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There are over 100 million records online and It’s now possible to trace almost every Irish family back to the 1830’s.

 “Start from what you know, and work into the unknown”

  • A family tree is a good visual aid and helps to distinguish the generations
  • Gather family documents & photos (Births/ Marriages / Deaths, church records, school certs, memorial cards, telegrams, newspaper cuttings)
  • Talk to your oldest relatives ( get names, dates, occupations, addresses, significant events in your 100423 OpenDay-smallfamily, key events in history)
  • Put some order to the information gathered, keep detailed research notes. ALWAYS note the doc.reference number so you can find it again.


“Civil records of births, marriages and deaths are the building blocks of your family history. These documents are the easiest records to find and to interpret”

  • Irish Civil records start in 1864100212_newsletter_wedding
  • Non-catholic marriages start in April 1845
  • Late registration of vital records are always bound in the year in which the event happened.
  • There are Army registers of Births,Marriages and Deaths of soldiers in service overseas (and family) from 1888.
  • There is an earlier register of BMDs online This contains Births from 1761, Deaths and Marriages from 1790.


1901 and 1911 Censuschildren

  • Almost the entire 19th C. census of Ireland was destroyed, but there are some surviving fragments for half a million people between 1821 and 1851.
  • The only full census open to us are 1901 & 1911 which can be accessed on
  • There is no soundex on this website, so search across all variant spellings, use wild card (*)


“If your ancestors were born, married or died before 1864, you can trace them using church records”

Here is a short guide to what church records survived by denominational church

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Roman Catholic:

In the 1830s Catholic parishes and records were re-organised and it’s possible to trace almost all Irish families back to this time.

  • Catholic registers of baptisms and marriages are held locally by the parish priest.  Only a minority of catholic parishes ever kept burial registers.
  • Most catholic parish registers are microfilmed up to 1880, and are available in the National Library of Ireland, Kildare St, Dublin City.  For a full list of parishes by diocese, see
  • If you want to trace a church record after 1880, you will have to apply directly to the parish.

Church of Ireland:

aka Anglican Catholic Church, Episcopalian Church

The Church of Ireland was the State church up to 1869, and kept burial registers for the parish.

  • Surviving parish registers usually start much earlier than RC parish registers, often in the 1700s, sometimes earlier.
  • 63% of all historic records of the Church of Ireland were destroyed in 1922.
  • Those parish records that survive are usually held in the local parish or in one of the national cultural institutions. (National Archives of Ireland,Representative Church Body Library,Public Records Office of Northern Ireland)

The most comprehensive list of what records survive, and where they can be accessed, is the Irish Family History Society’s guide to church of Ireland parish registers.

Methodist Church:

  • Between 1747 and 1818 all Methodist records were kept in the Church of Ireland parish registers.
  • Between 1818 and 1874 Wesleyan Methodists kept separate registers, most of which are available in the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland
  • Primitive Methodist records were still maintained in the Church of Ireland registers as before.


  • Presbyterians have been present in Ireland from the 1600s, but the majority of Presbyterian registers do not start before the 1800s.
  • The Public Records Office of Northern Ireland has collected and microfilmed almost all Presbyterian
  • A small number of records are only available at the Presbyterian Historical Society, and some pre-1900 records are still held by the local

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The society of Friends have been present in Ireland since the 1650s, and their records are extensive but provide some coverage for non-quakers.

The archive and library are open to the public every Thursday, except for the Christmas holidays, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The archival volunteers are the friendliest and some of the most helpful in Ireland.


Since 1660 there has been a Jewish community in Ireland, mainly in Dublin.  From 1880 pogroms in Eastern Europe led to further immigration into Ireland by Jewish refugees. Jewish settlement in Ireland never went above 4000, many of whom emigrated in subsequent generations.

To access records, contact the Irish Jewish Museum, 3-4 Walworth Street (off Victoria St.), South Circular Road, Dublin 8. Tel/Fax: +353 1 490 1857.


“There’s nothing certain in life, except death and taxes”

Griffith’s Valuation and the records of the Valuation Office are central to tracing your family history, & to trace living relatives.

  • The records of the Valuation Office are a government survey of all land and property in Ireland for the purposes of setting a property tax.home
  • The Valuation Office records were created from 1830 onwards. These earlier books will be published online in April at
  • The only complete version of Griffith’s Valuation including the original maps, is available on and
  • the Valuation Office records were regularly updated from the 1850s to the 1980s to ensure that everyone in Ireland paid the correct property tax.  These records can be used as a census substitute and to trace any descendants of your ancestors that remained in Ireland.
  • Valuation Office records for the Republic of Ireland are only available in manuscript in the Valuation
  • Valuation Office records for Northern Ireland 1860 to 1933 are available online

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” In the last decade we’ve had a digital revolution in Irish family history”

There are now over 100 million online Irish records, and it’s possible to trace almost every Irish family back to the 1830s.

New 2014

  • The best website for Irish research is www.findmypast with over 75 million unique Irish records.
  • is the key portal site for genealogy online, and it provides access to many of the worldwide genealogical records provided by the Church of Latter Day Saints.


  • Indexes to Irish RC Church records are available online at
  • Church of Ireland records for Dublin and Carlow, and RC church registers for Dublin city, Cork city and county, and Kerry are available on this


  • The critical Irish sources on this website are immigration records from Ireland to the major U.S ports ca. 1820s-1940s and U.S. Census returns, both of which can be used For ‘reverse genealogy’.
  • Ancestry recently and controversially put online some Irish RC church records without first securing permission from the church authorities.
  • .www.irishorigins.comON-logo_acorn
  • This website is one of only two that hosts the complete version of Griffith’s Valuation, including the original maps,You will also find English and Welsh records online, so it’s particularly useful for tracing records of Irish immigrants to England in the 19th and 20th Century.

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