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About Dublin Will and Grant Books Index 1270-1858

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Deputy Keeper of Ireland, Index to the Act or Grant Books, and to Original Wills, of the Diocese of Dublin 1634-1858, 26th, 30th and 31st Reports, 1894, 1899

Highly recommended for family history researchers and those studying the social history of Dublin, and east Ireland. Since most of the original records were destroyed in the Irish Public Records Office in 1922, these indexes provide a record of events which might otherwise be unidentifiable.

Deputy Keeper's Reports
On the establishment of the Irish Public Records Office (PRO), by an 1867 statute, records were progressively transferred to the new repository. Each year, between 1869 and 1920 (and less frequently thereafter), the Office published an annual report, known as the Deputy Keeper's Report, which detailed records received, and work undertaken, during the previous twelve months. These reports can contain useful source material for the historical researcher. Although usually brief, reports often contain copious appendices, which can be especially useful, bearing in mind the destruction of the PRO during the Irish Civil War. Deputy Keeper's reports often represent the only record of lost primary source material.

Indexes to the Grant Books and original wills of the Dublin diocesan court
Some of the more useful of these reports are the volumes which contain indexes to the Grant Books and original wills of the Dublin diocesan court. Previous to 1858, responsibility for testamentary jurisdiction (adjudication on disputes regarding succession and matrimony) lay with the Anglican ecclesiastical authorities, and, hence, items such as wills, probate issues, and marriage licences and bonds had to be registered with each diocese's Consitorial Court. Once registered with the court, the will or bond was indexed, since it might subsequently be required, in the event of a dispute. Indexes to the Dublin Grant Books were published in more than 2,200 pages, in appendices to two volumes of the Deputy Keeper's reports, with one appendix (vol. xxvi) covering the period before 1799, and the other appendix covering the post-1800 period (vol. xxx). In total, the combined indexes contain more than 125,000 entries, and even more names.

Record types found in the indexes
In total, the combined indexes contain more than 125,000 entries, comprising:
  • 83,600 marriages
  • 35,800 wills
Geographic coverage of the Dublin diocesan court
The diocese covered all of County Dublin, most of County Wicklow, large stretches of east and south Kildare, and lesser parts of Counties Carlow, Queen's and Wexford.

The indexes contain:

See also:  Help searching Dublin Will and Grant Books Index
  Abbreviations in the Index