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I have several strands of the Barry family who have spent all or part of their lives in Belfast, I have searched at the Belfast Cemetery online index withoutt success, and understand that Milltown would be the place to look, for burials.  My relatives were street traders from about 1850 and resided near to Smithfield Market, in the city centre. Can anyone access the Milltown records, or advise me how I can, without charge, will the administration respond to a request, do they have have an Email address as I live in England?

Any help would be appreciated, my first enquirey would be Catherine Barry nee Toner who died 2 Jan 1879 at 30 Smithfield Court, Belfast.

I am also looking for records of children's education in Belfast as Catherine and Garrett Barry had four sons Michael DOB 1857 Drogheda, Garrett DOB 1864 and Laurence DOB 1868 both is Belfast, plus Patrick who managed his mothers death registration, and presumably burial, but I can only estimate 1862 as his DOB from information on his marriage certificate, and don't have a baptism details, Garrett was Batpised at St. Patricks RC, and Laurence at St. Mary's RC. there seems to be a lack of online records for the 1857 - 1864 time span, I wonder if anyone has access to church records in the city centre to help find details of Patrick Barry?

Any help or assistance with the above would be very much appreciated as this is part of my brick wall, I have extensive DNA both autosomal and STR/SNP but with very few matches as I seem to be a quite rare signature, maybe one day a match will become apparent, but until then I'm exploring every avenue I can think of to find a place of origin. TPart of the family moved to Dublin Patrick, and I have found connections to living in Glasgow too so this family were very mobile.

Thank you &  regards Mike Barry


Monday 18th July 2016, 11:17AM

Message Board Replies

  • There’s no way that I know of to get access to the full Milltown records without paying.

    Some of the Milltown records are on the UHF site but you have to pay for that. See:,60530.0.html

    Findagrave has them too, but that’s a pay to view site.

    I don’t have an e-mail address for Milltown but their phone number is 028 9061 3972. They will search for a plot number free, but if you want to know who else is in the grave, there’s a £20 charge.

    For school attendance records, PRONI has most of the surviving records. They have quite a lot for Belfast. You need to know which school the pupil attended though. I should they think they have about 100 sets of records for Belfast schools. (The list is on the PRONI website).

    St Patrick’s baptism records for the 1860s are on the NLI website. There is a gap between 1867 and 1875 though. St Mary’s are there too from 1867 up to 1881. (Their earlier records are lost).


    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 18th July 2016, 02:47PM
  • Elwyn,

    Thank you for your full reply. I've read about there being a poorground in Milltown Cemetary, do you are others know if these burials are recorded, as well as those who could afford to secure plot(s) as I suspect that this is the type of provision my relatives would have been placed into?

    As far as the RC church records at St. Patrick's and St. Mary's I have exhausted the indexes, available and now search manually in the hope I can regonise something the scribes missed as I am also looking for the Marriage of Garrett and Catherine Toner nationwide, around 1855 given the data on hand, I am also surprised that this family unit has not to date had records of daughters which leads me to suspect that there were one or more but for various reasons I am yet to dicover them.

    I'll follow up on your suggestions thank you




    Monday 18th July 2016, 04:12PM
  • You could read Tom Hartley’s Book on Milltown Cemetery for a detailed history. Or ring the cemetery office for information.

    There does appear to have been a paupers area where the land was re-sold for new burials in the 1970s and any details of those originally buried there deleted. There was also a scandal a few years back over burials in an unconsecrated part of the cemetery. There was a bit of land at the bottom end of the cemetery that was given away to be converted into a nature reserve. (On the understanding it had never been used for burials). Trees were planted and paths put in etc., and then it emerged that the land had been used for the burial of about 11,000 stillbirths and illegitimate children. Another embarrassing episode for the church. The headlines at the time were along the lines of “RC church arranges furtive burials.” You get the idea. See this link for more information:

    No-one had any official records of who was there (or where exactly they were). The part of the nature reserve that covered the burial area was removed and today you’ll see wee crosses down that end of the graveyard with hand written  infants names on them. Very sad. As I say I’d ask the cemetery office for more information about that.

    If your ancestors were poor and died in the Workhouse and had no-one to pay for their funeral, they would have been buried in the paupers burial plot there. The workhouse is now Belfast City Hospital, and I recall that when it was expanded in the 1950s or 1960s they dug the bodies up and moved them somewhere. Presumably to one of the City cemeteries, but not certain of the details. I don’t think any records were kept of who was buried there either. (I have not come across any anyway).

    The workhouse closed around 1946. Milltown opened 1869. By the way it’s not an RC cemetery as such. There are all denominations there. Predominantly RC certainly but open to all.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 18th July 2016, 08:14PM