Tracing your Irish ancestors? These records might help

Millions of historical birth, marriage and death documents are now available online

Millions of historic Irish births, deaths and marriage records are now available to the public online.

More than 2.5 million images of old documents from the General Register Office can now be accessed for free from

New additions to the online database - which now contains images of 12.5 million index records - includes the birth, marriage and death records for Antartic explorer Tom Crean, and death register entries for the 1916 Rising leaders, including James Connolly, Thomas Clarke, Padraig Pearse and Eamonn Ceannt.

Images of the records currently cover births from 1864 to 1915, marriages from 1882 to 1940, and deaths from 1891 to 1965. The database will be further expanded to include older records in the near future.


Minister for Arts and Heritage Heather Humphreys said the expansion of the database was "a very important development in family history research for Irish people and Irish descendants both at home and abroad".

“Anyone wishing to research their family history will have a veritable treasure trove of records available at the click of a button and I’ve no doubt that these records will help unlock many mysteries that people have been trying to solve for years.”

She said the Irish Government was "leading the way internationally" in encouraging its diaspora to "come to Ireland to explore their roots".

The birth registers include date and place of birth, name and sex of the child, name, surname and dwelling place of father, name, surname and maiden surname of mother, rank or profession of father, signature, qualification and residence of the informant, when registered and the signature of the registrar.

Early marriage registers contained the date when married, name and surname of the spouses, their age, condition (meaning marital status) rank or profession and residence at time of marriage, their fathers’ names, surnames and ranks or professions, where the marriage took place and by whom the marriage was witnessed and solemnised.

Early death registers contained the date and place of death, name and surname of deceased, sex, condition (meaning marital status), age last birthday, rank, profession or occupation of the deceased, certified cause of death and duration of illness, signature, qualification and residence of informant, when registered and the signature of the registrar.