Irish

Census

Ireland took censuses every 10 years from 1821-1911. However, few records survived before 1901. A fire in the Dublin Public Records Office in 1922 destroyed many of these records.

1901 and 1911 census are available here.

For pre-1800 families, indexes and originals of census substitutes are available here.

Civil Records

In 1845, the government mandated that all marriages be recorded. However, in practice, only non-Catholic marriages were recorded until full registration was enacted in 1864.

Beginning in 1864 all birth, marriages, and deaths were recorded. These Records can be searched through General Register Office of Ireland.

  • An index of Birth records are currently digitized from 1864-1915.
  • An index Death records are currently digized from 1891-1965.
  • An index of Marriage records are digized from 1882-1940

Records for Northern Ireland dated after 1921 can be searched at General Register Office of Northern Ireland

Irish Surnames

Irish surnames can have many variations. Letters were used interchangeably, prefixes were added and removed and nicknames were often listed.

The Church of Ireland

The Church of Ireland was the national faith of Ireland until 1871.

The Church’s archives is called Representative Church Body and has published a downloadable directory to parish records

  • You can request digital images of its records by visiting here.
Immigration

During the Irish Potato Famine – 1845 to 1951 – 2.5 millon people emigrated from Ireland. Approximately 650,000 of these immigrants arrived in the New York Harbor through Ellis Island. A large number of immigrants came through the Port of Quebec in Canada

Library and Archives Canada contains several database that may be of help in your immigration research.

The Ship’s List contains immigration information for Canada, the United States, Australia and South Africa

Useful Websites
  • Ancestry recently released 10 million Irish Catholic parish records here.
  • $ Ancestry Ireland focuses on Ulster. Note: Charges are based on a pay-per view basis.
  • Ask About Ireland
    • You will need to register to access documents, however registration is free.
    • Contains Grifith’s Valuation.
  • Belfast Newsletter Index (1737-1800)
  • $ Emerald Ancestors focuses on Northern Ireland and Ulster.
  • Family Search has an agreement with the National Archives of Ireland that allows duplication of certain records.
    • Contains a collection of civil registration indexes covering 1845 to 1958, Ireland Births and Baptisms, 1620-1881 and Ireland Marriages, 1619-1898.
  • $ Find My Past has the largest collection of Irish family history records online.
    • Landed Estate Court Rentals contains a wealth of information about land tenants.
    • The Irish Petty Sessions contians information of misdemeanors and squabbles among neighbors.
    • Poverty Relief Loans, 1821-1874 focuses on Ireland’s West Coast counties.
    • Also contains dog licenses registers which records of 6 million individuals.
  • General Register Office of Northern Ireland – GRONI launched an on-line database in 2014 for civil registration records for counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Londonderry, Fermanagh and Tyrone.
    • Birth records date from 1864 – 100 years ago, marriages from 1864 – 75 years ago and deaths from 1864 to 50 years ago.
    • Registration is free however, you must have at least one credit in your account in order to see search results.
    • Search results only remain in your account for 72 hours.
  • Ireland XO is a reverse genealogy website, the Irish at home researching those who left.
  • Irish Genealogical Research Society
  • Irish Genealogical Society International
  • Irish Genealogy Contains church records of baptisms, marriages and burials.
    • Contains the only official version of Ireland’s civil registration indexes of births, marriages and deaths.
  • $ Irish Newspapers contains searchable ditigized newspapers from across Ireland.
  • Irish Times Ancestors has a list of existing records and where to access them.
    • Research Wizard analyses what you already know about an ancestor and produces specific recommendations for further research.
  • Military Archives
  • National Archives of Ireland
  • National Library of Ireland
    • NLI is planning on posting images of its collection of Catholic Parish Register Microfilm.
  • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
    • Contains records for Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone.
  • $ Roots Ireland
    • Contains over 20 million transcriptions of records.
    • Before using the search features, read the FAQs. This system has some quirks!
  • The Workhouse is a great website to learn about poor law, work houses and poor law records for UK and Ireland.
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