Some Cork County Catholic parish registers survive from as early as 1748, though most go back to only the early 1800s. When you view the parishes section of this site, you will find information about when each parish’s baptismal records begin. The original registers are usually still held by the parish and the Parish Priest is entrusted by Church law with the care of the registers. Due to the need to preserve the original registers, visitors are not allowed access to the books for browsing purposes. Because browsing the registers is very time consuming, local clergy are usually reluctant to search for records without very specific dates.

Some parishes have good computer databases of the records in their care and a request by post will usually be attended to. Written requests for information, giving as much specific information as you have, accompanied by a donation of 10 euro (equivalent to $12) per search to defray some of the cost of time and postage, along with your return postal address (and email) will usually get a response and a Certificate of Baptism (if a record exists). As all records are kept in the local parishes, requests for such information must be made to the local parishes, the contact details of which are on our website, under the ‘Parish’ section.

If you do not have specific dates of birth or baptism, it is unlikely that the parish will have the resources to browse several years of records – especially if they are not computerised.

The parish records of the city and surrounding parishes are currently being indexed by the Cork Ancestral Project. However, search services are not yet available. The Project has delivered printed indices to some parishes. This means that if you have a specific date of birth and a precise name of an ancestor, it is easier for the parish to locate the reord and issue a Baptismal Certificate with all the relevant other data. The parishes with such indices include the Cathedral, Watergrasshill, Blackrock, St Patrick’s.

At the Skibbereen Heritage Centre, a very useful index to the section of the 1901 Census for Skibbereen and surrounding areas has been compiled — the Centre itself is well worth a visit. You can get a photocopy of the actual page completed in the household in 1901. If your ancestors came from North or East County Cork (the area coterminus witht he Diocese of Cloyne) you need to contact the Mallow Heritage Centre.

The government supported agency to coordinate the Irish Genealogical Project is Irish Genealogy Ltd.