Monday, 12 November 2012

TABs: missing parishes and corrections

Last Thursday the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) launched a brand new website and two new collections: the Irish Soldier's Wills and the Tithe Applotment Books 1827-1839. The latter is particularly valuable for genealogical purposes so was greeted enthusiastically.

However, it soon became apparent that a lot of researchers were getting a 'no records found' result when searching for their ancestors in the Tithe Applotment Books. The records for Down and Antrim were quickly identified as on the missing list and some parishes in County Tyrone weren't showing up either. And then there were the inevitable examples of mis-transcriptions.

PARISHES INCLUDED IN THIS COLLECTION


Rather than spend hours working through all the parishes of each county, I've spoken this morning to Catriona Crowe, Head of Special Projects of the National Archives of Ireland (NAI), for a full explanation, and this is it...

The NAI's Tithe Applotment Books collection covers primarily the 26 counties of the Republic. There are also some fragments from counties that are now in Northern Ireland, the reason being that some of the parishes crossed county borders and therefore straddle the new national borders.

These 'fragments' are:
  • In Armagh: Creggan, Philipstown-Nugent, Schule
  • In Down: Drumgooland, Maghera
  • In Fermanagh: Inishmacsaint, Tomregan
These border parishes are duplicated in PRONI's TAB collection, which holds all the parishes of the six counties of Northern Ireland. Only the NAI's collection was digitised in the recent NAI/LDS partnership.

This is obviously disappointing for those with ancestral connections in the North. The only consolation is that the TAB collection on Ancestry appears to cover all NI counties. I can't vouch for all parishes, because Ancestry never likes to give much detail about the content (or, rather, what's missing) from its collections, but I've just carried out searches for all six counties and found plenty of entries for each.

There may be good news not too far off on the NAI/PRONI front. Catriona tells me that the NAI has recently entered discussions with PRONI to see if the TABs (and possibly other collections split up in 1922) could be reunited on NAI's website. Or even a shared website. I'll keep you updated on this.

TRANSCRIPTION ERRORS

I've received a few plaintive emails in the last few days about transcription errors and other spelling mistakes (obvious parish name typos, mostly) in the online TAB records. I've also heard a few moans about there being no facility on the new site through which to submit corrections.

Well, there may not have been one last week, but there is one now. You can email corrections to the address at the bottom of this page.

But don't expect either a personalised reply or an instant amendment. Clear and simple: the NAI does not have the staff or resources to make any amendments at present. All reported errors will be logged and retained for the future.