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Ireland, Civil Registration, Additional Information About the Indexes

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Ireland Gotoarrow-kelly.png Ireland Civil Registration

Here is additional information about the Ireland Civil Registration indexes:

  • Before 1878, registration indexes were arranged alphabetically by year. Since 1878, indexes have remained alphabetical but have been divided by each quarter of the years (e.g. 'January, February & March' etc.).
  • Most registration indexes list only the name of the individual registered and the district, volume, and page number of that person's registration entry. The death indexes also list the individual's age at death.
  • In the Family History Library films of the indexes, the Republic of Ireland post-1927 birth indexes include the mother's maiden name. However, since that filming was done, the mother's maiden surname has been added to the Birth Index beginning with 1903.
  • In searching for an index entry, knowing the name of the district and at least an approximate year in which the birth, marriage, or death occurred will reduce your search time.
  • Place-names in the indexes are for districts. In rural areas, many villages and parishes belong to one district. In urban areas, a city may be divided into several districts.
  • The registration districts are the same as the poor law unions. If you know the parish name where the event occurred, then you can find the registration district by going to the county map for Ireland on the main Ireland Wiki page.  Just click on a county and you will see a table showing a list of the parishes and their poor law unions. 
  • If you know the townland, you can look up the poor law union by using  This website will let you search on partial names and is especially helpful if the townland name is misspelled.  The Poor Law Union or civil registration district will be shown for the townland. 
  • If you do not know the parish name, then use the following sources to identify the parish or the district in which your ancestor lived: You can also find more information on locating places in the gazetteers' section.
  • Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns of Ireland, (1871 Census), lists Irish localities and the districts that served them in 1871.
  • Ireland, Census Office, General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns of Ireland, (1901 Census, [London, England: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1901?]; Family History Library book Ref 941.5 X22g1901; film #865092, lists Irish localities and the districts that served them in 1901.
  • Civil Registration Districts of Ireland, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1983; Family History Library book Reg 941.5 V2c; film #6036472, which provides maps and districts' names as they were in 1871.