Family History ACT

The Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc.


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Course 1012 – Great Deeds

Registry of Deeds in Dublin


The Registry of Deeds commenced operation over 300 years ago. While its original purpose was to assist with the enforcement of the penal laws about land ownership, today it is a very rich source of information for family and local historians. Because of its original focus the legislation setting it up required only two indexes to be maintained, accessing these records is considered difficult by some. The mandated indexed are:

  • Grantor index – a grantor was a person giving up a right. In a simple lease this would be the lessor. It, however, other people giving up claims such as mortgagee or someone who is due income from that land.
  • Townland index – It is a list of all lands mentioned in the registered deeds. The early townland indexes only give the family name of one grantor and one grantee, and are often crowded on the page and difficult to read.

The memorials of deeds include the names and residences of the parties to the deed. In addition, they may include family relationships, ages, death dates and/or occupations of parties and other people mentioned in the deed. A deed may give a tenure history of the land stretching back 100 years. Give dates of marriages that occurred more than 50 years ago. Many deeds even simple leases may give the maiden names of married or widowed women.

Since 2007, there has been a volunteer project, the Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland, striving to make these records more accessible. There are well over 360,000 records in the main index on names for that project.

In summary, the Registry of Deeds in Dublin is an incredibly rich source of family history information.

Your guide

Nick Reddan the presenter of this course has been researching in the Registry for about 30 years. He is a fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society and, creator and manager Registry of Deeds Index Project Ireland. He will share his knowledge of the gems that can be found in the Registry and demonstrate how to navigate the Project website and the virtual microfilms of the records of the Registry that are available through

This is a great opportunity to learn from a recognised expert on the Registry of Deeds in Dublin.

Time, venue and cost

When: 17:30 to 19:00, Monday 17 August 2020
Venue: Zoom
Cost: $10 for members and $15 for non-members

This is a fantastic opportunity for a great learning opportunity at a very modest cost. Sign up early so you do not miss out

You can pay for the course by credit card, funds transfer (Australian banks) or PayPal. Click on the button below to go to our checkout where you can make you payment method choice.

Payment required at time of registration

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