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Hello - Can anyone help me with a latin Parish Record.  Location:

Galloon Parish record February 19 1855 for Joannem Moen and Rosam McAloon 

I believe these are my GGG Grandparents Rose McAloon and John Moan. - Find My Past states that Rose was from Cura.  Is there any information on where John was from - who are the witnesses? 


Thank you!!


Tuesday 5th Mar 2019, 02:03AM

Message Board Replies

  • Movick,

    Latin was the standard language used by most priests, at least until the middle of the 19th century. It was sometimes cod Latin because there were no Latin words for many names, and so they just made something up.  I can’t make out every word but the essence is that John Moen and Rose McAloon were married on 19th Feb 1855 by Rev James Smyth. Bride & groom were cousins at the 4th degree of consanguinity. The witnesses were  (words unclear) Winney (?) & Hugh McKenna.



    A bishop’s dispensation was normally required for consanguineous marriages.

    Hugone is cod Latin for Hugh.

    Testabus means witnessed (as in the English word testify).

    There’s nowhere in Galloon named Cura. The words “hac de cura” appear in other marriages on those pages and appear to be part of the standard wording used. Cura means care; hac is an adverb meaning “in this place” & de means from.  I can’t make out the word before hac but I think the essence is broadly about them being married at that place according to the customs of the RC church. The sentence does not contain any personal or geographic information. 

    There are no townlands given in any of the marriages on that page so far as I can see.  That was fairly common for a marriage at that time.  The fmp transcription giving cura as a townland is probably an error. Not uncommon.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 5th Mar 2019, 07:53AM
  • Thank you Elwyn!!  This is extremely helpful!

    Can you provide any guidance on how I migt be able to obtain records related to the bishop's dispensation? Would these be held at the Diocese?


    Tuesday 5th Mar 2019, 05:49PM
  • I have never seen any papers regarding bishop’s dispensations in Ireland. I don’t think they still exist. You could write to the parish or diocese and ask but I feel sure that if they were routinely available, they’d have been published or put in a public repository by now. I have seen other posts asking the same perfectly reasonable question but I have never seen anyone report that they found them.

    If you  are looking for Moans in Galloon, Griffiths in 1862 has John Moans in Carrowmaculla, Greaghcashel & Keeran More. McAloon is found in Kilready & Drumlone.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 5th Mar 2019, 07:04PM
  • A dispensation is not required for 4th degree consanguinity. There are explananations, some with charts and tables of relationships on some FH websites.

    I discussed this with someone on this website recently and have posted links to websites. See Kilmovee parish, Mayo. Topic is "James Marrion 1820-1895". It's one of the most recent threads for that parish, begun  21st Jan 2019.

    P.S. Having now peered at the marriage register I see dispensation mentioned. Several other marriages on those pages also mention dispensation. There were various reasons why a dispensation was required for a marriage in a Catholic church. consanguinity and affinity are two. Others include: marriage during a forbidden time (Advent or Lent); dispensing with reading of banns on 3 consecutive Sundays; marriage in which one spouse was not a Catholic. A resume of Catholic Canon Law cites 28 reasons!  I can't read the word after dispensation in this case.

    "There maybe records where 4th degree was stated but dispensation was not required." Topic "Dispensations in the Catholic Church " on GenProf


    "The Concepts of Consanguinity and Age of Majority in Genealogy" by Dan MacDonald 

    This focuses on Prince Edward Island but has relevance elswhere.

    "The priests were supposed to record all relationships of the fourth degree or closer" ... "As well, each priest used slightly different terminolgy in records"

    "The power to grant a marriage dispensation was held by the diocese (i.e. Bishop/Arch-Bishop) ...  However priests were sometimes extended the powers to grant dispensations to a particular degree without having to apply to the Diocese in every case." 

    The point is made that a priest didn't always record information accurately and that he was reliant on information given to him by the couple, which may not have been correct.

    The writer suggests familiarising yourself with the priest's style and terminlogy by browsing other entries in the register.


    Rules on consanguinity have altered over time as have methods of computation, leading to confusion.

    Catholic Encyclopedia is online.

    A recent discussion about changes in 20thC and earlier historical aspect was "Consanguinity and cousin marriage" on Catholic Answers Forum 

    2 comparatively recent key dates when considering Catholic canon law on marriage are 1908 and 1983.


