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The Irish / British Genealogy Group Message Board › ANOTHER RESEARCH ANGLE: Petty Sessions


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Post #: 90
More records from the Petty Sessions order books

As many of you know when researching Irish ancestry it can be a challenge to find information - given the 19th century census returns were either burned or pulped and civil registration did not start until 1864. The good news however is that there are a number of alternate sources that may help yield additional insights - be it specific to your ancestors or to provide a general idea of the daily life of past times.

Below please find a message from (a subscription or pay as you go type of set up).

Today we launch online the second batch of records from the Petty Sessions order books (1850-1910), one of the greatest untapped resources for those tracing their Irish roots.

The original Petty Sessions records are held at the National Archives of Ireland were scanned by Family Search and have now been transcribed and made fully searchable by They cover all types of cases, from allowing trespass of cattle to being drunk in charge of an ass and cart. These were the lowest courts in the country who dealt with the vast bulk of legal cases, both civil and criminal. This set of entries contains information on more than 2 millions cases with most records give comprehensive details of the case including: name of complainant, name of defendant, names of witnesses, cause of complaint, details of the judgement, details of a fine if any, and details of a sentence passed down if any. Another 10 million cases are to follow throughout 2012.

If you have roots stretching back to counties Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, or Kilkenny you'll find this group of records particularly useful. A full list of counties and courts is detailed below:

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