East Galway RootsWest Galway Roots

Civil Records

irish family history

State registration of births, marriages and deaths commenced throughout Ireland in 1864. These records are very valuable sources of information, despite their late commencement dates.

With the introduction of state registration, birth and death information was required to be provided to the local registrar who was usually the doctor, within 21 days.  Late registration resulted in the imposition of a fine.  Hence, in order to avoid the payment of a fine, later birth and death dates were often provided to the registrar.  The informant of such information was obliged to be a relative, a medical attendant or a person present at the event (the birth of the child or the death of an individual).  The priest at a wedding was also required to provide all marriage information to the state.

  • State records of birth provide the following information: the date and place of birth; name if any; sex; name, surname and dwelling-place of father; name, surname and maiden surname of mother; rank or profession of father; signature, qualification and residence of informant; when registered; signature of registrar and baptismal name if added at a later stage.
  • State records of marriage record the following: when married; names and surnames of the bride and groom; ages; condition; rank or profession; residence at the time of marriage; fathers names and surnames; rank or profession of fathers; name of officiating priest and the church where the marriage took place.
  • State death records contain: the date and place of death; name and surname; sex; condition; age at last birthday; rank; profession or occupation; signature, qualification and residence of informant; when registered and signature of the registrar.  While the cause of death is also provided on death certificates the holders of copyright of these records prohibit us from disclosing this information.

In the early decades of state registration it would appear that many events were not registered with the state.  The number of absent records cannot be quantified (although one frequently notices baptismal entries in church registers with no corresponding state birth and vice versa).  Ages provided on the older state records should be treated as ‘approximate’.

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