here. I cannot find a record of it in England either.  Dad remembered his uncle's body was brought home for burial, as he attended the funeral with his father, but he could not remember where exactly it took place. They were planting the winter cabbage at the time and could only spare one day off work, so Michael must have died around August.

I found the burial of Michael’s son, Patrick Byrne. Patrick was fatally injured in a tragic accident in February 1960, when he was crushed between two oil tankers at a depot in Co. Cork.[7] He was buried in Balgriffin Cemetery, but there is no sign of his father there.[8] He’s not in Kinsealy Cemetery either. I suspect Michael was buried in St Colmcille’s, in Swords – their records are not managed by the Council. If he was, it would seem no tombstone was ever erected on his grave either.[9]

So, while ‘Buried in Fingal’ is a great new resource for Dublin genealogy, and I hope other councils and parishes (i.e. Swords!!!) across Ireland quickly follow their example, unluckily for me, my questions weren’t answered this time.

© Black Raven Genealogy

[1] Burial of James Byrne1964, Yellow Walls Cemetery, ‘Buried in Fingal’, Fingal County Council. 
[2] Burial of Lena Byrne, 1956, Yellow Walls Cemetery, ‘Buried in Fingal’.
[3] Death of Michael Byrne, 1927, Balrothery, Civil Records, 
[4] Death of Peter Radcliffe, 1887, Balrothery, Civil Records,
[5] Black Raven Genealogy, ‘Abbey Graveyard at Malahide Castle’; Michael Egan, Memorials of the Dead, no. 9, 1996, p. 153. 
[7] Irish Times, 18 February 1960, p. 6.
[8] Burial of Patrick Byrne, 1960, Balgriffin Cemetery, ‘Buried in Fingal’.
[9] Fingal Heritage Group, “Rest in Peace”, no. 1 - Fingal Cemeteries, St Colmcille's, Swords.


  1. Worth dropping Colm the Fingal archivist an email to ask about why the Malahide Castle ones are not included. There are some records for that cemetery on

    1. Good idea, Claire, at least he could confirm if there are any relevant records in the archives.

    2. and I see now makes reference to my ancestors, Peter and Anne Radcliffe. I believe Peter would be pleased with the attention.

  2. It is always exciting when a new source comes online. What a disappointment though that your questions were not answered. Nevertheless, it is good to see what is there and have previous answers confirmed.

    1. Agreed Wendy, and it paves the way for other cemeteries to follow suit!

  3. It is wonderful when these databases become available online. They lead us in amazing directions.

  4. I have included your blog in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at

    Thank you, Chris


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!