Thursday 23 May 2013

Republic of Ireland's GRO indexes to go online at

The genealogy bug continues to hit Ireland big time, with news that the Irish Government now intends to create online access to its civil registration indexes via its Irish Genealogy ( records platform in the not too distant future. This access will be to the indexes only, and not the original register data.

At present indexes for the Republic of Ireland are available online from 1845-1958 only, and indexes for Northern Ireland from 1845-1921, via the free FamilySearch site (, and the subscription based Ancestry ( and FindmyPast Ireland ( platforms - the last of these is the best option for marriage searches, allowing you to perform searches for both partners in a wedding event in one go (Ancestry also allows this, but I find it less effective).

The new plan to make the indexes for the Republic available is interesting, because the site on which they are destined to appear, Irish Genealogy, has so far offered access to its hosted records for free - will the indexes therefore be free also? We'll know soon enough - the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill 2013 about to go before the Irish Parliament will amend the Civil Registration Act 2004 to include provision to make the indexes to the BMD events, and also indexes to civil partnerships, available online, but not those for adoptions or stillbirths. No date for this to happen has yet been revealed.

The full story is at

Meanwhile, keep an eye out for the forthcoming provision for online access to Northern Ireland's GRO indexes and records post-1921 later this year (see my new book, details below!).

UPDATE: Here is the wording for the relevant clause from the Bill, and the proposed amendment to the Civil Registration Act 2004:

Part 3 — Amendments to Civil Registration Act 2004 Section 16 provides for amendments to the Civil Registration Act 2004 to allow for the provision of index information from the registers of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in accordance with the National Genealogy Policy. This will enable online searching through the website hosted by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Index information in relation to adoptions and stillbirths is excluded.

The full explanatory note to the Bill is available at

(With thanks to Aidan Byrne @8thRDF)


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...!

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