The Irish Genealogical Office

Genelogical Office indexes

The biggest obstacle to research in GO manuscripts is the lack of a single, comprehensive index, though this has been mitigated to some extent by the recent work of Virginia Wade McAnlis (see below). Many attempts have been made over the centuries of the office's existence to produce a complete index; the result has been a proliferation of partial indexes, each covering some of the collection, none covering it all. These are dealt with below. In addition, the policy used in the creation of manuscripts appears to have become somewhat inconsistent from the 1940s. Before then only the earliest and most heterogeneous manuscripts had been numbered in a single series, with each of the other groups simply having its own volume numbers, 'Lords' Entries, Vol. 2' or 'Registered Pedigrees, Vol. 12', for example. The laudable attempt to produce a consistent numbering system, beginning at GO 1 and moving through the collection, seems to have given rise to the piecemeal addition of material that was more properly the preserve of nli. The subsequent transfers to the library and renumbering of remaining material produced a virtual collapse of the system in the upper numbers: no manuscripts exist for many of the numbers between 600 and 800. The numerical list of manuscripts at GO MSS 1-388 reflects the present situation, with titles no longer in the office given in brackets. In recent years Virginia Wade McAnlis has taken on the task of creating a consolidated index for Genealogical Office manuscripts, working from the microfilm copies available through the Family History Centres of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons. This work, in four volumes, is available at the nli (Ir 9291 c 11/1) and online at databases.aspx. The McAnlis index brings together the references from the indexes numbered as GO Mss. 117, 148, 255-60, 386, 422-3 and 470. Details of these are found below. In addition to the page references included in these indexes, McAnlis also includes microfilm references for the Latter-Day Saints collection.


  • * GO 59 A detailed calendar of manuscripts 1-58, particularly useful as many of these consist of very early heterogeneous material bound together for preservation.
  • * GO 115 Indexes the following: Arms, A-C; Grants and Confirmations, A and B; Visitations; British Families; Funeral Entries; and Registered Pedigrees, Vols. 1-10. Only the Visitations (GO 47-9) and British Families (GO 44-6) are not indexed more fully elsewhere.
  • * GO 116 An unfinished index.
  • * GO 117 Duplicates much of the material indexed in GO 422, GO 470 and Hayes's Manuscript Sources. Only the following are not covered elsewhere: Antrim Families (GO 213); Fisher Mss. (GO 280-85); Irish Arms at the College of Heralds (GO 37); Irish Coats of Arms (Fota) (GO 526); Heraldic Sketches (GO 125); Betham Letter Books (GO 362-78); Ecclesiastical Visitations (GO 198-9); and Reynell Mss. (GO 445).
  • * GO 148 Index to 'Linea Antiqua'. The version at the end of GO 147, 'Linea Antiqua', Vol. 3, is more complete.
  • * GO 255-6 Index to Alliances in Prerogative Wills (Betham).
  • * GO 386 Index to the Funeral Entries.
  • * GO 422-3 Index to arms registered at the Genealogical Office.
  • * GO 429 Eustace Index to Will Abstracts at the Genealogical Office. The published version in Analecta Hibernica, Vol. 17, is less extensive than the manuscript copy.
  • * GO 469 Index to Registered Pedigrees. This appears to be less complete than the version included in Hayes's Manuscript Sources. Attached to it is a typescript copy of the index to the Genealogical Office collection of pedigree rolls.
  • * GO 470 Index to Unregistered Pedigrees. This is the most useful index in the office, covering the Lords' Entries, the Betham pedigrees and many of the genealogists' pedigree collections. It is divided into three separate parts and gives the descriptive titles in use before the adoption of the single GO numbering system. The flyleaf lists the manuscripts covered. GO 476 Numerical listing of GO manuscripts dating from the 1950s and now inaccurate for the higher numbers.

See also Hayes's Manuscript Sources ( This indexes the Registered Pedigrees, GO 800-822, and Fisher Mss. (GO 280-85).

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