Civil Registration Information & Districts

In Ireland, The General Register Office (Oifig An Ard-Chláraitheora) is the central civil repository for records relating to births, stillbirths, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships and adoptions.

1845 was the first year in which marriages (i.e. non-Roman Catholic marriages) were registered in Ireland. Registration officially began 1 April 1845. During the period from April to December 1845, 6,114 marriages were registered. Of these marriages, 4,118 were sanctified by the rites of the Established Church, i.e. The Church of Ireland, 1,586 couples were wed in Presbyterian Meeting Houses and 348 marriage vows were made before Registrars of Marriages.

In 1863, legislation known as the ‘Registration of Births and Deaths Act of 1863’ established the legal requirement that the births and deaths of all Irish born persons be registered with the government. The act was amended on 28 July 1863, via a private member's bill in Parliament, to include all marriages as well. The civil registration of these life events officially began 1 January 1864.

All Irish were legally compelled to register these life events, and were subject to fines if they failed to do so; however, this does not mean that everyone followed the law. Sometimes registrations were late, with dates of events changed to avoid fines, and some people simply did not register the births, marriages and deaths of their family members.

In 1864 — the first year for the all encompassing registration of births, marriages and deaths — there were 136,643 births, 27,373 marriages and 94,095 deaths registered.

From the General Register Office research room in Werburg Street, Dublin, below is a complete listing of the civil registration districts covered in the registers of the GRO.

You can apply to purchase civil registration records online at http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/bdm/Certificates/
This page offers full details with respect to exactly which records can be applied for online. Currently it costs €20 for a full standard certificate and €4 for an uncertified copy of an entry in the Register. Be sure to thoroughly read all of the terms and conditions outlined on their website.


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