Event to mark 200th anniversary of church in Limerick

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

A SPECIAL event which will mark the 200th anniversary of Christ Church in Limerick, will also offer an unique opportunity to local families and historians to dip into history.

A SPECIAL event which will mark the 200th anniversary of Christ Church in Limerick, will also offer an unique opportunity to local families and historians to dip into history.

The Genealogy and Family History Day takes place in Christ Church in March and the event will also mark the presence of Presbyterians in Limerick for over 350 years and the establishment, 40 years ago, of the United Presbyterian and Methodist Church at Christ Church.

“As a United Presbyterian and Methodist Church in Limerick we are in the unique position to be able to bring together family history records from our combined churches,” says Michael Wheeler who is one of those preparing for the event. “ We have also very close links with other local churches, and in particular the Church of Ireland where we share certain responsibilities in relation to governance of the local schools with a Protestant ethos. “

“We are planning to bring together all the available church registers and school roll books for our community on the Saturday of the St. Patrick’s Day weekend for anyone, from complete novice up to experienced genealogist, to review,” Mr Wheeler added.

It is also hoped to have some Catholic registers available on the day, Mr Wheeler continiued. Due to the relatively small Protestant community in Limerick, over the centuries there have been significant inter-denomination marriages and community interactions.

“Consequently, for family history enthusiasts and novices alike, the opportunity to review all these documents together is significant,” Mr Wheeler said.

There will be volunteers at hand on the day to help novice genealogists or people just wishing to find out a little more about their family. These volunteers will help them to get access to family records and start building their own family tree. But, to ensure the best possible outcome, people are advised to do a little preparation in advance. People should try to get all their grandparents’ names and bring along any significant dates and places that they know of.

For the more experienced genealogist with particular connections in the Limerick area the opportunity to review these records in the one location should be very exciting. The organisers expect to have for examination the Limerick Methodist Registers from 1842, Limerick Presbyterian Registers from 1829, Christ Church Limerick Minute Books, Adare/ Balingran registers, Limerick Church of Ireland registers, Limerick Baptist Church registers, St. Michael’s National School Roll books, Villiers School roll books and more.

The day will also include a talk presented by Mr Wheeler, a genealogical enthusiast, on his own extended Wheeler family research entitled “Silver Bells of Memory”.

His talk will focus on the historical and intriguing aspects that he has encountered whilst researching his own family tree. Of particular interest will be the theme of Irish History from a Protestant stand point, a view not normally explored by historians.

For further details of the Genealogy & Family History Day contact Michael Wheeler mgbwheeler@hotmail.com