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Civil Records

Searchable civil records include state registration of births, marriages and death; such records go back a long way. Beginning in 1864, in conjunction with poverty relief agencies known as Poor Law Unions, local Registrars were appointed to maintain registration information as part of the administration of Ireland's nationwide public health system; from that year forward, all births, marriages and deaths in Ireland have been registered and recorded.

Once records had been compiled for the entire district and Poor Law Union, master indexes were produced and stored at the General Register Office in Dublin, while local Health Boards held onto the original registers. The same process was followed in Northern Ireland, which has a similar General Register Office of Northern Ireland located in Belfast. Both of these General Register Offices in Dublin now hold copies of the original registers, stored on microfilm.

To research Northern Ireland records at the Belfast office, you may need to book an appointment up to two weeks in advance. At the General Register Office in Dublin, you can conduct a search through the indexes on the office premises for a nominal fee, or purchase a printout of the microfilmed copies of the original registers that you can take with you.

As is the case in many areas of genealogical research, the Mormon Church offers an alternative method for searching Irish civil records. The Church possesses copies of nearly all of the indexes and registers. You can examine these records in Salt Lake City, or at a LDS Family History Center closer to home.


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