RC Baptism Records for Miltown Malbay Parish, 1831-1881
1: The middle name given for the father of the child, in the earlier part
of this register, is a marker for which family he belonged to –
not a middle name as we think of it nowadays. This way of distinguishing
families is still used in west County Galway, where Irish is still spoken.
2: The priest used his own shorthand for the townlands (Residence), which
I thought I would grasp as time went on, but never fully grasped. I hope
the Miltown Malbay people, at least, will be able to make something of
my efforts, or that somebody will improve on them.
3: There are no gaps in the baptisms until we come to January 1839. Maybe
the Night of the Big Wind (Jan. 6, 1839) caused damage to the chapel and
put the register out of reach. The following few months are in higgledy-piggledy
order – it looks like pages fell out and were stuck in back to front.
There are more examples of disorderly pages in the late 1840s.
4: This register shows more variety in the notes on offerings (payments),
than any other register I’ve transcribed. Apart from the word “poor”,
which signified that the priest did not expect an offering, I did not
attempt to transcribe these notes. The word “collop” turns
up at the top of page 102, right-hand side – I think that’s
the amount of land needed for the grazing of a cow. The word “Bailwick”
turns up at the bottom of page 108, right-hand side.
The word “clear” is the usual note, meaning nothing more is
owed, but as time goes on and we enter the 1840s, we see that work was
often accepted in lieu of cash and there are a couple of examples of a
tally system being used to count off the number days owed, i.e. three
upright strokes are crossed off. Also, the Irish word for work, Obair,
in Gaelic script, appears. Sometimes payment is deferred until “after
Michaelmas”, or until “after Miltown Fair, 2nd Feb.”
5: As usual some names are confused, for example, Carny and Canny, Keavy
and Keary, Thynne and Flynn, Liston and Sexton, Morony and Molony, Goonan
and Gorman, O’Connell and O’Connor, Coghlan and O’Loghlan,
Burke and Rourke, Kinnelly and Kinulty, Moony and Morony. I hope researchers
will take this into account.