Guide to National Archives of Ireland

Acquisitions from Private Sources


Private Sources

The Public Record Office of Ireland, in an effort to repair as much of the losses of 1922 as possible, acquired records from many private sources, a policy which the National Archives has endeavoured to continue. These private sources have included business firms, solicitors' offices, trade unions, charities, estate offices and private individuals. From 1922-30 records acquired from private sources were referenced in a complicated scheme designed to replicate the pre-1922 arrangement of records under a large number of headings. From 1931-72 records were referenced under a more simplified scheme using the following abbreviations:

Co or C - Courts

D - Deeds

T - Testamentary

M - Miscellaneous

Since 1972 larger private accessions have been numbered in a series beginning at 1000, while smaller accessions have been given sub-numbers in the series 999. Some unreferenced records acquired before 1972 have been given numbers starting at 975, while the numbers 1-974 are reserved for allocation to records accessioned before 1972. Lists of Co, D, T and M series, and of Accessions by number (1-974, 975-998, 999, 1000-) are at Cases 1-2. In the case of this class of records, supplementary searches should be carried out in other available finding aids, such as the Miscellaneous, Testamentary and Deeds Card Indexes (Cases 4-5).

Personal Papers

There follows a list of some of the most important deposited collections of personal papers.

Letter Book of Lord Deputy Falkland 1629-3 (M 2445).

Papers of Sir Cyril Wyche, Chief Secretary 1676-93 (see 57th Report of Deputy Keeper, pages 479-518).

Two Collections of Correspondence of Lord Townshend, Lord Lieutenant, 1767-72 (M 648-735).

Correspondence of Earl of Westmoreland 1789-1808 (see one-volume Calendar and Index).

Frazer Collection 1798-1848 (see 55th Report of Deputy Keeper, page 145).

Letter Books of Lord Francis Leveson-Gower, Chief Secretary 1829-30 (M 736-8).

Baron Monsell of Emly Papers.

Harrington Papers.

Barton Papers.

Frank McDermot Papers.

Liam Cosgrave Papers.

Jack Lynch Papers.

Family and Estate Papers

There follows a list of some of the more important deposited collections of family and estate papers.

Bateman Papers, relating to property in Co Kerry, 1648-1848.

Blake Papers, relating to property principally in and near Ballyglunin, County Galway, 1652-1898.

Bodkin Papers, relating to property in Tuam, County Galway, and Dublin, 1843-1985, including papers of Thomas Bodkin, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland.

Boyne Papers, relating to property in and near Stackallan, County Meath, 1657-1915.

Bryson/Evans Papers, relating to property mainly in Dublin City and County, 1665-1871.

Carew Papers, relating to Carew Family of Castle Boro, County Wexford, 18th and early 19th centuries (calendared in A K Longfield, The Shapland Carew Papers, Dublin 1946).

Clifden Papers, relating to property of Agar Family in and near Gowran, County Kilkenny, 1670-1895.

Cliffe/Vigors Papers, relating to property in County Carlow, 17th-20th centuries.

Colclough Papers, relating to property in and near Tintern, County Wexford, 1683-1827.

Fitzpatrick Papers, relating to property mainly in Counties Laois and Kilkenny, 1574-1842.

Woulfe Flanagan Papers, mostly correspondence concerning family and estate matters, 19th-20th centuries.

Greville Papers, relating to property in County Cavan, early 19th century (see 57th Report of Deputy Keeper, pages 468-9).

Hamilton Papers, relating to property in Counties Armagh and Down, 17th-18th centuries.

King-Harman Papers, relating to property in Counties Longford, Kildare, Queen's and Westmeath, 1656-1893.

Lenigan Papers, relating to property in and near Thurles, County Tipperary, 18th and 19th centuries.

Osborne Papers, relating to property mainly in County Waterford, mid-17th to late 19th centuries.

Palmer Papers, relating to property in Counties Dublin, Mayo and Sligo, 1670-1954.

Pembroke Papers, relating to property mainly in Dublin City and County, and County Wicklow, c1240-1968.

Porter Papers, relating to property in and near Bellisle, County Fermanagh, 1698-1920.

Richardson Papers, relating to property in Counties Louth and Kildare, 1738-1946.

Sarsfield-Vesey Papers, relating to property in Counties Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare and Carlow, mostly late 17th and 18th centuries (see 56th Report of Deputy Keeper, pages 342-402).

Business Records

Since 1970 records acquired by the Business Records Survey of the Irish Manuscripts Commission have been deposited in the National Archives. The survey covers the 26 Counties, and the records surveyed consist mainly of records of manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and trade associations, but it is notable that records of some hospitals, charities and estates have been included. The following are some of the more important holdings:

Byrne & Watkins Brewery

Dublin Chamber of Commerce

Irish Distillers Ltd

W & R Jacob Ltd

Palgrave Murphy Ltd


United Yeast Company Ltd

See Lists of Business Records, arranged by county, and partial search facility on National Archives website. See also summaries of records surveyed and deposited in Irish Economic and Social History, 10, 1983, pages 81-91, and subsequent issues.

Co-operative Organisations

Deposited records are those of the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (formerly the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society), covering the period 1896-1970, and written permission of the Society must be obtained before consulting them. See List of Records.

Trades Unions

The following is a list of deposited trade union records:

Irish Congress of Trade Unions (and its predecessors the Irish Trade Union Congress and the Congress of Irish Unions) 1920s-70.

Ancient Guild of Incorporated Brick and Stonelayers Trade Union 1815-1970.

Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union, Republic

of Ireland District and Dublin Lodge, 1866-1970.

Irish National Painters' and Decorators' Trade Union 1814-1970.

Local Government and Public Services Union 1901-70.

National Union of Sheet Metal Workers of Ireland 1836-1970.

