Registry of Deeds archive

2,477 microfilm reels comprising the records of the Irish Registry of Deeds,1708-1929. The Irish Registry of Deeds was founded in 1708 in Dublin, and was responsible 'for the Public Registering of all Deeds, Conveyances and Wills, that shall be made of any Honours, Manors, Lands, Tenements or Hereditaments including the written wills from the time the devisor or testatrix shall die after the said 25th March, 1708'. However, the registration of deeds was not compulsory, and these transactions constitute only a part (although a very important proportion historically for the four provinces of Ireland) of the property transactions which took place throughout the country. One of the main functions of the Registry of Deeds was to ensure the enforcement of legislation which prevented Roman Catholics from buying or taking long leases on land. Up until the1780s, Roman Catholics could not take out a mortgage, or take leases on land for a period longer than thirty one years. As a result, the majority of the records relate to the property-owning members of the Church of Ireland. The quantity of deeds registered varies from county to county. For example, Co. Tyrone is especially well represented in registered items, while many small landowners in Co. Down and Co. Armagh tended to avoid registration. Moreover, certain religious denominations such as the Quakers and the Ulster Presbyterians tended to steer clear of registered deeds. Within these limitations, the Registry of Deeds is still an invaluable source, particularly for the eighteenth century, because a very wide range of documents was registered. Nor was Irish registration confined to the major categories of deeds, as it included details of lease, mortgage, conveyance and annuities, rents, rights of way, wills, dissolution of partnerships, etc. The records of the Registry of Deeds themselves comprise memorials of deeds put forward for registration. These usually contain complete copies or fairly full abstracts of the orginal documents and can be found under PRONI reference MIC/311 alongside accompanying transcript books containing a duplicative record of the above. Associated indices for Names of Grantors and Land are also available under reference MIC/7.

Strengths

This is a key archive for students of estate ownership and management throughout Ireland from the beginning of the eighteenth century.,

Physical characteristics

2,477 reels of microfilm occupying the space of 133 PRONI boxes.

Description or Catalogue

See PRONI references MIC/7 and MIC/311 for catalogues of the papers. The catalogues are available for consultation in PRONI's Public Search Room.

Coverage

1708
1929
Accrual
Accrual Policy
Closed
Accrual Method
Purchase
Accrual Periodicity
Closed
Added by PRONI | Last updated on: 09 February 2018