Open Alternative Views of Statue


This section looks briefly at a few miscellaneous sources that can be used in the search for ancestors in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Many others are available and are dealt with in more detail in Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors.

Denization records

Open Enlarged Version

Open Enlarged Version Names of Scots in Ulster who were given grants of denization in the early seventeenth century appear in the Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Reign of James I. As a denizen a Scot occupied an intermediate position between an alien and a native-born subject. It meant that he was able to purchase land and was to his family's benefit in matters of inheritance. A database of these names is available on the Ulster Historical Foundation's website (

Muster rolls

Open Enlarged Version

Open Enlarged Version A muster roll was a list of able-bodied men who were capable of military service. They were armed at their own expense. Several muster rolls survive for Ulster counties from the early seventeenth century and copies of these are available in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. These muster rolls are usually arranged by estate and consist in the main of a list of names with perhaps the weapon, if any, possessed.

Hearth money rolls,1663-69

Open Enlarged Version

Open Enlarged Version In the 1660s the government introduced a tax on hearths as a means of raising revenue. The returns, arranged by parish and usually with townland locations, list the names of all householders paying this tax survive for half the counties in Ireland with coverage most complete in Ulster. The hearth money rolls cannot be taken as a complete record of every household in the areas covered. There seems to have been considerable evasion, while for many houses of a less permanent nature occupied by Irish families no hearth tax was paid. The original hearth money rolls were destroyed in Dublin in 1922, but surviving copies for Ulster are available in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

The 'census of Protestant householders', 1740

Open Enlarged Version

Open Enlarged Version What has generally been termed a 'census of Protestant householders' was compiled in 1740. The returns were made by the collectors of the hearth money and it is likely that the names were taken from this list. Furthermore, for the barony of Loughinisolin in County Londonderry, it seems that both Protestants and Catholics were included. The 'census' is no more than a list of names arranged by county, barony, parish and occasionally townland. A bound transcript copy of the returns surviving for all or part of most counties in Ulster is available on the open shelves of the Public Search Room at PRONI.


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