National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers, Dublin Branch, 1918-68.

Operative Plasterers' and Allied Trades' Society of Ireland 1898-1949.

For further information see Ken Hannigan, 'Labour Records in the Public Record Office of Ireland', Saothar, 6, 1980, pages 93-9, and Fergus D'Arcy and Ken Hannigan Editors, Workers in Union: Documents and Commentaries on the History of Irish Labour, Dublin 1988.

Trade Guilds

In addition to economic functions, trade guilds in Dublin City possessed important municipal and electoral political powers. While the records of the Merchants' Guild and several other Dublin guilds deposited in the Public Record Office of Ireland were destroyed in 1922, the National Archives has some records relating to the following:

Feltmakers' Guild.

Smiths' Guild.

Weavers' Guild.

For full details of the surviving records of Dublin guilds, see Mary Clark and Raymond Refaussť, Directory of Historic Dublin Guilds, Dublin 1993.


Deposited records of charitable organisations include the following:

Charlemont Asylum.

Harding Boys Home.

Molyneux Home.

Protestant Orphan Society.

Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers' Society.

Miscellaneous Ecclesiastical Records

As well as records of the Church of Ireland, there are miscellaneous deposited ecclesiastical records, including the following:

List of Promotions in Diocese of Dublin 1618-1807 (M 2544).

Volume containing a list of fees, an ecclesiastical taxation and a list of

clergy, 1616-26 (M 2452).

Volume of notes of leases and grants by Christ Church and Archbishops of Dublin 1577-1644 (M 2534).

Volume of copies of instruments and proceedings, Diocese of Dublin, 17th century (M 2533).

Copy of report on state of Diocese of Meath, by Bishop Dopping, 1693 (M 2462).

List of priests in Dublin Diocese 1697 (M 1368).

Copy parliamentary returns relating to Franciscan Order in Ireland 18th century (M 2928).

Copy notebook of Bishop Tenison, describing state of Diocese of Ossory 1731 (M 2462).

Volume of copy material on history of Liberty of St Sepulchre, Dublin, 18th century (M 2545).

Register of Popish Clergy, Diocese of Meath, 1782-3 (M 2551).

Visitation Books for the Dioceses of Armagh 1819-51, Cashel and Emly 1816, Dublin and Glendalough 1821-30, Kildare 1823 and nd, Kilmore 1823, Meath 1823 and 1826, Ossory 1823 and 1829.

Military Records

The following are among the items of military interest acquired since 1922:

Account Roll of Contractors for Victualling Army in Ireland 1602-4 (M 2441-2444).

Entry Book of Lords Justices relating to martial affairs 1711-13 (M 2553).

Entry Book from Adjutant General's Office Dublin 1763-5 (M 2554).

Ten volumes relating to Longford Militia 1791-1860 (M 3474-3483).

Seven volumes relating to Sligo Militia 1855-7 (M 2558-2563).

See Royal Hospital Kilmainham, page 30, also Kenneth Ferguson, 'Military Manuscripts in the Public Record Office of Ireland', Irish Sword, 15, 1982, pages 112-15.

Architectural Records

The following are among the deposited records of architectural interest:

Bryan Bolger Papers.

Sibthorpe Collection.

See also Office of Public Works, pages 29-30 .

Miscellaneous Records

The following are some miscellaneous records acquired from private sources:

Papers of W A Lindsay, Clarenceux King of Arms, relating to Bermingham Family and Athenry Peerage Case c1821, and other matters (see 56th Report of Deputy Keeper, pages 58-9, 397-402.

Letter from Cormac Thadei, an Irish Chieftain, to Thomas Earl of Ormond c1485-95 (M 2427).

Small collection of petitions to Lord Deputy Bellingham 1548-9 (M 2439).

Replies of Freeholders of Queen's County 1576 (M 2440).

Bond of William O'Carroll, Chief of His Name, to Sir Henry Sidney nd (M 742).

Copy of Cartulary of Sir Richard Shee, temp Elizabeth I (M 2816, see 57th Report Deputy Keeper, pages 469-79).

Prim Collection, miscellaneous papers relating to history of Kilkenny in 17th and 18th centuries (see 58th Report Deputy Keeper, pages 50-70).

Volume of petitions to Lord Deputy Wentworth 1638 (M 2448).

Treasury orders of the Lords Justices 1642, with accounts (M 2450-2451).

Lists of inhabitants of Baronies of Newcastle and Uppercross, Co Dublin, c1652 (M 2467).

Copies of 24 Proclamations 1652-91 (M 3144-3167).

Volume of receipts and payments, by John Price, Receiver General, 1682-3 (M 2539).

Volume of copies of ecclesiastical instruments and proceedings, mainly Diocese of Dublin, 17th century, with description of Cos Sligo, Donegal and Fermanagh and Lough Erne, by Rev William Henry, 1739 (M 2533).

Volume of Correspondence, Petitions, etc, c1678-97, including original letter from inhabitants of Belfast declaring readiness to submit to James II, 1689 (M 2541).

Volume containing List of Officers on Civil and Military Establishment, and miscellaneous notes, 1688-1729 (M 2537).

Abstracts of receipts and payments into the Treasury, 1693-5 (M 2465).

Volume containing lists of payments to be made for civil affairs, 1704 (M 2540).

Copy of correspondence of Captain Richard Hedges of Macroom, Co Cork, relating to suppression of rapparees, 1703-14 (M 757).

Volume containing lists of salaries and pensions payable in 1729 (M 2480).

Two volumes of abstracts of exports and imports of Ireland 1764-88, one volume for 1790 and one for 1800 (M 2482-2483, 2489-2490).

Lists of electors, Co Longford, 1790 (M 2486-2488).

Irish civil lists 1803 and 1818 (M 2425-2426).