Irish birth, marriage, and death records



Information regarding births, marriages, and deaths was not always recorded and, even when it was, it was not always written down accurately, especially in birth and death records. Approximately 15 per cent of births were not registered, especially in the earlier period. This attitude also applied to deaths, which additionally suffer from the problem of having ages written down incorrectly (or guessed at). You will find a different approach to the registration of Marriages; marriages are legal contracts so they were always registered. However, the informant who registered the record originally may not have supplied completely accurate information. It is also not unknown for the data to be incorrectly transcribed as it is also possible that there may be minor, but significant, errors in the indexes. Always check for alternative spellings.

Indexes for these records are organized on an annual basis until 1877. After that they are organized on a quarterly basis. This means that you may have to remember to check each quarter of the year in any volume, as well as late registrations, registrations under the Army Act, and those under the Marine Register Act (e.g. births at sea, deaths on active service). Many of these last records appear in the holdings for the PRONI in the Locality Catalogue. Some of the indexes are 2 volumes per year, so be sure you have checked the full year!

One point to look out for in the marriage indexes is the cross-referencing under the names of both partners. This is not always the case however, sometimes a marriage is indexed under only one name.

Birth records were recorded by the government beginning in 1864. Keep in mind that only one country existed at that time, so these birth records cover the entire Island, not just the Republic or the North. See LDS Church Locality Catalogue under Civil Registration for registrations of Births 1864-1955 1,031 reels. ) *

The LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City has microfilm copies of the following Irish Civil Registration indexes. The films can be read at your local LDS Family History Center.

The original document, bearing your ancestor's signature, may be in the local registrar's office. Superintendent registrars may or may not give out copies of certificates, though they are generally more willing in Northern Ireland.

You can get microfilms of the original civil records BUT not all of them. Only 1864-1881 and 1900-1913 births and pre 1871 marriages and deaths. If you have the exact referenced number (from the index), Irish Heritage Research, Dublin, Ireland will get a copy (not a certificate) for you for 3.00 Irish punts ($5.00 US).

I got a certificate with the exact reference number from the General Register Office, Dublin for 6.00 IR (5.50 + 50p postage). For those years not covered:

The General Register Office
Joyce House
8-11 Lombard St.E.
Dublin 2

will provide photocopies when full reference information (i.e. volume and page numbers) is provided, for #1.50 Irish.


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