Who Do You Think You Are?
Researching Presbyterian Ancestors In Ireland
William Roulston Ulster Historical Foundation, 192 pages, £9.99
Church records are a vital resource for Irish family history research. However, understanding and then navigating the records of the different religious denominations in Ireland can be challenging. This is particularly true when it comes to the dissenting faiths, such as the Presbyterian Church and its various branches. Commencing with a brief history of the creation and development of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, this book explains the various splits and formation of distinct branches of the faith. There follows a detailed introduction to the records documenting Presbyterian congregations, ministers and the higher governing bodies, which might prove valuable to the genealogist and local historian alike.
Unlike Roulston’s indispensable Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors, his new publication does not contain a comprehensive list of surviving records, but guides the reader to repositories, collections and catalogues that should be interrogated for relevant material.
This book left me feeling empowered, with a greater understanding of the history and organisation of the Church, and the records that document the congregants and ministers. Researching Presbyterian families in Ireland need not only be confined to the traditional baptismal and marriage registers. Littered with illuminating extracts from records, Researching Presbyterian Ancestors in Ireland is a detailed and in- depth guide, largely for genealogical research but also for anyone curious about the history of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.