Irish Civil RegistrationCivil 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 1845. The birth, marriage or death was registered with the local registrar, usually the relieving officer 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 www.irishgenealogy.ie
Information found on Irish Civil Registration RecordsA 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 OnlineThese 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:
If you require a registration that falls outside of this period, 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.
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 when the original indexes have been 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 in Ireland after 1864, who married after 1882 or who died after 1891.