Posted by on 21 September 2011 in Record Collections

Irish Parish Records

Today, we’ve exploded the myth that it’s always difficult to discover your family history in Ireland. We’ve released millions of new records to make it far easier to trace your roots on the Emerald Isle through the past 300 years.

First, you’ll find a host of new Irish Catholic parish records from the 18th and 19th centuries. Even though the official Church of Ireland was Anglican, the vast majority of Ireland’s people stuck to Catholicism, so these are your best bet for finding early births, marriages and deaths.

Crucially, these parish records go back before the Great Famine, and the mass Irish exodus that followed. This means you can discover entire families that later left to find new homes in Britain, America or even further afield.

Irish Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes

That’s not all! We’ve also released huge indexes to Ireland’s civil births, marriages and deaths from 1864 to 1958 (there are some non-Catholic marriages from 1845 onwards). These are the equivalents to our England and Wales Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes – and they should prove just as useful for piecing together your ancestors’ stories.

As you may know, many of the Irish census records were destroyed – a big reason why people are often downbeat about Irish family history. Because our indexes cover the same period, they can often help to fill in the frustrating gaps in your family tree.

As a special bonus, we’ve also given you Ireland, Births and Baptisms, 1620–1881 – a collection of more than 5 million births taken from church, civil, family and other records. If you can’t find your ancestors in our new Catholic or civil registers, there’s a great chance you’ll spot them here.

In total, we now have over 45 million records to help you discover your family’s Irish story. Learn more about all our Irish records

About Kelly

Kelly Godfrey is Senior Manager, Digital Marketing for Based in Ancestry's London office in Hammersmith, Kelly regularly tweets and posts on Ancestry's Facebook page as well as here on the blog.



Are these the same records available on for free?

22 September 2011 at 12:35 am

Hi Jacki, the Births and Baptisms and Civil Registers are yes, but the Catholic parish records are not.

22 September 2011 at 10:57 am

Hmm strange, as familysearch use the exact same wording and dates scroll down the page for Irish/Ireland

22 September 2011 at 10:26 pm
Paul Gorry 

Have been duped? I tried out these so-called Irish Catholic parish records. Using a surname I know very well, I searched for people whose actual records I have seen. Not only were they returned as having been baptised or married in the wrong parish, they were in the wrong county. Lots of people of the surname from a number of Co. Westmeath parishes were listed for a particular parish in Co. Kildare. Apart from that, the details were mixed up, with children listed under the mother’s maiden surname, etc. Wherever Ancestry got this mish-mash they’d want to withdraw it pretty quick so as to spare their blushes.

Paul Gorry
Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland
(The accrediting body for Irish genealogists)

22 September 2011 at 11:07 pm
Steven Smyrl 

Can Ancestry reveal what is the source for the Catholic parish registers for Roscommon and Westmeath? From where did they obtain the microfilms that they have supposedly created the database from? The parishes all seem to be the same as held for those two counties by the LDS in Utah!

As for the Irish civil records (1845-1958), have Ancestry actually created their own database or is it the case that the search results obtained through searches on Ancestry are just channelled straight through from FamilySearch?

Steven Smyrl
Executive Liaison Officer

Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations

23 September 2011 at 9:28 am
Eileen M. ÓDúill, CG 

While I welcome any Irish records, I have to point out that a basic principle in genealogy is CITATION.

The newly added Irish Catholic records do not include any citation whatsoever. To make this collection really useful researcher require:
-complete index to the parishes included in the collection preferably listed by county
-dates of the records on offer
-total number of records
– access to the image of the record

With a bit more work, this could prove to be a very useful resource for Ancestry subscribers.

Eileen M. ÓDúill, CG
member of Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland
board member, Association of Professional Genealogists

23 September 2011 at 6:43 pm

The Irish records are very disappointing,they seem mixed up and did not find them that helpful

24 September 2011 at 1:59 pm