East Galway RootsWest Galway Roots


  • Inconsistencies between church and state records frequently materialise particularly in relation to recorded dates.  Due to the fact that a pecuniary fine was incurred for late registration of births, marriages or deaths with the civil authorities, informants frequently adapted the date in question to avoid the penalty.
  • Ages recorded as they appear on all genealogical records, should also be treated with a certain guarded scepticism as they were very often based on subjective recollection on the part of the informant rather than on precise documented evidence.
  • Clerical errors and omissions on the part of both state and church authorities account for a sizeable proportion of all general discrepancies.
  • The repetition of a first name within an immediate familial unit occurs regularly and was a result of the practice of naming a new-born after a previous sibling who had died.
  • First names are often entered erroneously in state and church records.  These irregularities are generally related to the custom of using an individual’s second, third or even nickname rather than the first name given at birth.
  • Due to geographical overlapping and colloquial variations in place naming, a large degree of inconsistency occurs in relation to the recording of townlands, with the result that a townland very often changed according to different informant’s testimonies.  The spellings of townlands in state and church records also varied and very often depended on the registrar’s interpretation of the informant’s phonetic delivery.
  • More general spelling variations regularly appear in state and church records and are transcribed on information sheets as they appear on the original records.

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