Ireland Research GuidanceEdit This Page
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Choose a time period.
1619-1863 -- read below
Ireland | Birth | 1619-1863
The following records may help you find a record of your Irish ancestor's birth between 1619 and 1863. Search them in the order given.
1. Church Records: Church records
Church records are the prime source of vital information in this time period. Church records include the christenings or baptisms, marriages and burials recorded in registers by church officials at the time of an event. Christening records may state the name of the child, christening date, names of parents, place of residence of the family, and the occupation of the father. Sometimes the child's birth date and mother's maiden name are recorded. Church officials also kept minutes of their meetings which sometimes record birth information for a child.
When researching church records in Ireland, it is helpful to know the religion of your ancestral family. Read more about Ireland Church Records.
2. Census Substitutes: Census
Census substitutes are lists of individuals in a specific place at a given time. Various lists have been compiled by church and civil authorities to determine such things as the religious makeup of the population, an assessment of military readiness, the number and identity of eligible voters, or those persons receiving charity from the church or government. Due to the loss of many government census records, census substitutes are especially valuable.
Read more about Ireland Census Substitutes.
3. Census: Census
A census is a count and description of the population. Government census records are especially valuable because they list the majority of the population and are available at many repositories. In these records you may find names of the members of a household, gender, and each person's religion, marital status, relationship to the head of the household, age, address, occupation, and county of birth. Though many Irish census records have been destroyed, those that survive can provide clues that may lead you to other records.
Read more about Ireland Census.
4. Marriage Certificate: Civil registration
Civil registration is the government registration of births, marriages, and deaths. In these records you may find the names of the bride and groom, ages (which you can use to determine a year of birth), marriage date and place, marital status, fathers' names and occupations, the occupations and residences of the bride and groom, and names of witnesses. Non-Catholic marriages were recorded from 1 January 1845. All marriages were recorded from 1 January 1864. Civil registration marriage records cover most of the population and are indexed countrywide. Use the national index to identify and obtain a copy of a marriage certificate.
Read more about Ireland Civil Registration.
5. Death Certificate: Civil registration
Civil registration is the government registration of births, marriages, and deaths. In these records you may find the name and residence of the deceased, sex, death date, cause of death, and the name of the informant. Civil registration death records cover most of the population and are indexed countrywide. Use the National Archives of Ireland to identify and obtain a copy of a death certificate.
Read more about Ireland Civil Registration.
6. Monumental Inscriptions: Cemeteries
Gravestone or monumental inscriptions can be a useful source of family history information. Sometimes, multiple family members are buried in the same vault or burial plot and the inscription will give information on all that are buried there. Inscriptions may give birth, marriage, and death information. They may also give clues about military service and occupation, or family members buried in the same area. Sometimes they give more information than the parish burial register or civil certificate of death. Monumental inscriptions are especially helpful for identifying ancestors who are not recorded in other existing records, and may give a birth date that cannot be found elsewhere. Read more about Ireland Cemeteries.
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