Eileen O Duill – Irish BMDs

Irish Birth, Marriage and Death Records at the General Register Office

Eileen M. Ò Dùill, CG

47 Delwood Road

Castleknock, Dublin 15

e mail: info@heirsireland.com

Your first visit to the General Register Office in Dublin can be daunting but with a bit of preparation you will be able to maximize your time there and hopefully be successful in locating the birth, marriage and death records of your Irish ancestors.

Important dates to remember about Irish civil registration:

1April 1845  beginning of registration of non-Catholic marriages

1 January 1864, registration of births, marriages and deaths for the whole population

1878  Indices are published quarterly, check four times in each year hereafter

1864-1921 registration of births and deaths of children of Irish parents born abroad and registered at British consulates

1864-1921 registration of births and deaths at sea of children of an Irish parent

1864-1885 Marine registers must be requested from staff

1886 onward,  Marine registers included at end of each index

1879 registration of births, deaths and marriages (Army Act)

1882 births and deaths of Irish citizens at Sea

1903-1927 birth indices return to annual format showing mother’s maiden name

1928-1960 birth indices in quarterly format; 1961 to present in annual format

1914-1918 registers of Irish deaths in the Great War

1922 division of the State, 6 counties records in Belfast from 1922

Format of GRO indices

The indices are compiled on a yearly/quarterly basis in alphabetical order by surname. Some maternity hospitals registered children simply as male or female while parents provided given names in baptismal registers. Check male and female entries as well as the given name.

From 1903 the mother’s maiden name is included in the index to births.

When searching for a marriage, ensure that the names of the bride and groom cross reference to the same volume, page and quarter.

The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints at FamilySearch.org

Go to the LDS website for useful sources on Irish civil records:

The website provides an index to all Irish civil registration 1845 to 1958. There are also extracted records of births up to 1881 and marriages and death to about 1870. Recently, Irish Prison records have also been added.

You can search for records under United Kingdom and Ireland and then obtain them from the GRO by providing the references you find on Family Search.

Addresses and opening hours:

General Register Office            General Register Office

Irish Life Centre                        Oxford House

Abbey St. Lr.                               49-55 Chicester Street

Dublin 1                                        Belfast  BT1 4HL

9:30 AM- 4:30 PM                     By appointment

GRO Dublin fees:

€2 for 5 consecutive years of indices

€20 general search (full day)

€4 for photocopy of record

€10 full certificate

Selected Bibliography:

Ard-Chlaraitheoir (Registrar General), Registering the People, 150 Years of Civil Registration, General Register Office, (Dublin, 1995)

Rosemary ffolliott, “Irish Census Returns and Substitutes”, Irish Genealogy, A Record Finder, edited by Donal Begley, Heraldic Artists, (Dublin 1981)

John Grenham, Tracing Your Irish Ancestors (Dublin, Ireland: Gill and Macmillan, fourth edition, 2012)

George B. Handran, CG, ed., Townlands in Poor Law Unions; a Reprint of Poor Law Union Pamphlets of the General Registrar’s Office

Tony McCarthy, “The GRO Revisited: Research Irish Style”, 2001 Third Quarter, Irish Roots magazine, (Cork, Ireland)

Eileen M. O’Duill, CGRS and Steven ffeary-Smyrl, Irish Civil Registration-Where Do I Begin? Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations, 2000 (Dublin, Ireland)

James G. Ryan, Irish Records, Sources for Family and Local History, (Glenageary, Co. Dublin, Ireland: Flyleaf Press, 1998).