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Londonderry Corporation Records

Freeholders' records search screen Example of an online index available on the PRONI website Researching the records

Records held at Derry City Council Archive and at PRONI

Derry Heritage and Museum Service logo
The Derry City Council Archive and Genealogical Service, located at Foyle Valley Railway Museum, is the access point for the Council’s archive and genealogical collections. The collections include records such as minute volumes and correspondence, plus a wide range of architectural drawings, art work on paper and private collections relating to the railway industry, the shirt factories and civil rights.

What does PRONI have?

PRONI holds several of the early Corporation minute books, plus records relating to finance, education, health, housing, transport, water, welfare and town planning and development. Visit the eCatalogue, and select PRONI Ref: LA/79, for more details on PRONI's Londonderry Corporation Records.

Digitisation of the Corporation Minute Books and Freemen Records

The earliest minute volume dates from 1673. The original hard-copy Corporation minute books are housed in two locations – volumes covering the period 1673 to 1841 reside at PRONI in Belfast, while the later volumes from 1841 to 1969 are kept in the Foyle Valley Railway Museum. To enable increased access to the 1673-1901 part of the early minute book collection, a partnership was established in December 2009 between PRONI and the Derry City Council Archive to produce digital copies which could be accessed online. This online resource is the product of the partnership.
Each minute book begins with the date of the meeting of the Common Council and a list of those members in attendance.
To investigate the minute books further, and to view the digital images, select a link from the list of volumes below.
  • Volume 1        (3 February 1673 - 30 July 1686)
  • Volume 2        (2 January 1688 - 20 July 1704)
  • Volume 3A      (28 July 1704 - 2 January 1720)
  • Volume 4        (2 February 1720 - 11 March 1736)
  • Volume 6        (8 April 1742 - 23 September 1754)
  • Volume 7        (10 October 1754 - 12 September 1765)
  • Volume 8B      (19 April 1765 - 1 February 1780)
  • Volume 9        (4 March 1780 - 14 September 1793)
  • Volume 10B    (3 October 1793 - 3 November 1817)
  • Volume 11A    (25 July 1818 - 17 December 1841)
  • Volume 12      (27 December 1841 - 14 December 1849)
  • Volume 13      (1 January 1850 - 12 October 1855)
  • Volume 14      (1 January 1856 - 31 December 1859)
  • Volume 15      (2 January 1860 - 2 February 1863)
  • Volume 15B    (6 August 1860 - 2 February 1863)
  • Volume 16      (9 March 1863 - 5 August 1867)
  • Volume 17      (12 August 1867 - 9 April 1872)
  • Volume 18      (6 May 1872 - 7 August 1877)
  • Volume 19      (1 November 1877 - 21 October 1881)
  • Volume 20      (1 November 1881 - 9 November 1885)
  • Volume 21      (1 January 1886 - 13 January 1891)
  • Volume 22      (3 February 1891 - 7 February 1896)
  • Volume 23      (5 March 1896 - 15 August 1901)
Registers and extracts from the Minute Books which relate to Freemen of the City have also been digitised and are available to view from this link.

What do the Minute Books contain?

Image of Shipquay Street in the 19th Century
The Corporation and Council minutes richly add to our knowledge of the city of Derry.  In the late 17th and 18th centuries, the city’s business life consisted of merchants and craftsmen such as butchers and bakers, tailors and shoemakers, smiths and saddlers, joiners and coopers.  The Corporation leased out the quay, the cow market, the general market (and collection of tolls), the mills and the ferry.  The main market was in the Diamond and the Corporation settled a scale of market fees.  
Example excerpts from the earliest volume include:
  • ’...in 1674 a scavenger was appointed to keep clean all the streets.’
  • ‘Car men were appointed to draw loads from the quay to the market place.’
  • ‘For the defence of the city it was agreed, in 1674, to employ a workman to repair and maintain the walls.’
  • ‘In 1676, a new gaol was erected over Ferry gate.’
Print of Shipquay Street, circa nineteenth century, (Derry City Council)
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