- Parish Registers
- Civil Records (births, deaths & Marriages)
- Tithe Applotment Books
- Gravestone Inscriptions
- Griffith's Valuation
- Census Returns
- Administrative Divisions
- Ship Passenger Lists
- Census Substitutes
Where are the original records kept? Can I view them? Can I get a copy of them?
Baptismal and marriage records before 1864 are parish records. These records were entered in chronological order in baptismal and marriage registers by the priest or rector. The original Catholic Church records are held in the parish and are the property of the parish priest. Many of these registers are in a very fragile condition and are not available to the public. Copies, i.e. photocopies, cannot be made of entries in registers because it would cause further damage to them. Many parishes limit the use of the original registers as much as possible. Since the indexing work was begun by the county genealogy centres the condition of many of the original registers has worsened. In some instances, for example at the top, bottom and sides of pages, entries can no longer be deciphered. However, because the information has been computerized it has not been lost.
A parish will supply a baptismal or marriage certificate for a fee. However, this will be a modern certificate with the details of the record as available on this site, included on it.
In the case of the Church of Ireland (Anglican) parish registers, the majority of these are now held centrally in the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin. Some are also still held in local parishes. The situation regarding the Church of Ireland is that there are fewer records available as many of its parish registers were deposited in the Public Records Office at the Four Courts in Dublin and destroyed during its bombardment in 1922 during the Civil War.
Civil registration began in Ireland in 1845 for Church of Ireland (Anglican) marriages and in 1864 for all births, deaths and marriages. If you locate a civil record on our site you will be able to order a certified copy of the record from the General Register Office. Its website at www.groireland.ie will have an up to date listing of its charges. In the North of Ireland you will need to refer to the General Register Office of Northern Ireland at www.groni.gov.uk to order copies of civil records of births, deaths and marriages.
Why are there sometimes discrepancies between the dates on church and civil records?
It was a requirement to register full details of a child’s birth within 21 days. Failure to do so invoked a fine and in rural areas particularly, the 21 day deadline for registering births was frequently disregarded. In order to avoid payment of the fine the dates of birth were adjusted to comply with the deadline. Where Church records give the dates of birth these are generally more accurate than those given in civil records; however, variations of up to nine months can occur. Please contact the county genealogy centre from which the record came if you have a query about a particular record.