Friday, 17 May 2013

Northern Irish GRO vital records platform online by October?

I've just received my latest copy of North Irish Roots (Vol 24, No.1), the Journal of the North of Ireland Family History Society (, packed with goodies!

There's an interesting unconfirmed report in the journal within a feature on civil registration in Ireland that the planned GRONI civil registration records platform may be going online in October of this year - I stress may. The platform, inspired by the success of ScotlandsPeople (, is believed to be intending to operate similar closure periods to the Scottish site for births (100 years), marriages (75 years) and deaths (50 years), as well as to offer, for the first time, online indexes to Norn Irish BMD records after 1921. For further back ground to this, see my previous posts at (which includes a version of the tender that was posted on the United Kingdom Tenders website) and

It has to be stressed that this is unconfirmed - but it could make sense if GRONI was intending to perhaps launch it an event such as Back to Our Past in Dublin, which happens in that month.

One plea I would make in advance - if the GRONI has been inspired by ScotlandsPeople on this project, one would hope that they would follow the inspiration on that site's pricing also, where vital records can be purchased for approximately £1.40 each (including search fee). At present, the GRO in Belfast charges the highest rates in the United Kingdom for civil registration based GRO certificates for births, marriages and deaths, at £15 per record (cf £12 Scotland, £9.25 England and Wales).

Fingers crossed....!


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see Time to smash a few brick walls...!


  1. I'm hoping to trace a missing Belfast area marriage circa 1897. I thought that the Northern Irish GRO had parish register indexes for this, as an alternative to the whole Ireland BMD civil registration indexes, where I can't find it. Is that right, and if so will the pre-1921 parish register indexes be going online do you know? This is for my great-grandparents' marriage (Dublin-born woman, Yorkshire man) which apparently took place somewhere in the Belfast / Northern Ireland area, and I can't find anywhere. The couple apparently met in an Irish (northern) hospital while the man (soldier) was invalided. Apparently my Irish great-granny was a nurse there.

  2. Some parish records post-1864 have been transcribed and made available on the Ulster Historical Foundation site at or via Roots Ireland at

    Original parish records can be found in many places, dependant on denomination and other factors, but most can be viewed at PRONI in one form or another (microfilm for the most part) - see for coverage. If not at PRONI, the document will tell you in most cases where you will find them, and the year ranges covered.