skip to content

Civil Registration, Marriage (Ireland)

Nature of Source

Certificates and indexes of civil registered births. Up to the end of 1877 the indexes were arranged alphabetically, by year but from 1878 onwards each year was divided into quarters. The registration districts were based on the poor law union divisions. The local districts forwarded their returns to the General Register Office in Dublin and Belfast.

The General Register Office is the statutory body responsible for the civil registration of adoptions, births, marriages and deaths and is the central civil repository for the records. The registers themselves are not open to public inspection, but information from them is supplied in the form of certificates. Copies of certificates ( or photocopies of entries in the registers) can be purchased from the registrar in any registrar's district or from General Register Office in Roscommon. Application forms can be downloaded from the GRO website or it is possible to order online at the website of the Health Service Executive’s Civil Registration Service.

The General Register Office Ireland (GRO) holds civil birth records for all of Ireland up to and including the year 1921. From 1922 GRO holds the records of Ireland with the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) holding the records of Northern Ireland. GRO and GRONI also hold the adopted children's registers from 1931, births and deaths at sea and British consulate births, marriage and deaths abroad. GRONI also holds war deaths, 1939-1948.

Many births in the early years of civil registration went unrecorded. Some births were recorded by the local district but do not appear in the central national master index.

See also
Civil Registration, Birth (Ireland)
Civil Registration, Death (Ireland)
Monumental Inscriptions (MIs) (Ireland)
Parish Registers - Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, & Other Records, Catholic (Ireland)
Parish Registers - Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, & Other Records, Church of Ireland (Ireland)
Parish Registers - Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, & Other Records, Methodists (Ireland)
Parish Registers - Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, & Other Records, Presbyterians (Ireland)
Parish Registers - Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, & Other Records, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) (Ireland)
Surname Origins and Distribution

Where Found

General Register Office Northern Ireland (The office has been responsible for the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in Northern Ireland since 1922. It holds the civil registers of births and deaths from 1 January 1864 as well as non-Roman Catholic marriages from 1 April 1845 and all marriage registers including Roman Catholic from 1 January 1864 for the six counties. GRONI also holds the Adopted Children's Register for Northern Ireland from 1 January 1931, births and deaths at sea and British consulate births, marriage and deaths abroad and the World War II death indexes from 1939 to 1945. For guidance on using the GRONI for research see the guide Research family history at the General Register Office. Birth, marriage and death certificates can be ordered online at https://geni.nidirect.gov.uk. All records from 1845 to date are available in the public search room in GRONI)
General Register Office Ireland (The office is responsible for the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths registered in Ireland from 1922. They also hold copies of non-Catholic marriage records from 1845 and copies of all civil registration records from 1864 to 1958 for all of Ireland. The Civil Registration Indexes, 1845-1958 are available at www.familysearch.org. For Northern Ireland registration after 1921 see General Register Office of Northern Ireland [GRONI]. The office also holds registers of births and deaths at sea and at British Consuls as well as the register of Irish WWI and Boer War deaths. See the Research Guide for guidance on obtaining certificates)
District Registrar's Offices, Northern Ireland (Original registers)
District Registrar's Offices, Ireland (Health Service Executive Civil Registration Service: Original registers)
LDS FamilySearch Centers (Microfilm copies of original registers)
Irish Genealogical Research Society (Card indexes to 18th and 19th century Irish births, marriages and deaths taken from 18th and 19th century provincial Irish newspapers)

Period Covered

1864 - Onwards

Genealogical Value

Indexes
Names of bride and groom. Name of registration district. Volume andpage number.
Certificates
Names, ages, marital status, occupation and addresses of bride and groom. Date and place of marriage. Name and occupation of father of bride and groom. Witnesses to marriage. After 1950, mother's name supplied and bride and groom's dates of birth replace age.

Further References

Family History Guides  

Adolph, Anthony. Collins Tracing Your Irish Family History: HarperCollins, 2007

Buy Now on Amazon

Begley, Donal. Handbook on Irish Genealogy: How to Trace Your Ancestors and Relatives: Heraldic Artists, 1984

Buy Now on Amazon
Caball, Kay. Finding your Ancestors in Kerry: Flyleaf Press, 2015 Buy Now on Amazon
Connell, Gretta. Tracing Your Westmeath Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2012 Buy Now on Amazon
Corrigan, Mario &  Durney, James & Kiely, Karel. Tracing your Kildare Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon

