We don’t generally have records, in Ireland, for the 1700′s and earlier and so genealogy research comes to a standstill for most researchers. Even records for the early 1800′s in Churches are not comprehensive and details of baptisms or marriages are not recorded as we read in this linked page.
Shrove Tuesday (also called as Pancake Tuesday) is a Tuesday often in February or maybe March, depending on the date of Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is calculated as the first Sunday after the first full moon after 21 March. Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians. For Roman Catholics it is the day before a period of penance and fasting so consequently Shrove Tuesday was traditionally a day to use up food and pancake making was popular. “Mardi Gras” is French for “Fat Tuesday“, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Lent meant abstaining from eggs and all dairy products, so all of these had to be used up before Ash Wednesday and hence pancakes were made on Shrove Tuesday.
Shrove as it is often called was a very common day for people to get married and a browse at Catholic Marriage Registers will show this. We can see examples of over 20 marriages taking place in any one Parish on that day. Also a browse through our Remembrance Garden on BMDnotices.com will show that many of the marriage dates for Ireland are on Shrove Tuesday or perhaps the previous day.
If you are beginning a research project to trace your family history, then one of the initial requirements is to document the facts you have from a particular point or generation. Begin with what you know of your parents and their siblings. Have you dates / locations of birth or marriage details?
Talk to older relatives or indeed neighbours of any ancestors you know about. Talking to the elderly people can give a great insight into establishing a framework to build upon. Using this framework you can progress to add locations, facts and dates as they become available.
From birth details of your parents you stand a great chance of getting a background on their parents (your grandparents) and siblings.
A word of caution, do NOT simply insert names, dates etc if you are unsure, instead WAIT and keep checking and researching. You are not in some kind of race; do your thorough research and be sure of your facts. We have a huge number of examples in family trees where even the dates of birth of parents are after the birth of their children. Don’t rush and check the information. Remember this is part of your legacy to family members, even not yet born.
The State or Civil records in Ireland are available from 1964 to date. See http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Apply-for-Certificates.aspx
Roman Catholic Church records in some cases date back to the 1770′s or after while others like Kilmacabea Parish began in 1832. Indeed you will find too that several (maybe up to 10%) of births and marriages are not recorded. The Church of Ireland and Methodist Churches have records dating back a few hundred years. One problem in all Church records was the lack of information e.g. address, fathers name of bride or groom (great if we got a mothers name but that did not happen normally), age.
You may find it beneficial to visit some websites. Here are a few which are free and no login required to view data:-
www.familysearch.org which covers much of the world
www.irishgenealogy.ie and this covers part of Counties Cork, Kerry, Carlow and Dublin in Ireland
For the 32 Counties of Ireland there is the Census of 1901 and 1911 http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/