    "Marriage dispensations" on website is a brief explanation aimed at family historians. However,  the writer has confused affinity with spiritual relationship. (Relationships which are impediments to marriage are consanguinity, affinity and spiritual relationship; spiritual relationship being e.g. god-parent and god-child.)


    I read  witnesses to the marriage as Winny and Hugh McKenna.  "Hugone" is a Latin declension of Hugh. His name was declined in 4th or 5th  case, depending on whether English translation was meant to read "witness to" or "witnessed by". If  Winny had been given her full name of Winifred, she would have been "Winifreda" or "Winifredae". If she had been the bride she might have been "Winifredam". Name (and word) endings change according to context. There are words in this I can't read.

    The word curate derives from Latin curatus which translates as cure. Cure of souls means spiritual charge of a parish or congregation. The priest who conducted the marriage may have been a curate and not a parish priest. Was it a chapel in a parish at the time? 


    Maggie May

    Tuesday 5th Mar 2019, 11:23PM
  • Thank you Elwynn!

    Maggie May - I am not sure  - how would find out?


    Wednesday 6th Mar 2019, 05:38PM
  • Movick,  Wed. 6th March 05.38pm; how would you find out what? If you mean dispensations then reading the links I posted here and on the Kilmovee thread should explain. It's pointless going in search of documents relating to dispensations imo. As Elwyn said, if any survived and were accessible, some family historian would have noticed and written about it. Even if the dispensation had been for the reason of consanguinity, the priest probably wouldn't have bothered his bishop for a 3rd cousin marriage. If he was a parish priest he would likely have had the authority to make a decision; if he was only a curate, he would ask his parish priest. If the relationship between the affianced was complex, involving several relationships between their families, it might have been referred upwards to the diocese.  If you want another opinion there's a Catholic Family History Society which is based in England. It has a blog and Facebook and publications and members who have spent decades researching R.C. ancestors. There might be information on National Library of Ireland website.

    What do you know about the church and the parish? Was it the main church or a chapel? If it was a chapel there might not have been Mass every week, so it may not have been possible to read banns on 3 consecutive Sundays (another reason for a dispensation).

    The wedding was in February - a popular month for Catholic wedddings in rural Ireland. Do you know when Easter Sunday was that year? Did the marriage happen in Lent? If so, there would have been a dispensation. Many other marriages around same time had dispensations.

    Was it necessary for the weddding to happen quickly? E.g. was the bride pregnant; was the groom joining the army or navy; were either of them leaving the area or even Ireland to find work or had one returned for a brief period specifically to marry; was the groom a widower with an infant child urgently needing a new mother? Any of these may have been a reason for dispensing with usual formalities.

    Maggie May

    Thursday 7th Mar 2019, 02:31AM
  • Some more information on marriage dispensations and consanguinity.

    Irish Family History Centre article "Always Look Twice"

    "Unfortunately in Ireland, dioceses never kept records of applications for dispensations. What survives is at parish level, and there is usually less information set-down than the actual marriage registers themselves."  There were dispensation registers. A brief account of a case study follows. A couple who were 2nd cousins married in 1829. A dispensation register survived for their parish. It's an administrative document and records that the couple paid 5 shillings and 6 pence. This was to cover administration costs. 

    Boards i.e. is a discussion forum. Topic Consanguinity dispensation

    "3rd cousins could be allowed to marry by the parish priest" 


    "Marrying Cousins in the Catholic Church"  (County Tyrone Ireland Genealogy )  This is research on a married couple in Co. Tyrone with extracts from registers. 


    Journey Home Genealogy : Every Truth Has a Story : What is a dispensation record?


    Catholic Family History Society

    Latin Church Records (Blog)…;

    This has an example of how a priest might have noted a dispensation 


    There's an article about Catholic marriage records  on Ancestry Support. It has a section on impediments to marriage and dispensations. It's mostly about American, French and Italian marriage records. Catholicism was the established state religion in France and Italy so church admin was well-founded, unlike in Ireland and Britain where it was persecuted for a long time and record-keeping was not a priority.



    To sum up. There were dispensation registers, kept in the parish in Ireland, not by the diocese. A few survive. They contain little or no useful information for family historians. A parish priest did not have to ask permission from bishop to marry 3rd cousins (4th degree consanguinity). 


    Maggie May

    Thursday 7th Mar 2019, 04:51AM
  • Thank you!! I will do some further reading :) 



    Thursday 7th Mar 2019, 05:37PM

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