Davis, Bill. Irish Ancestry - A Beginner's Guide: FFHS, 2001

Buy Now on Amazon

Falley, Margaret Dickson. Irish and Scottish-Irish Ancestral Research: GPC, 1981 (1962)

Buy Now on Amazon
Franklin, Margaret. Tracing your Limerick Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon

Grenham, John. Irish Ancestors, A Pocket Guide to Your Family History: Gill & Macmillan, 2004

Buy Now on Amazon

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: Gill & Macmillan, 2011

Buy Now on Amazon
Hamrock, John. Tracing your Roscommon Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2007 Buy Now on Amazon

Kinealy, Christine. Tracing Your Irish Roots: Appletree Press, 2009

Buy Now on Amazon

McCarthy, Tony. The Irish Roots Guide. Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 1991

Buy Now on Amazon
McCarthy, Tony & Cadogan, Tim. Tracing Your Cork Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon

Maxwell, Ian. Tracing Your Ancestors in Northern Ireland: A Guide to Ancestry Research in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland: Stationery Office, 1997

Buy Now on Amazon
Maxwell, Ian. Researching Armagh Ancestors: A Practical Guide for the Family and Local Historian: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon
Maxwell, Ian. Researching Down Ancestors: A Practical Guide for the Family and Local Historian: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon

Maxwell, Ian. How To Trace Your Irish Ancestors: How To Books, 2009

Buy Now on Amazon

Maxwell, Ian. Your Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword, 2008

Maxwell, Ian. Tracing Your Northern Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword, 2010

Buy Now on Amazon
Meehan, Helen & Duffy, Godfrey. Tracing Your Donegal Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2008 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. Basic Guide to Irish Records for Family History: Clearfield Company, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. Tracing Derry-Londonderry Roots: Clearfield Company, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon
O'Connor, Michael H. Tracing your Kerry Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 1994 Buy Now on Amazon
O'Dowd, Peadar. Tracing your Galway Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2010 Buy Now on Amazon

Ouimette, David. Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide: Ancestry.com, 2005

Buy Now on Amazon
Paton, Chris. Discover Irish Land Records: Unlock the Past, 2015  
Paton, Chris. Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet: A Guide For Family Historians: Pen & Sword Books, 2013

Prochaska, Alice, Irish History from 1700: A Guide to Sources in the Public Record Office: British Records Association, 1986

Buy Now on Amazon

Raymond, Stuart. Irish Family History on the Web: The Family History Partnership, 2007

Buy Now on Amazon

Roulston, William. Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors: The Essential Genealogical Guide to Early Modern Ulster, 1600-1800: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2005

Buy Now on Amazon

Ryan, James. Irish Records: Sources for Family & Local History: Flyleaf Press, 1997

Buy Now on Amazon
Ryan, James & Smith, Brian. Tracing Your Dublin Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Ryan, James. Tracing your Sligo Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2012 Buy Now on Amazon
Scott, Jonathan. Tracing Your British and Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword Books, 2016
Smith, Brian. Tracing your Mayo Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2010 Buy Now on Amazon
Smith, Brian & Kennedy, Gerry. Tracing Your Clare Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon

Stewart, Alan. My Ancestor Was Irish: A Guide to Sources for Family Historians: Society of Genealogists, 2012

Buy Now on Amazon
Other  
Bradshaw's Railway Map Great Britain and Ireland 1852: Mapseeker Publishing, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Connolly, S.J. The Oxford Companion to Irish History: Oxford University Press, 2007 Buy Now on Amazon
Coogan, Tim, Pat. The Famine Plot: England's Role in Ireland's Greatest Tragedy: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Dickson, R.J. Ulster Emigration to Colonial America, 1718-1775: Ulster Historical Foundation, 1976 Buy Now on Amazon
Grenham, John. The Little Book of Irish Clans and Tartans: Book Sales, 1995 Buy Now on Amazon
Robinson, Philip. Plantation of Ulster: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon
Smith, Paul & Turner, Keith. Railway Atlas of Ireland Then & Now: Ian Allan Publishing, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon


TNA Research Guide: Looking for records of a birth, marriage or death in Scotland and Ireland

