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Down (An Dún)

This research guide is designed to help you find your Irish ancestors in our genealogy print collection.  The McClelland Library uses the Dewey Decimal Classification System to make our print materials findable through the online catalog and while browsing our shelves in person.  Below you will find books to help you locate your ancestors in county Down.

929.1: Books under this dewey number at the McClelland Library are primarily about how to get started with genealogy research and where to find certain sources.

Tracing your Irish Ancestors by John Grenham

Call Number: Geneal. 929.1072 G865t        Publication Date: 1999

A comprehensive guidebook for Irish genealogy; includes tips for where to begin, what to expect, and brief exploration of internet source. Grenham provides major source lists of Civil, Census, Church, and Land Records, Wills, Genealogy office, Deed Registries, Newspaper and Directory listings, and a reference guide of Sources by County. 

Irish Towns, a Guide to Sources edited by William Nolan and Anngret Simms

Call Number: Geneal. 929.1072 Ir47    Publication Date: 1998

Provides brief overview of the history of towns and territorial divisions in Ireland, including several maps, drawings, and prints. Also includes source listing of records of Central and Local Government after 1700, Estate and Church records, Newspapers, Directories, and Gazetteers, and a select bibliography of publications on Irish Towns in the period from 1500-1980, printed between 1969 and 1993.

Tracing your Northern Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians by Ian Maxwell

Call Number: Geneal. 929.1072 M4512t 2011

Publication Date: 2011

Provides information on locating information and records specifically for the counties in Northern Ireland, and Ulster Plantation. Contains general suggestions and tips for researching, guides to locating Census Records for years 1821-1911 (one for each decade), and Pension claims. Also includes locating Civil Registration, Birth-Marriage-Death Certificates, information on locating eighteenth century records (including Survey of Downpatrick 1708, Protestant Householders 1740, Householders Returns 1766, Armagh Census 1770, and Catholic Migrants from Ulster 1795-1796). Contains location information Muster Rolls for 1630-1640, Civil Survey of Ireland, Poll Tax Returns, 1659 Census of Ireland, Regiments of Infantry and Plantation of Ulster records.  Church records of various religious sects, school and education records, Valuation and Tithe Records, Land and Estates, as well as Wills (before 1858/1858-1900/ &from 1900). Provides Directories, Almanacs, and Newspapers.

Researching Down Ancestors: a Practical Guide for the Family and Local Historian by Ian Maxwell

Call Number: Geneal. 929.1072 M4512r

Publication Date: 2004

Provides tips on researching by county and guides to locating local and national sources.  Contains record information for the Civil Registration of birth, marriage, and death certificates, returns from the 1901 and 1911 Census, gravestone inscriptions, early census and census substitutes, Land and Landed Esate records, Church and School Records, Wills and testamentary records, Election and Local government records, Boards of Guardians Records, returns from the agricultural census of 1803 from County Down, records of emigration from County Down, listing of miscellaneous collections and printed sources.

929.3: Books under this dewey number at the McClelland Library are primarily Genealogy Sources or books of compiled resources put together by genealogists.

Ireland: County Down, Genealogy and Family History compiled by The Irish Genealogical Foundation

Call Number: Geneal. 929.34165 C8328

Publication Date: 2002

Offers a comprehensive starting point for for family searches narrowed down to County Down. Part one includes a birth index, national resource list, Mayo local resource list, and names of Down family search listing.  Part two contains Coats of Arms and Genelogical notes, Arms connected to Down taken from the Irish Book of Arms with original listings of specific locations for families. Also provides list of names appearing in the Books of Survey and Distribution.  Part three contains notes from Irish Pedigrees and Landed Gentry with early family trees of a selection of Down families.  Part four includes an Index of Place Names, tips on finding locations, and a county map.

Bibliography of Genealogical Sources for the Counties of Northern Ireland compiled by Peggy Magee

Call Number: Geneal. 929.3416 M2717b

Publication Date: 1982

Contains listing of genealogical sources for Ulster Province in Northern Ireland broken up by county; listing include record title, publisher or author name, and publication or record date.


‘Men and Arms’: The Ulster Settlers, c.1630 edited by R.J. Hunter

Call Number: Geneal. 929.3416 M52

Publication Date: 2012

Contains Muster Roll of Ulster Province with entries from counties Cavan, Armagh, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Londonderry, Antrim, Donegal, Down, and Monaghan.  Each entry provides the name of the Baronry, landowner’s name and title, amount of acreage/size of the baronry, men serving or holding arms listed with full name and types of arms held, and list of men not assigned arms.

929.4: Books under this dewey number at the McClelland Library are primarily about names.  Books in this section can contain information about surnames, forenames, and even baby names. While these books may have information in general about your surname, they do not contain lineage information.

The Surnames of Ireland by Edward MacLysaght

Call Number: Geneal. 929.4094 M226s 1991       Publication Date: 1991

Date Range: 1848-1864

Contains location of ancient territories, population groups, relevant abbreviations and explanation of technical terms used in guide.  Pages 1-303 provide alphabetical listing of surnames, followed by an appendix of English and Scottish surnames in Ireland, and an appendix providing a simplification of Gaelic forms of surnames.

929.5: Books under this dewey number at the McClelland Library are primarily about Cemeteries.

