Civil Registration in Ireland

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Civil Registration commenced in Ireland in 1864, at which stage people were obliged to register a birth, marriage or death.  These records can be vital in genealogy research, and can also serve to document the movement of people as for the most part tenement dwellers were not included in street directories at the time.    You will also find details of the father’s occupation, which could also change from one child’s birth record to another, particularly if he was a casual labourer, rather than a skilled man.   Spelling variants of names should also be noted and the surname spelling can vary from one birth certificate to another, so do not rule them out just because the spelling is different.   These records can be searched online for free at or at although there is a cut off point for some records on that website.   You can also visit the General Register Office at Werburgh Street, Dublin, and search the index books there for a record.  Once you have found the entry in the book, there is a request form to be completed with details of name, registration district, year, quarter, volume and page number, and you can obtain a copy of these genealogy certificates, which cost €4, and a five year consecutive search of the index books costs €2.  It is very important when undertaking family research that each generation is documented correctly so that you can link back from one to another to confirm the correct family. It can also be interesting to note that the same trade or occupation appears in several generations of one family.  If you need any help in searching for your ancestors please check us out at at or contact us at  we will be happy to help you with your family research!  Happy ancestor hunting!  Anne-Marie Smith MAGI.