If you have spent time in Roman Catholic registers in many European countries, you are aware as to how informative they can be. Then there are the Irish Catholic registers…
These are usually one or two liners, sometimes abbreviated, and can be written very sloppy, in either Latin or English. Only rarely have I seen Gaelic. The typical record does not begin until the late 1820s or early 1830s, and at that there are also gaps. My rule is to never expect to find all the marriages and baptisms you are looking for. If I find just part of a family – I’m happy.
A typical marriage will have the name of the couple, the date, sometimes residence, and the witnesses. A typical christening will have the date, name of the child, parent’s name, the mother’s maiden name, sometimes residence, godparent’s names, and usually a female godparent’s maiden name. You almost never find burial registers.
Reasons vary for the poor record keeping practices. The most incomplete registers can be found on the western coast. There locally trained priest were often used serving the parishes. They went out into the countryside to perform his religious duties. The scraps of paper were then brought back to the main church registers. This often didn’t happen.
Even though the Irish Catholic registers may not be to the standards of other countries, they are still valuable. You just have to be more creative in how you approach them and utilize what information is given.