View Full Version : Dublin Birth - Available Records?
21-11-2007, 11:42 PM
My ancestor was born in Dublin in 1838. I know his name (Thomas Kohler) and that his father was Charles Kohler. I'm in England and sadly there is no way I can get to Dublin to research this in person so I wanted to know if the 1838 birth recoords still existed (as I understand many years worth have been destroyed) and if so how I might go about obtaining Thomas' birth certificate from the UK.
Also, would this show any more infornmation than when he was born and where? I am particularly aching to know where and when his father was born and who his mother was as I have not even got a first name for her.
Would such records, if they still exist, show any of these details?
22-11-2007, 7:58 PM
Civil registration of births didn't begin in Ireland until 1864, so unfortunately you won't get a birth certificate. Your best option would be a baptism record, and this may or may not give a mother's name. However, I'm not a Dublin expert, so can't really help you with where to start looking - although a good starting point is knowing what religion/denomination the family were.
Census returns for Ireland have mostly been lost (destroyed), but I think I saw once that some of the 1851 for Dublin had survived - possibly just an abstract of heads of household? - so that might be of some help. Again, a Dublin expert would know better than I do - hopefully one will come along soon.
Meanwhile, can you tell us the source of the information you do have, as this might be of some help. And has father or son ever been recorded outside Ireland, and if so, where and when?
22-11-2007, 11:55 PM
Thank you Arthur, you're going to wish you'd never asked!
I learned of Thomas' date of birth via the tree started by a relative. I would imagine that he got this from the English marriage cert of 1862.
Thomas is recorded in the 1860/61 trades directories in Dublin and from 1871 to 1901 in the UK censuses, which confirm his approximate age. Also of course we have his marriage in England in 1862, though I don't have a copy of the certificate as I saw no point, it would only give his place of birth and Dads name and occupation, which I already know. No records of the death of Thomas or of Emma, his wife, can be found at all.
His father, Charles, is on Dublin trades registers from approx 1833 to circa 1860 or just after. Not only did Charles own a tailors in Sackville Street, Dublin, but also in Clifford Street, West London, UK. (Source: Dublin trades directories and National Archives UK). There are UK National Archives records of him being in Dublin from 1831, when he went into business as a tailor with another man, then my sources are the Dublin trades records. He vanishes in about 1860/61.
I recently received a message from a man who is related to the wife of Thomas Kohler. who was Emma Oppenheim. Apparently Emma's sister married the grandson of Reverend John Walker, the disillusioned former Calvinist, who broke away from the faith and founded the Walkerite Church of God. My informant tells me that he has consulted an expert who told him that the Kohlers were Lutherans who went from Germany to Ireland in the 18th century and who were probably the last members of the faith, which died out around 1830 and which has re-appeared in Ireland in more recent decades. That is all I know sadly. By the way, oddly both Thomas and Charles junior's marriages were Protestant ones.
Ironically, my dad and his family have always been led to believe that the Kohlers came from Jewish extraction!
I told you that you'd wish you hadn't asked!!
23-11-2007, 8:01 PM
Hmm - you seem to have done everything I might have been able to suggest, although I'll allow myself a few thoughts on religion.
Contrary to what recent history might suggest, people in Ireland did sometimes change religion. The main dividing line would have been between Roman Catholics on the one hand, and all other (protestant) denominations on the other, though even this line was sometimes crossed. I think there was probably more movement between the protestant groups. Lutherans would have been counted as protestants.
Stories of Jewish ancestry aren't always correct - my wife has ancestors in one line who have been solidly Church of England as far back as she can trace, but since the surname sounds a bit like some typically Jewish names, other researchers seem convinced that it must originally have been that. However, in some cases there will be a Jewish background, which research should be able to uncover. There's a family history society specifically for those with Jewish ancestry, which might be able to help - and there's one for German ancestry as well.
Other than this, I don't think I'm going to be much use to you - but now you've mentioned the names, they will show up sooner or later in search engines, and someone researching the same family might find you one day!
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