The Church of Ireland...

In 1536 Henry VIII was declared ‘the only supreme head in earth of the whole church in Ireland’, marking the formal beginning of the Reformation in Ireland.

The Reformation, however, had little impact in Ulster and it was not until the early seventeenth century that Protestantism was established here.

From the start the new reformed church was closely aligned with the settler society brought about by the influx of planters from England and Scotland. In many cases the site of the pre-Reformation church was taken over and the existing church either repaired or rebuilt. In other instances a new church was built close to where most of the settlers lived.

The Church of Ireland was required to keep proper records of baptisms, marriages and burials from 1634, but very few registers survive from the seventeenth century. In general, however, the records of the Church of Ireland start much earlier than those of other Protestant denominations and of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Church of Ireland is organised into parishes which in general conform to civil parishes. In 1922 over 1,000 Church of Ireland registers were lost in Dublin in the destruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland. Surviving Church of Ireland registers in PRONI are listed under MIC/1 and CR/1.