The present whereabouts of the Parish Registers of St Peter's Church, North Main Street, City of Cork.



From: Annals of St Peter's Church, Cork.
Compiled from the Parish Books by Richard Caulfield LLD, Fellow of the Society of Antiquities,London. Sept. 16th 1822:
"The oldest Parish Register of St Peter's commences:
Christenings from 24th March 1744 to 22nd Sept 1792. (Note: no entries of Baptisms made from this date to Jan 1795.)
Burials commences 29th March 1745.
Baptisms 25 May 1810 to 9 May 1811.

Marriages 30 June 1745 to 1801."

During the bombardment, fire and explosions in the Public Record Office in Dublin in 1922, the following parish registers of St Peter's Church were destroyed:
Baptisms: 1744 - 1873.
Marriages: 1745 - 1845.
Burials: 1745 - 1874.


The Representative Church Body Library in Dublin presently holds the following Parish Registers for St Peter's Church:
Baptisms: 1873 - 1949.
Marriages: 1845 - 1948.
Burials: 1877 - 1881.

All was not lost however, thanks to the diligence and foresight of Dr Richard Caulfield who made a transcription of the burial register of St Peter's, Cork, 1745 - 1812.
Volume I of these transriptions was signed: Richard Caulfield, Royal Cork Institute.
The transcription can be seen at Representative Church Body Library in Dublin. (MS 702/3)

In addition, there are 2 volumes of Church Warden's Account Books which are also held at the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin.


Richard Caulfield LLD
Click to enlarge the photograph
"The Revd Thomas Warner M.A., Rector of St Peters Church Cork brought me the Parish Register of his church to examine for my parochial collection on Wed Sept. 11 1872. It commences March 2 1743."
Richard Caulfield LLD FSA

"I examined parts of the parochial collection of Richard Caulfield held at the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin on Dec 18 2007, by which time the original parish register of St Peter's Church prior to 1845 (Marriages), 1873 (Baptisms) and 1877 (Burials) had been destroyed in the Irish Civil War of 1922."
Kae Lewis PhD.

Ancient Font in St Peter's Church, City of Cork
Click to enlarge the photograph
Caulfield's reasoning behind starting this huge project of transcribing the Parish Registers of Cork was that the Public Records Act of 1877 had mandated that all parish registers no longer in use were to be transfered to the Public Record Office in Dublin for safe-keeping. This Act gathered these precious documents from throughout Ireland into the Four Courts building. There is no indication that Caulfield forsaw that political strife and war could start a fire to destroy them all. His motives seems to have been to make a copy of the records that could remain in Cork for future reference. Some of Caulfield's transcripts now reside in a Dublin Church repository. Much has been lost, sold at auction after his death in 1887.

From "The Life of Dr Richard Caulfield: Antiquarian, Scholar and Academic Librarian."
by J. P. McCarthy. Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Vol XCII, No. 251, January-December 1987:
"Pre-empting the Public Records Act Ireland of 1877 Caulfield began transcribing church records in the early 1870s to add to what he came to call his 'Parochial Collection'. This set of transcripts (33) formed the most valuable part of the genealogical section of his library which also contained a collection of old leases, deeds and other documents detailing the transactions of tenants and landowners from late medieval to recent times. They formed an important corpus of data on the evolution of the county's rural and urban landscapes.

He began in 1872 when the Rev. Neligan, a member of the Cuvierian Society and a noted collector of manuscripts, loaned to him the records of St Mary's Shandon. From these he compiled the annals of the parish from 1672 to 1846. He finished on 10 September and on the following day he received from the Rev. T. Warren the parish books of St Peter's. From these he also compiled an annals, covering the period 1743 to 1846 which he finished on 16 September. In 1876 he transcribed the Register of Burials for the same church for the years 1745 to 1812 in a meticulously clear hand and in typical fashion annotated it at the beginning and end with a physical description of the manuscript and the date of transcribing."



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