Information on Irish Birth, Marriage, and Death Certificates (National Institute)

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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Research: Irish Ancestor  by Dr. Penelope Christensen. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Information Given on Certificates


  • Full name of child and its sex.
  • Date and place of birth.
  • Full name and residence of father and his rank or profession. NB The mother was not legally obliged to name the father of an illegitimate child.
  • Full maiden name of mother. Where the entry states Mary Blake formerly Kennedy late Kearney it means that she is now married to Blake, her maiden name was Kennedy, and she was first married to Kearney.
  • Signature, qualification e.g. parent, or someone present at the birth and residence of informant.

Births had to be registered within 3 months and an example of a birth certificate from Kilkenny is given in Chart 14.

Chart 14: An Early Irish Birth Certificate
Irish Birth Certificate.jpg


  • Date and place of marriage.
  • Name, age, marital condition, rank or profession and residence of groom.
  • Name and rank or profession of his father.
  • Name, age, marital condition, rank or profession and residence of bride.
  • Name and rank or profession of her father.
  • Signatures of bride and groom, and of two witnesses.


  • Date and place of death.
  • Full name, sex, marital condition, age last birthday and rank or profession of deceased. The inclusion of marital condition is an improvement over English certificates.
  • Certified cause of death and duration of illness.
  • Signature, qualification and residence of informant.

A death certificate from the very first month of civil registration is shown in Chart 15.

Chart 15: An Irish Death Certificate
Irish Death Certificate.jpg

English Sources for Irish Civil Registration

Many Irish migrated to and from England and Wales for varying lengths of time. Births, marriages and deaths occurring there from 1 July 1837 will be registered at the Family Records Centre in London. Those serving in the British Army, or abroad for any reason could also be found in the Overseas Indexes at the same place. The indexes for all these events may be consulted at FSCs.


Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Research: Irish Ancestor offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.