Find your ancestors in Ireland, Society of Friends (Quaker) congregational records

What can these records tell me?

The records comprise minutes from half-yearly Quaker meetings. Each entry will include both an image of the original handwritten record and a transcript. Transcripts may include the following information:

  • Name
  • Congregation year
  • Congregation date
  • Address
  • Meeting
  • Archive and reference

The images will include additional details about the meeting your ancestor attended and the Quaker activities your ancestor was engaged in. There may also be included member lists, notes regarding recently deceased members, and financial details about the Quaker meeting your ancestor was part of, including rent paid for the use of their meetinghouse.

You may also find notes regarding the suffering of Quakers in these records. Those of the Quaker faith have not been strangers to persecution by those of the established church. Quakers have faced fines, imprisonment, and corporal punishment for abstaining from paying tithes to the Church of Ireland. Quakers began to keep records of such injustices and sufferings at their monthly meetings.

Discover more about the Quaker collection

In Ireland, the Society of Friends, better known as Quakers, had their first worship meeting in 1654. William Edmundson, the first Quaker in Ireland, established the first meetinghouse that year in County Armagh. He’s heralded as the 'father of Irish Quakers' and credited with the system of record keeping kept by the Quakers.

Quaker records date back to the mid-1600s. In addition to recording births, marriages, and deaths, Quakers also recorded migration details and school records.