Websites

http://genealogy.about.com/library/vital/blireland.htm (Ireland Vital Records: Civil Registration)
www.from-ireland.net/gene/civilregistration.htm (Civil Registration in Ireland, explanation)
www.swilson.info
(Free resources include Civil Registration Districts Map browsable by county and registration district; Townland Index and Database, 1851; Catholic Parishes and Civil Parish Links, 1837; Catholic Parishes and directories, 1848; Historic Maps; links to historic directories of Ireland)
www.groni.gov.uk/index/family-history.htm (Family History & Research)
www.groireland.ie/en/Pages/GRO_Research.aspx (General Register Office Ireland: Research Guide)
www.groireland.ie/en/Pages/GRO_About_Us.aspx (General Register Office Ireland: History of the Civil Registration Service)
www.citizensinformation.ie/en/birth_family_relationships/registrar_birth_marr_death.html (Citizens Information Board: Registrars of Births, Marriages and Deaths)
www.cyndislist.com/ireland.htm (Ireland genealogy links)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/records/state (An explanation & location of civil registration records)
www.ancestrysolutions.com/referencecentre/refcharts/CivRegEnglandWales.html (Ancestry Solutions: Civil Registration: Content, commencement date, indexes and how to obtain civil birth, marriage and death certificates)
www.ancestryireland.com/database.php?filename=civilparishmaps
(Civil Parish Maps for Ulster)
www.iar.ie (Irish Archives Resource: The site contains information about archival collections open for public research in Ireland from many organisations, societies, political organisations and businesses)
www.rascal.ac.uk (Research and Special Collections Available Locally. An electronic gateway to research resources in Ireland. You can use this web-site to search and browse information about the wide range of research and special collections held in libraries, museums and archives across the region)
www.irishtimestraining.com (Online Tracing your Irish Ancestors Course designed and presented by the genealogist John Grenham. The 11 modules will give you the tools and techniques to comprehensively trace your Irish family history. The online tutorials will provide you with a wide-ranging guide to all the records, resources and research techniques you will need)
www.histpop.org (Official reports, legislation and essays on the censuses including statistical analysis. The documents on the site include indexes to parishes, townships and places used in the official reports)
www.irishlivesremembered.ie (Irish Lives Remembered Genealogy Magazine. The online magazine is dedicated to tracing your Irish ancestors globally with over 70 pages of Irish genealogy news and resources. Read online or download in PDF format)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Ireland Census Reports. Learn about the community in which your ancestor lived with census reports detailing population and area statistics from the latter half of the 19th century up to the early 20th century)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Ireland Statistical Surveys. Learn about the history, customs, politics, and industries of various Irish counties. The collection is comprised of PDF images of the surveys from the following counties: Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, King's Offaly, Leitrim, Mayo, Meath, Roscommon, and Tyrone)
www.irishgenealogy.ie/guide/index.html (Step-by-step Guide to researching Irish ancestry)
www.irelandgenweb.com (Information on Irish counties and available resources)
www.rootsweb.com/~nirwgw (Information on Northern Irish counties and available resources)
www.rootsweb.com/~fianna (Fianna Guide to Irish Genealogy)
www.thecore.com/seanruad (IreAtlas Townland database)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/placenames (1851 General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, parishes and Baronies of Ireland)
www.pennyparker2.com/appxchart.html (Period Approximation Chart, adapted from "Basic Course in Genealogy," Vol.II, by Derek Harland. Use to calculate the approximate date of a birth, marriage or death)http://genealogy.about.com/library/vital/blireland.htm (Ireland Vital Records: Civil Registration)
www.from-ireland.net/gene/civilregistration.htm (Civil Registration in Ireland, explanation)
www.groni.gov.uk/index/family-history.htm (Family History & Research)
www.groireland.ie/research.htm (Research guide from GRO Ireland)
www.groireland.ie/history.htm (History of civil registration)
www.cyndislist.com/ireland.htm (Ireland genealogy links)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/records/state (An explanation & location of civil registration records)
www.ancestrysolutions.com/Civ%20Reg%20Britain.html (Civil Registration Quick Reference Charts)
www.iar.ie (Irish Archives Resource: The site contains information about archival collections open for public research in Ireland from many organisations, societies, political organisations and businesses)
www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/irish-records-what-is-available/church-records (Irish Genealogy: Research in Ireland: Irish Records: What Is Available?)
www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/irish-genealogical-research-getting-started/how-to-start-your-family-history (Irish Genealogy: How To Start Your Family History)
www.irelandgenweb.com (Information on Irish counties and available resources)
www.rootsweb.com/~nirwgw (Information on Northern Irish counties and available resources)
www.rootsweb.com/~fianna (Fianna Guide to Irish Genealogy)
www.irishancestors.ie/?page_id=5392 (Irish Genealogical Research Society: Index of Townlands, 1901: Searchable database of over 64,000 townlands in Ireland which are ancient land divisions measuring from just a few acres to several hundred and still in use today)
www.seanruad.com (IreAtlas Townland database)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/placenames (1851 General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, parishes and Baronies of Ireland)
www.pennyparker2.com/appxchart.html (Period Approximation Chart, adapted from "Basic Course in Genealogy," Vol.II, by Derek Harland. Use to calculate the approximate date of a birth, marriage or death)

