5. Civil Records: Births, Deaths & Marriages

Armed with the information gained from the 1901 and 1911 census, you can now search for birth, death and marriage records for your ancestors in the civil records collection of the General Registers Office.  A large proportion of these records are available online:

Births, Deaths & Marriages

The Irish government website, www.irishgenealogy.ie (free searching) has now uploaded images of records for the following years:

  • Births 1864-1919
  • Marriages 1864-1944
  • Deaths 1891-1969

Irish birth, death and marriage indexes are also on the free site www.familysearch.org as well as non-Catholic marriages from 1845.

See example of birth record below – William Nevin of Arklow, born 1880.  Information contained: date and place of birth; name of child; sex; father’s name and address; mother’s name; father’s occupation; signature, qualification and residence of informant; when registered; signature of registrar:

Birth record of William Nevin of Arklow, born 1880.

Two Versions of a Marriage Record

Marriages are particularly useful as they contain the names of the fathers of the bride and groom.  It is important to note that there are often two versions of a marriage record; the state or civil version of the marriage record in the G.R.O. and the entry in the church register.  (The G.R.O. also holds registry office marriage records).

Accessing the corresponding church register entry can often be very useful as in the case of Roman Catholic marriage registers, the priest often noted both mother and father of the bride and groom, as well as their addresses.  (We will discuss parish records in more detail in a subsequent article).

State or civil version of marriage records for Delgany Church (1866). Information contained: Church or location of marriage; date; bride and groom: age or whether adult or minor; marital status; occupations: addresses; fathers’ names; fathers’ occupations; signature or mark of bride and groom, signature or mark of witnesses.

The site www.rootsireland.ie (fee paying) has civil records for many counties – check their source lists for each county.


Comments about this page

  • Hello John, I have emailed you directly, if you would like to forward me a particular family history query, I will do my best to assist. Regards, Catherine Wright, Wicklow County Archives & Genealogy Service

    By Catherine Wright (03/12/2020)
  • How can I add information that is not on a family tree, births , marriage etc

    By John Doran (02/12/2020)
  • Can you do any  searches on this page? 

    By Yvonne D'Arcy Purcell (16/05/2019)

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