A Guide to Irish Churches and Graveyards by Brian Mitchell

Call Number: Geneal. 929.50941 G9415

Publication Date: 1990

Guide to the cemeteries and graveyards listed by county with civil parish, townland, Ordnance Survey sheet number, religious denomination of church, and indication of whether cemetery or graveyard remains attached to church.  There is a number preceding each listing that provides reference to map location in author’s atlas, A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland.  Especially helpful in locating approximate birthdates, person’s residence at time of death, possibly family information (if family plot).

The Heart of Downe: Old Banbridge Families from Gravestone Inscriptions, Wills, and Biographical Notes edited by R.S.J.Clarke

Call Number: Geneal. 929.5094 C556g v.20

Publication Date: 1989

Includes gravestone inscriptions for: Ballydown Presbyterian Graveyard, Banbridge Cemetery, Banbridge Crozier Monument, Banbridge Downshire Road Non-subscribing Presbyterian Church, Banbridge First Presbyterian Graveyard, Banbridge Roman Catholic Graveyard, Banbridge Scarva Street Presbyterian Graveyard, Clare Roman Catholic Graveyard, Lawrencetown Roman Catholic Graveyard, Magherally Graveyard, Moyallon Friends’ Graveyard, Seapatrick Graveyard, Seapatrick-Church of Ireland Memorials, Tullylish Graveyard, Tullylish Presbyterian Graveyard, and indexes to graveyards and surnames.

Gravestone Inscriptions: Co. Down compiled by R.S.J. Clarke

Call Number: Geneal. 929.5094 C556g v.10

Publication Date: 1973

*Multiple Volumes*

Volume 10: Contents include gravestone inscriptions for: Ballymageogh Roman Catholic Graveyard, Ballymartin Roman Catholic Graveyard, Glasdrrumman Roman Catholic Graveyard, Kilhorne Church of Ireland Graveyard, Kilkeel Old Graveyard, Kilkeel Church of Ireland Graveyard, Kilkeel Moravian Graveyard, Mourne Abbey Graveyard, Mourne Presbyterian Graveyard, Tamlaght Graveyard, and indexes to graveyards and surnames.

Volume 12: Ballyblack Presbyterian Graveyard, Grey Abbey Grounds, Kircubbin Presbyterian Graveyard, Loughinisland Graveyard (Addenda and Corrigenda), and Magheradrool Graveyard (Addenda and Corrigenda).

Volume 17: Balloo House Mausoleum, Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church, Bangor Abbey Graveyard, Bangor Church of Ireland Church, Bangor First Presbyterian Church, Castle Park,Bangor, Clandeboye House, Conlig Presbyterian Church, Groomsport Church of Ireland Church, and Groomsport Presbyterian Church.

Volume 18: Annahilt Graveyard, Annahilt Presbyterian Graveyard, Cargacreevy Presbyterian Graveyard, Eglantine Church of Ireland Graveyard, Gilnahirk Presbyterian Graveyard, Hillsborough Graveyard, Hillsborough Society of Friends Graveyard, Hillsborough Hill Monument, Kilwarlin Church of Ireland Graveyard, Kilwarlin Moravian Graveyard, Kilwarlin Roman Catholic Graveyard, Loughaghrey Presbyterian Graveyard, Lurganville Roman Catholic Graveyard, Maze Presbyterian Graveyard, Moira Graveyard, Moira Non-subscribing Presbyterian Graveyard, Moira Presbyterian Graveyard, Carryduff Presbyterian Graveyard (Addenda), Castlereagh Presbyterian Graveyard (Addenda), Drumbo Church of Ireland Graveyard (Addenda), and Knockbreckan Reformed Presbyterian Graveyard (Addenda).

Volume 19: Ballooly Roman Catholic Graveyard, Donaghcloney Graveyard, Donaghcloney Presbyterian Graveyard, Dromara Graveyard, Dromara First Presbyterian Graveyard, Dromara Second Presbyterian Graveyard, Dromara Non-subscribing Presbyterian Graveyard, Dromara Roman Catholic Graveyard, Drumlough Presbyterian Graveyard, Finnis Roman Catholic Graveyard, Garvaghy Graveyard, Garvaghy Presbyterian Graveyard, Kilkinamurry Presbyterian Graveyard, Magheralin Old Graveyard, Magheralin Church of Ireland Graveyard, Waringstown Graveyard, and Waringstown Presbyterian Graveyard.


929.6 – 929.8: Books under this dewey number at the McClelland Library are primarily about family Heraldry.  Heraldry includes family crests and tartans.

The Poolbeg Book of Irish Heraldry by Micheal O` Comain

Call Number: Geneal. 929.6 012p Heraldry     Publication Date: 1991

An introduction to Irish heraldry this guide is a good starting point as it contains general guidelines for researching.  Included on pages 71-98 is a Heraldic Dictionary that provides the meanings of a variety of images, heraldic terminology, and variations in spelling of terms and phrases.

Fairbairn’s Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland by James Fairbairn

Call Number: Geneal. 929.6041 F1507f Heraldry      Publication Date: 1986

Contains survey of over 30,000 families, geographical associations, legends and mottos.  Index of family names are arranged alphabetically on pages 1-522, glossary of terms pages 523-530, and alphabetical index of mottoes on pages 531-599.  Also included is an index of plates of Crests, Orders and Regalia, Flags, Ornamental Lettering, Monograms, Heraldic Illustrations, Foreign Crowns, and Principal Cities, and Regalia of Scotland.