The importance of parish records for the reconstruction of many aspects of past societies is becoming clear from research in other countries. Irish parochial records have not survived well, but where they have the records of the vestries are among the richest sources for the study of church and society. This volume provides an edition of a largely rural union of parishes based on Finglas in north County Dublin in the second half of the 17th and first half of the 18th century. The vestry minutes, parish accounts and records of baptisms, marriages and burials which it contains detail a vibrant worshipping community, an active local administration which, among other things, was responsible for poor relief, foundling children and road maintenance, and an efficient financial machine based on the collection of the parish cess. This volume will be of interest not only to those concerned with the church and local communities but to everyone interested in rural life in the early modern period.
Maighréad Ní Mhurchadha is the author of Fingal, 1603–60: contending neighbours in North Dublin (2005).