Irish Civil Registration Records Online

Irish Civil Registration Records Online

A selection of Irish Birth, Marriage and Death registrations have been made freely available online at the Irish Government website Previously, this website was home to one of the online indexes for Irish civil registration, where it was possible to search for the reference information for a birth, marriage or death registration. Now, the index entries are linked to an image of the original registration.

Irish Civil Registration 

Civil registration in Ireland commenced in 1864, when it became compulsory to register all births, deaths and marriages. Non-Catholic marriages were registered with the civil authorities from April 1845.  The birth, marriage or death was registered with the local registrar, usually the relieving officer or dispensary doctor of the local Poor Law Union.  The registers were then sent to Dublin where they were copied, with the original register returned to the Registration District. The Dublin copies have now been digitised and are freely available to view and download at 

Information found on Irish Civil Registration Records

A civil birth registration records the date, place of birth, name of the child, names of the parents (including the maiden name of the mother) as well as the address and occupation of the father.

A civil marriage registration records the names, ages, occupations and addresses of the bride and groom, the name and occupation of their fathers and the names of the witnesses, it also identifies the church in which the couple were married. This can be helpful if you are unsure of the religious denomination of the couple.

A death registration will record the name, age, marital status and occupation of the deceased, as well as the cause of death and place of death. Importantly, the informant on a death certificate can sometimes be a family member, such as widow, son or daughter-in-law.

What Irish Civil Registration Records Are Available Online

These records are generally far more informative than church baptismal and marriage registers and could previously only be obtained in person by attending the General Register Office Research Room in Werburgh Street or ordering a copy from one of the county registration offices. At the moment the following original registrations are available:

Births 1864-1923 (Republic of Ireland only from 1921)
Marriages 1864-1948 (Republic of Ireland only from 1921)
Deaths 1871-1973 (Republic of Ireland only form 1921)

If you require a registration that falls outside of this period, or for which the image is missing online, you can use the Timeline Genealogy Clerk service to order a copy online.

This is a wonderful release of records that will certainly help anyone who has been searching for ancestors with a common surname, who simply couldn’t afford to purchase every birth certificate for a Mary Byrne born in Dublin between 1882 and 1885 or a Patrick Smith born in Cavan in the 1870s.

Irish Civil Registration Records Online

The civil birth registration for Michael Collins, registered at Clonakilty in 1890

However, the same caution must be applied here as with any online index of records. There may be index entries that are missing or incorrectly transcribed. I know that I have certainly had problems locating marriage registrations in this collection, which have magically appeared in the original indexes when searched in the General Register Office Research Room. Unusual spellings of surnames, which can be observed when searching the index books, can be hard to locate on this website, which has quite a rigid search facility.

Despite the drawbacks, this release of records should certainly progress the research of anyone with an ancestor who was born, married or died in Ireland after 1864.