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Genealogy records

Private source records

The National Archives (and its predecessor, the Public Record Office of Ireland) acquires records from many differing non-governmental sources, amongst which can be numbered solicitors’ offices, estate offices and private individuals.


The private collections in the National Archives are poor in information on those other than members of a wealthy class ie those with time and money to preclude the necessity for a career and with sufficient free time to indulge themselves in leisured pursuits. The exception lies where there are records of leases or tenant agreements when the names of those on the estates will also appear amongst the records.


The private collections, since they concern mostly those who held land, will cover land-holding in many counties, not just the county of the principal address. The collections will cover many aspects including correspondence, deeds, ledgers, legal records, maps, rentals, tenants’ agreements, testamentary material and valuations.


Amongst the most important estate collections are the following:

  • Bellew, Barmeath Castle, county Louth, dating from the 11th to the 19th centuries (accession 1121)
  • Blake of Ballyglunion, county Galway, dated 1652-1900 (accession M 6931-6)
  • Colclough of Tintern Abbey, county Wexford, dated 1551-1937 (accessions 1131/7: 1177)
  • Congreve of Mount Congreve, county Waterford, dated 1609-1935 (accession 1079)
  • Coote, especially of Ballyfin, county Laois and county Limerick, dated 1628-1932 (accessions 999/404: 1025/1/19-26: 1025/3/10: 1025/4/4: 1025/5/1-3: 1147/6: also MFA 37)
  • Esmonde of Ballynastragh, county Wexford, dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries (accession 981)
  • King Harman, especially of counties Longford and Roscommon, dated 1604-1893 (accessions 1/211:/270: 1/393: 1/582: 90: 1151)
  • Palmer of Kenure, county Dublin, dated 1670-1954 (accession 1174)
  • Pembroke Estate which covers the development of Dublin city and county, dated c.1240-1968 (accessions 1011: 2011: 97/46)
  • Pike Fortescue, Ravensdale, county Louth, dated 1626-1949 (accession 1004)
  • Taylor of Ardgillan, county Dublin, dated 1663-1914 (accession M 7069)
  • Vandeleur of Kilrush, county Clare, dated 1785-1929 (accessions 1074/2 : 99/13)
  • Vigors of Burgage, county Carlow and Holloden, county Carlow, dating 1611-1970 (accessions 1096 and 1140)



The  following collections can be consulted in our Reading Room and in the case of some, are available to consult as .pdf files:

  • Cahir Estate Company, county Tipperary, dated 1826-1966 (accession 976)
  • Private Accessions, 1961-1988 (accession 1025) (420 KB)
  • Franks and Carter Estate Office, Mountrath, county Laois, dating from the 17th to 20th centuries (accessions 1025/1/52-55 & 130-49: 1025/3/19: 1025/3/47: 1025/3/48: 1025/4/10: 1025/5/24)
  • Middleton Estate Office, county Cork, dated 1750-1953 (accession 978)
  • The list of Private Sources 1980-2002 (97 KB)