Thank you Jim and Sue... this response initially missed my inbox but I’m glad I saw it.
This gives me a good idea of what to expect—and that I better have paper notes of what I
want to look at in case my phone has to go in the locker!
I’ve been searching the PRONI site for documents but also feel a little overwhelmed with
the search results. I’m currently using the parish record list Marge shared to figure out
what is there and what might be relevant. I wish my family had a less common name or had
stayed in one townland/parish from birth to death, but at least I’ve got some leads! It
would be so amazing to find the kind of document you came across during your visit.
Il giorno 10 lug 2019, alle ore 21:44, Jim and Sue Dix
<jimsuedix(a)gmail.com> ha scritto:
My wife and I visited PRONI 3 years ago, and it was an awesome experience.
My advice is to check out their web site for possible items to look at. Be
prepared and arrive at the opening time. Any electronic devices like
cameras need to be put in a locker along with clothing that could conceal
I believe you can do a general search on their computers for your family
names or topics. We knew we wanted to look at 5 specific items, but the
computer search brought up hundreds of possible items to see if we had the
We picked out 5 documents from the 1700's, and we were told there were two
problems with our choices. First, The items were kept in a special room
with an atmospherically controlled environment due to the age of the items,
and so it would take 15 minutes to find and retrieve them. Second, the
items we requested were kept in boxes with other items that related to the
persons we requested, so we would have to look through the boxes to find
our specific document. If we agreed to wait 15 minutes and only look at one
box at a time then they would find the boxes and bring them to our table.
Of course we agreed to their terms.
The first item we opened was a prenuptial marriage agreement from the
1700's. It was folded over several times, as the actual size of the
document was very large. We were afraid to touch it and asked for
assistance in how to properly handle the very old document. They said if we
open it carefully and slowly we would not damage it because of the manner
in which it was stored. We had no gloves on, but I wish we did because we
were hesitant to even touch the document, much less unfold it. After
reading it and finding the names of parents, etc, and their original wax
seal, we folded it back up and started to look through the rest of the box
which contained other interesting family items we never knew existed.
We had originally planned to spend the afternoon touring the Titanic
Museum, but we spent most all of our day sifting through he 5 boxes. The
last hour before closing we checked into some church record micro films.
The records were centuries old, and completely overwhelmed us. At closing
time they literally told us we had to pick up and leave the building. When
they locked the door behind us, we then had time to think about what an
awesome experience that was, but also realized that we barely scratched the
surface as to what was available to research inside that building. We
could not return the next day as we had to keep moving if we wanted to
explore the rest of Ireland in our remaining time on vacation.
Good luck with your search when you get your opportunity to be there in
person. It is a special place.
Jim and Sue in Wisconsin
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