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Vital records (birth, marriages and deaths) are an essential starting point for tracing your Irish family history. They form the building blocks for any Irish family tree.

The civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in Ireland in 1864 (1845 for non-Catholic marriages). You can obtain research copies of Irish birth, marriage and death certificates from Ireland’s General Register Office for a fee.

Each vital record holds a great deal of information on your forebears and provides a fascinating insight into the most important times in your ancestors’ lives:

Birth Certificate:

  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Name and sex of the new-born
  • Name of mother and father
  • Father’s occupation

Marriage Certificate:

  • Date of marriage
  • Both spouse’s names and ages
  • Both spouse’s occupations
  • Where both spouse’s lived at the time of the marriage
  • Both spouse’s father’s name and occupation

Death Certificate:

  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Name, age, sex and occupation of the deceased
  • Cause of death

To find a relevant record, and make the best use of your time, search the index to Irish births, marriages and deaths 1845-1958 online at findmypast. The 21 million plus indexed transcripts contain the person’s name, the year/quarter the event happened, the civil registration district it was registered in and the volume and page numbers it was registered under. You’ll need all of this information when requesting the certificates from Ireland’s General Register Office for a fee.

Findmypast is working in partnership with Irish Central to create expert content around Irish family history. With the largest collection of Irish family history records online and a team of expert genealogists, findmypast is the best place to discover your Irish heritage.