Ireland Civil Registration Indexes (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Ireland Civil Registration Indexes, 1845-1958
This article describes a collection of records at
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Record Description
Record Type Civil Registration Indexes
Collection years 1845-1958
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
General Registry, Custom House, Dublin

What is in This Collection?

Civil registration indexes were created to provide name access to the records.

All of Ireland, pre-1922: For 1845–1877, the national civil registration indexes are yearly and are arranged alphabetically by an individual’s family and given name. For 1878–1921, each year is divided into quarters, resulting in four index volumes per year.

The March quarter indexes events from January through March; the June quarter, events from April through June; the September quarter, events from July through September; and the December quarter, events from October through December.

Be aware the marriage indexes for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of 1897 were either missed in filming or were not available.

The General Register Office created a second index for the years 1903–1921. This index is arranged by year and is available only at the office.

Republic of Ireland, 1845–1958: For the years 1922–1927, and 1933, the General Register Office’s copy of birth indexes is filed by year while the Family History Library’s microfilm copies (1945–1958) are all filed by quarter. Indexes for all other years and all other events through 1958 are by quarter.

Northern Ireland, 1845–1958: These indexes are quarterly, meaning there are four indexes per year. These indexes provide: name, registration district, volume number, and a page number. This reference then can be sent to the General Register Office 1845-1958 to obtain a document or looked at 1845-1958 through The Family History Library or a Family History Center.

Ireland kept two sets of registrations, one local and the other national. This document describes the national indexes, not the local ones. Prior to the separation of the Irish Free State (now Republic of Ireland) from the Northern Ireland in 1922, all national civil registration records and indexes for the island were kept by the General Register Office in Dublin. Beginning in 1922 there were two General Register Offices, one in Dublin for the Republic of Ireland and one in Belfast for Northern Ireland. Irish civil registration indexes begin in 1845 for non-Catholic marriages. Civil registration indexes to births, deaths, and all marriages (including Catholic) begin in 1864. Indexes for all of Ireland continue from these beginning dates through 1921, when Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland became separate countries. Separate civil registration indexes continue for births, marriages, and deaths for the two countries from 1922 to 1958.

The indexes are made from the national set of civil registration records, which in turn are copies of the local registration records. Accidental omissions and mistakes have been made in the copying and indexing processes. Otherwise, the data is quite reliable.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:


  • Name of the child
  • Date and place of birth
  • Registration district


  • Name of the bride or groom
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Registration district


  • Name of the deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Registration district
  • Age
  • Birth year

Civil registration indexes provide the easiest access to civil registration records. Rather than searching district by district where names are not in alphabetical order, you can look in one name index for the period through 1921 and in either of two indexes after 1921.

Those using Record Search indexes should note that the microfilm which are of the General Register Office for the Republic of Ireland Indexes of Birth, Marriage and Death contain only index entries and do not contain further genealogical information. In order to obtain further information it is necessary to apply for either photocopy or certificate to the General Register Office.

Collection Content

Sample Images

Coverage Table

To see which counties are included in the collection, the type of record, and the years covered see: Coverage Table for Ireland Civil Registration Indexes, 1845-1958

Coverage Map

Maps showing the number of records per county and year are available.

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the person you are looking for
  • The approximate date of the event

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the archive information in the index to search for the original record
  • If a birth date is found, look for the individual in census records as a child
  • If a marriage record is found, continue to search in census records for the new family
  • If a death record is found, estimate the birth year and look for other vital records
  • Use all the information obtained to search in church records

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • Check for variants of given names, surnames, and place names
  • Transcription errors could occur in any handwritten record
  • It was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible candidates which can then be examined for matches
  • Search the records of nearby locations
  • Look at the actual image of the record to verify the information found in the online description, if possible

Research Helps

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Ireland.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"Ireland Civil Registration Indexes, 1845-1958." Database. FamilySearch. : 14 June 2016. Citing General Register Office. General Registry, Custom House, Dublin.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.

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