Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Historic Irish BMD records freely available online

The government of the Republic of Ireland has uploaded images of all historic vital civil registration records on its Irish Genealogy ( platform - that is births over 100 years old, marriages over 75 years old and deaths over 50 years old. The images have been appended to the previously available index search facility on the site, which now allows a final option to step through to see the record itself - and not just the record, but the whole page on which the record of interest is found, which can be downloaded in PDF format. Note the official launch is not due until tomorrow (Thurs), so this is a wee bit of an early access bonus.

As well as images from what now constitutes the Republic of Ireland, incredibly, this release seems to include records for Northern Ireland also, as I am finding a few entries from Belfast in my test searches - if so, I can imagine there may be some annoyed folk at the GRO in Belfast, which operates the pay to use GENI website at

I'll have a bit of a play, and come back with a review later. Some records are showing up as not yet being available on searches. But what a day for Irish genealogy!

NB: For further Irish research sources, don't forget my books Irish Family History Research Online (2nd ed), and Discover Irish Land Records - see my books section at for how to purchase in the UK, US, Australia and Canada, as well as by ebook.


For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit


  1. Just had a look and found my great-grandmother's birth certificate, great-great grandfather's death certificate and great-great grandfather's death certificate, all from the little hamlet of Farrihy near Kilkee. Lets hope that pressure now builds on the GRO/Passport Office to at least do a Scotland's People/N.I. Direct for English and Welsh BMDs. The current England/Wales process will now look even more out of date and expensive. Do you know Chris what happened to the legislation in the Westminster Parliament that was going possibly to allow an England and Wales digitisation of BMD records? I know that years ago many (but not all) of the vital records were digitised (but not put online) as the full project to do so was abandoned before its completion.

  2. Thanks for this. Anything that gets me over the block wall I've been climbing for the past 8 years!

  3. Some of the English/Welsh records were digitised and indexed under a series of projects with birdbrained names (DOVE, MAGPIE, EAGLE, etc). These were never for the purpose of going online, however, but to help facilitate orders quicker through the GRO. The recent legislation to permit them to go online was I think merely to provide a legal starting point, but I am not aware of any intent as yet for this to happen by way of any project. But yes, England is beginning to look increasingly jurassic on this front, agreed.

  4. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but of the many records I have searched, only one had images available. Frustrated!

  5. Not all the records have been digitised yet. This with a Group ID reference will have an accompanying image (most births, but later marriages and deaths). The records still indexed with year, quarter, volume and page number (earlier marriages and deaths) have yet to be digitised. Boils down to the fact two agencies in the Republic of Ireland provide copies of records - the GROI and Health Services Executive - the HSE has been digitising them for online provision, but it's an ongoing job, taking some time. They'll all get there eventually!

    1. Thanks for the clarification, as well as the newer blog post. Now I understand. At first I thought it was my browser or operating system (Chrome OS)!

  6. I have a relative who was born in Ireland in 1796. How do I find out who his parents were? His family were Baptists. He was a linen weaver after he came to America.

  7. Baptist records aren't the easiest to find or access, but there is a chapter in James G. Ryan's book Irish Church Records detailing areas to try to look - you would really need to know where in Ireland though.

  8. Trying to find information regarding my 3xgreat grandfather michael O'Malley married Bridget Lydon Co.Galway they married abt 1837 michael died late 1860's Bridget immigrated to NewZealand and died 21 June 1896 trying to locate Michaels parents etc please can anyone help me with this