‘An Act to prevent the further growth of popery’, Convert Rolls for 18th Century Co. Cork and other Renunciations against ‘Popery’, Co. Cork with letter January 1732 from Parish Priest, Bantry listing supporters of Crypto-Catholics.

The Bantry letter was located probably in the 1950s by Father TJ Walsh in the Archives of Cork Dioceses. He was later Parish Priest, of Durrus. He was an esteemed historian.


The book compiling the Convert Rolls was done by a scholar Eileen O’Byrne for the Irish Manuscripts Commission. A revised version is now available on line.



The enclosed spreadsheet (a work in progress) sets out a summary together with some genealogical information with Dr. Edward Mac Lysaght’s version of the Irish names for families of Gaelic origin.


Looking at the names the cluster of old Cork families emerges. The Penal Laws obeyed the Law of unintended consequences, some of its provisions were used by Catholic and Crypto-Catholic lawyers to subvert it, so up to 30% of the land of Ireland remained in de facto Catholic hands.

It also promoted genetic diversity as it meant over time the Planter families were intermarried with stock of Gaelic, Norman, or Danish/Norse ancestry. Despite the ostensible names the population of Co. Cork is in fact very diverse in its origins.