Online Databases

https://geni.nidirect.gov.uk (General Register Office Northern Ireland. Online access to civil records for births over 100 years old, marriages over 75 years old and deaths over 50 years old)
www.irishgenealogy.ie (Irish Genealogy: Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht: Civil Records Indexes and Images. The index covers births from 1864 to 1916, marriages from 1845 to 1941 and deaths from 1864 to 1966. Please note non-Roman Catholic Marriages are recorded from 1845, Roman Catholic Marriages are recorded from 1864. Register image covers births from 1864 to 1916, marriages from 1870 to 1941 and deaths from 1878 to 1966)
www.irishancestors.ie
(Irish Genealogical Research Society: Early Irish Marriage Index: Index of Irish marriages extracted from the Registry of Deeds in Dublin as well as newspaper announcements, Chancery Bill extracts, family bibles, military records, old age pension claims and many others)
www.familysearch.org (Historical Record Collections: Civil Registration Indexes. An index of Ireland civil registration including 1864-1958 births, 1845-1958 marriages and 1864-1958 deaths, but excluding index records for Northern Ireland after its creation in 1922. The site incorporates the data formerly known as the International Genealogical Index and also data formerly sold on CD as the British Isles Vital Records Index. The former Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File can be found under the heading of 'Family Trees')
www.ancestry.co.uk/ireland (Irish Civil Registration Births, Marriages and Deaths: Civil registration of births, marriages and death indexes extracted from the published indexes of registers including Civil Registration Births Index, 1864-1958, Civil Registration Deaths Index, 1864-1958, Civil Registration Marriages Index, 1845-1958)
www.ancestry.co.uk/ireland (Ireland, Births and Baptisms, 1620-1911: The database is an index containing details extracted from a variety of Irish church, civil and other records of births housed in various repositories throughout Ireland)
www.ancestry.co.uk/ireland (Irish Records Extraction Database. This collection is the result of many years of research in Irish records compiled by Dr. Lyman Platt. It contains records of births, marriages, deaths, burials, cemeteries, wills, immigration and census)
www.ancestry.co.uk/ireland
(Irish Marriages, 1771-1812. This database is an index to Irish marriages from the years 1771 to 1812 as found in Walker's Hibernian Magazine)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Ireland Marriages 1619-1898. There are 852,056 records. This is not intended to be a comprehensive record of every marriage in every parish in Ireland between the dates given. Different areas and years will have different coverage. The material comes from a range of sources including civil, parish and court records)
www.findmypast.ie (Ireland Marriages 1845-1958: Index to civil registration of marriages covering 1845-1863 for all non-Catholic Marriages in all 32 counties in Ireland, 1864-1921 for all marriages in all 32 counties in Ireland and 1922-1958 for all marriages in 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland)
Ulster Historical Foundation (Includes civil marriage records for Counties Antrim and Down, as well as a portion of South Armagh, 1845-1921 and incomplete civil birth records for Belfast)
Irish Family History Foundation (rootsireland.ie: Online Genealogy Databases for Ireland. See web site for material available for each county. Sources include births/baptisms, marriages and deaths, Griffiths valuation and census returns)
www.irishancestors.ie
(Irish Genealogical Research Society: Captain Clanchy’s Marriage Index. Index of marriages gleaned from some of the Society’s unique manuscript collections and pedigree files originally prepared by Captain Henry Clanchy, 1894-1966. The index covers the entire island of Ireland and there are nearly 6,000 entries mainly of the fairly well-heeled and well-connected)
www.emeraldancestors.com (Emerald Ancestors: Northern Ireland Births, marriages and deaths)
www.irelandgenweb.com (Some transcribed records and links to resources including the 1864 Ireland Birth Index)
Northern IrelandGenWeb (Includes the Births, Deaths & Marriages Exchange and other transcribed records)
www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~fianna/transcript/index.html (Some transcribed records)
www.rootsweb.com/~nirwgw (Northern IrelandGenWeb Project. Includes the Births, Deaths & Marriages Exchange and other transcribed records)
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jeanmccarthy36 (Jean McCarthy's Genealogy Web Site. Includes birth, marriage and death transcriptions)
www.brsgenealogy.com (Irish Family History Foundation: Online Genealogy Databases for Ireland)