Irish Family History Resources

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Irish History Month we take a look at some of the key websites to use when researching your Irish genealogy.

Start with this good overview from the Who Do You Think You Are website to get an introduction to which records are and are not available:

The National Archives of Ireland (Genealogy section)    

This site offers advice on how to get started, what records are available and provides links to free resources such as census and valuation returns. It also provides details of accredited researchers in Ireland.

The National Library of Ireland (Genealogy section)

Offering advice on how to get started, this site explains what records are available and also gives details of the Genealogical service offered by the National Library, which holds a large collection of Catholic Irish parish records in its collections.

Catholic Parish Registers at the National Library of Ireland

Birth, Marriage and Death records

Irish Genealogy

Historic records of Births, Deaths and Marriages from the General Register Office. Includes certificate copies for births 1864-1918, marriages 1864-1943 and deaths 1878-1968.Also gives access to over 2 million church records with some digital images available.

Family search

This website gives free access to a large, but not fully comprehensive, collection of Irish baptism and marriage records, plus it gives access to the Irish GRO index, which again is not comprehensive, but a good place to start. Requires free registration.


The Ancestry website also gives access to the Irish GRO Index up to 1958 and Catholic Parish Registers 1655-1915. Ancestry can be accessed for free in all Leeds libraries.

Family Search Wiki

Use this free site to learn more about the Irish GRO records, its history, and tips on how to search the GRO Index effectively.

Family History Federation Newsletter

The Family History Federation have produced a guide to starting out on your Irish ancestry – along with various hints and websites to follow.

Irish Family History Foundation

This subscription site contains parish records for all denominations, some of which pre-date civil registration in 1864. The records are not complete but the site is being added to regularly. Check free sources first.

Irish Family History Centre

Free access to Irish Catholic Parish Records. An invaluable resource.

General Register Offices (GRO)

Republic of Ireland General Register Office

Northern Ireland General Registry Office

Irish Census Records

1901 and 1911 Irish Census

This site offers FREE access to the complete 1901 and 1911 Census for Ireland as well as fragments of the 1821-1851 census records.

Irish Census Records from the National Archives of Ireland.


Ancestry offers access to the 1766 Religious Census but only fragments of this census survive and consequently the whole of country is not covered. Two records that are widely considered census substitutes are Griffith’s Valuation, 1848 – 1864 and Tithe Applotment Books, 1823 – 1837. Ancestry is free in all Leeds libraries.

Find My Past

The Find My Past genealogical website contains some census information for other dates, including transcripts of the Dublin City Census 1851 (Head of Household Index) and Elphin Census 1749. This is a subscription-only site, but the Local and Family History has £5.00 vouchers for sale, which will enable you to access it on a pay-per-view basis.

View the Irish Family History Research Guide and visit our Research Guides page for further guidance on family history.

Virtual Treasury

A digital reconstruction of records destroyed in the fire at the Public Record Office of Ireland in 1922. For more, read this article on the Who Do You Think You Are website.

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