Irish birth and marriage certificates from as far back as 1864 are now available for free online, while death certificates between 1878 and 1968 are also accessible.
A plethora of Irish genealogy records were made available online thanks to a joint initiative from the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, in 2019.
A wealth of historical registers of marriages, births, and deaths are available to view for free on the website Irish Genealogy and covers births from 1864 to 1918, deaths from 1878 to 1968, and marriages from 1864 to 1943.
The new additions include deaths in 1967 and 1968, births in 1917 and 1918, and marriages from 1864 to 1869 and 1942 to 1943, meaning that those looking to delve into their family’s history online can now go deeper than ever before.
The death certificate of Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh, who died in 1967, is now freely accessible to the public through the extensive records, as is the death certificate of novelist Walter Macken who also passed away in 1967.
The digitization of the records has been carried out by the Civil Registration Service and by members of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, who prepared and uploaded the records.
Over two million people have visited the website since the records first went online in 2016 and this further addition should only increase that number.
Speaking about the addition of these new records, Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan said that “this was an exciting development in family history research for Irish people here and all Irish descendants around the world.”
Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty echoed the sentiment of her ministerial colleague by dubbing the Civil Registration Service “one of the State’s essential services and one of the greatest resources for those establishing their family histories. Providing this open and free access to older records and registry entries will further support the efforts of many family historians throughout the world.
“The growth in interest in family histories – helped by programs such as Who Do You Think You Are and the possibility of digital archiving – has been facilitated by greater and easier online access and today represents another positive development for all genealogical detectives.”
The General Register Office is currently working on further updating the records. Plans are in place to extend the digitalization of death certificates by 14 years to 1864, while there are also plans to update almost 20 years of marriage records. Soon, marriages as far back as 1845 will be available to view online.
Have you been researching your Irish genealogy? Let us know how it's going in the comments.
* Originally published in June 2019.