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My great grandparents Samuel Robinson and Mary Anderson were born in the St Johnston area in 1860.

Samuel Robinson's parents were James Robinson and Susan Killen and I have his birth details.

Mary Anderson's parents were Andrew Anderson and Matilda Killen but I cannot trace a birth record for her. Andrew and Matilda have two marriage records. A civil ceremony in Strabane on 27 September 1856 and a Catholic ceremony on 29 January 1859 in St. Johnston Roman Catholic Parish Church. I believe that Matilda Killen was either Church of Ireland or Presbyterian.

I have birth records for children born after 1863, but not for my great grandmother who was born in 1860.

Please can you help?


Rosemary Bennett



Tuesday 13th October 2020, 12:45PM

Message Board Replies

  • Statutory birth registration didn’t start in Ireland till 1.1.1864 so you won’t find a birth certificate for Matilda (or any other children born before 1864). You may find their baptisms but the records are probably not on-line.

    Taughboyne Church of Ireland has baptisms starting in 1820; the PRONI guide to church records lists 4 Presbyterian churches in the parish: 1st Ballylennon baptisms 1829-39 & 1861 onwards, 2nd Ballylennon no baptisms, Monreagh baptisms 1845 onwards & St Johnston, baptisms 1838 onwards.

    There are copies of all the above records in PRONI, the public record office, in Belfast. A personal visit is required to access them. Access to the records there is free. This link explains what records exist, parish by parish:

    If you are unable to go yourself, you could employ a researcher. Researchers in the PRONI area:


    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 14th October 2020, 06:46AM
  • Dear Elwyn

    Thank you for your reply, it was very helpful. I didn't know that there were records that could only be seen by visiting PRONI.

    Best wishes


    Thursday 15th October 2020, 07:37AM
  • Rosemary,

    Yes people seem to think all church records are on-line these days. They are not. (RC records are, but few other denominations in Ireland are comprehensively on-line). PRONI has a pretty good collection for the area you are interested in. There is also still the odd church where the records are still held by the church, so you have to contact the minister to get access. (A lot of Methodist records are like that, for example).



    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 15th October 2020, 01:36PM