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 www.nli.ie/en/heraldry-cataloguesand-
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
- * 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
- * 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 (sources.nli.ie). This indexes the Registered
Pedigrees, GO 800-822, and Fisher Mss. (GO 280-85).
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