Needless to say, the best starting point is to have collected as much information as possible; dates of births and marriages, family names and places.
Dates: The state registration of births began in 1864 and a full list of births up to 1899, with the exceptions of the years 1886 and 1887, are included on the front page of the website. Similar information is included for marriages from the year 1845. The names for births for 1864 have been included on the various county pages. As the registration districts generally do not conform to county boundaries, the records for the other years have not been stated. The website has state registration information on approximately 5,000 individuals from 1845 to 1899.
Where available, Census information for 1901 and 1911 has been included. These are available on microfiche but as far as I am aware an index is not available. The Irish government plans to publish an electronic version. The National Archive website states that the information will be published in late 2007 but only the 1911 census for Dublin has been published (December 2007). This is available on the website. Census information for other years are generally not available.
Names: Unusual first names and surnames make a search easier. Some first names will be common to all counties, but some may be particular to a county. It was a tradition for names to continue in families. The first son was usually named after the paternal grandfather, the second son after the maternal grandfather, and the same for daughters.
Places: You will need a location for your research, as most first names are very common. Information has been posted for the various counties. Within a county, there are two main sub-divisions, civil parishes and church parishes, which may have different names for the same locations. Townlands are the smallest division, and are common for the civil and Catholic parishes. As a general rule, the same townland names do not occur in a parish but may occur in different parishes. Civil parish names are used for Tithes, Griffiths Valuation and Census. Family genealogies have been included under the Catholic Parish names, as church records are usually available before 1864.
On each county page the following information has been posted;
Griffith valuation: This includes the name of the head of the household and their address from the middle of the 19th Century. The dates vary from county to county.
The records of births and marriages from the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS). These include abstracts from the early state registration and also church registrations. Where possible, this has been posted under the parish name. As such it should be possible to identify families from a particular locality.
Research: Where possible, I would suggest that the state registration information be first used, starting with marriages.
Marriage certificates may contain the following information: Date of marriage, name, surname, age, condition (marital status), rank or profession, residence, father’s name and rank or profession of both bride and groom. Also place of marriage, practitioner and witnesses.
Birth certificates may contain the following information: Date of birth, father’s name, mother’s name and maiden name, father’s profession and address.
From this information, it should be possible to link the different generations and their addresses. From their address, the church parish can be identified and their records searched. Depending on the accuracy of the initial information, it should be possible to trace back family lines to 1800.
There are now a number of land records available on the website:
1882 – 1922 land records taken from the British Parliamentary Papers on Ireland [Link]
1870s Land Owners [Link]
1850-1885 Landed Estate Court Files [Link]
1850s – 1860 Griffiths Valuation [Link]
1831 Tithe Defaulters [Link]
1820s – 1830s Tithe Records [Link]
The most important of these is the Griffiths Valuation, as it contains nearly all the heads of families.
IMPORTANT: Please note that the continuation of the land records to 1933, for Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone is now available at the PRONI http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/search_the_archives/val12b.htm]
If you have any research queries, please send an email with the following information family Christian names, dates and parish or county of origin in Ireland to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that no research will be conducted on living persons.
Last update: 27 March 2013