The use of the Registry of Deeds Project as a Genealogical Aid, Some West Cork Names,  Attridges, Beecher, Bernard, Coughlan, Cotter, Crowley, Dalys, Evans, Freke, O’Driscoll/Driscoll, Dukelows, Evanson,  Hutchins/Hutchinson, Jennings, ]ago, Kingston, McCarthy, Mellifont, Murphy, Puxley, Shannon, Swanton, Somerville, O’Sullivan/Sullivans, Townsend, White, Woulfes, Vickeries,   The Fund of Suitors of the High Court of Ireland and Mortgage Deed In Irish, Co. Clare 1540.

After the Forfeitures and Confiscation of the lands Irish Catholic Gentry in the late 17th century the Registry of Deeds was set up c 1704 to ensure a functioning system of Land Registration for Ireland.   It operated on the basis that a summary of the relevant deed called a memorial was prepared itemising the parties, the transaction, it was witnesses and lodged at the Registry.  Before the coming into being of the system if a person purchased property there was no way of knowing if there was a mortgage or charge affecting it.

Thankfully the record shave survived intact.  In the 1990s a fund known as ‘The Fund of Suitors’ of the Irish High Court was utilised to refurbish the King’s Inns and Registry of Deeds located between Henrietta Street on Constitution Hill.  The fund consists of monies accumulated but not claimed intestacies, Wards of Court funds etc., periodically the accumulated surplus is applied to a worthy cause.   In this case it was well spent.  The restoration is excellent and it is possible to examine the original leather covered ledgers and indexes.

By and large the broad mass of the population Catholic and Protestant are not represented.  It tended to be people of property.  However many family settlements are recorded. In farming areas in the 18th an 19th century a common form of leasing was the use of leases for 3 lives.   In those case usually two of the lives were for named young children related to one of the parties and the town lands are often recorded.  Accordingly it is a very valuable source of family information.  Also the document are often witnesses by non family members again locating name to areas.

The Registry of Deeds project is Volunteer based and so far something over 10% of the relevant deeds have been transcribe.

This is an example involving Michael Sullivan, Bantry, he was a Catholic and the children of his marriage to Vickery were brought up in the Church of Ireland, he was  the holder of substantial property, heart Tax Collector, and one of the  the ancestors of an enormous extended family world wide of Sullivans, Vickeries, Bryans among others.  Interestingly one of the early deeds from the Bantry area involved Donough O’Daly c 1705, he was presumably of the family that up to some years before had the western half of the Munitervara Peninsula.

The Norman Common Law took root in Ireland early and ran even in Gaelicised area.  The Manuscript section of the National Library have an original mortgage deed from 1540 in irish over lands at the Burren.  It is substantial the same in content as a modern mortgage deed.