Vital Records
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Vital Records

Registration of non-Catholic marriages began in 1845 in Ireland. Registration of births, marriages and deaths, regardless of religion, began January 1, 1864. The obligation to register these events rested on the public and failure to do so carried hefty fines. Certificates for births, marriages and deaths for all of Ireland until 1922 are housed in Dublin. Belfast has the records for Northern Ireland from 1922 to present. Clues to family history and genealogy are found in the civil records. The occupation or title give clues to the family´┐Żs lifestyle. The family historian may also use occupational clues to find additional information, either in general or specific to the family. Guild records, apprenticeship records, military regimental records, land records, borough records, and other sources may be useful. Probate, peerage books, and land records are sources if there is a title involved. If the birth or death occurred in the workhouse look for records under the Irish Poor Law.

Material about vital statistics (since civil registration started in 1864):


The LDS holds microfilm copies of the index and certificates for 1864-1955.
persons required to register births were parent(s)
or in case of death or inability
the occupier of the house or tenement or the nurse or
any person present at the birth of the child.

date and place of birth
the name (if any)
the sex
the name, surname and dwelling of the father
the name, surname, maiden name of the mother
the rank, profession or occupation of the father


The LDS holds the Index for 1864-1921.
persons required to register deaths were:
some person present at death or
some person in attendance during the last illness of the deceased or the occupier of the house or tenement where the death took place or any person present at, or having knowledge of the circumstances of the death.

date and place of death
name and surname of deceased
the sex of the deceased
the condition of the deceased as to marriage
the age of the deceased at last birthday
the rank, profession or occupation of the deceased
the certified cause of death and the duration of the final illness


the date when married
the names and surnames of each of the parties marrying
their respective ages
their condtion (i.e. bachelor, spinster, widow, widower)
their rank, profession or occupation
their residence at the time of marriage
the name and surname of the fathers of each of the parties

(NOTE: Above information taken from "Tracing Your Irish Ancestors" by John Grenham, Gill and Macmilllan Ltd., Goldenbridge, Dublin 8, Ireland, 1992).

To obtain copies of vital statistics records write to:
(Pre 1922 records for all 32 counties and Republic thereafter)
Dublin GRO

(Pre. and post 1922 records of six northern counties)
Northern Ireland GRO

Prior to civil registration: check parish registers.

National Archives Site:


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