The Citizens Information Board is the statutory body which supports the provision of information, advice and advocacy on a broad range of public and social services.
It is a legal requirement in Ireland that a record be kept of each birth, marriage and death that occurs in the State. Up to 5 December 2005, these events were recorded locally in the district where they occurred. Since that date they can be recorded in any Registrar’s District. Records of all births, marriages and deaths are held nationally in the General Register Office, the central civil repository for records relating to Births, Deaths and Marriages in Ireland.
The Civil Registration Act 2004 changed some of the rules about registering a birth or death. These changes took effect from 5 December 2005. They took effect for marriages from 5 November 2007
irishgenealogy.ie is a website dedicated to helping people search for family history records for past generations. The website is now home to the historic records of Births, Marriages and Deaths of the General Register Office. These records join the Indexes to the historic records of Births, Marriages and Deaths that were already available on the website.
At present, the genealogy landscape can seem confusing so the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has concentrated on the development of some additional search functionality for www.irishgenealogy.ie by way of providing a portal or search facility for digital genealogy records.
Visitors will be able to search records from a number of on-line sources including the historic Registers and Indexes to the Civil Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths, the Church Records already available on www.irishgenealogy.ie, and others such as the 1901 and 1911 Census and Soldiers wills, to name but a few.
Further information on how to research family history in Ireland is contained in the section Research in Ireland.
Catholic Parish Registers at the NLI:
In 1949, Dr Edward MacLysaght, Chief Herald of Ireland and Keeper of Manuscripts at the National Library of Ireland, approached the Bishop of Limerick offering the NLI’s services to help in the permanent preservation of the genealogical information contained within the Catholic Church’s collection of parish registers. The NLI’s offer to microfilm parochial registers was taken up by every member of the Hierarchy. Although civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1864, records were not accurately kept for a number of years, so a cut-off date of 1880 was applied for the microfilming of registers.
Church registers of marriage and baptism are considered to be the single most important source for family history researchers prior to the 1901 census. In many cases, the registers contain the only surviving record of particular individuals and families. It is a testament to the role and work of the Catholic Church in Ireland that so many registers were created and maintained during some of the most turbulent times in Irish history.
With growing numbers of people engaged in family history research and limited on-site facilities at the NLI in Dublin, the decision was taken in 2010 to digitize the parish register microfilms. Following a tender process, the contract for digitiz
ation was awarded to AEL Data who converted 550 microfilm reels, containing over 3500 registers into approximately 373,000 digital images. These images correspond to a page or two-page opening within a register volume.