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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

RootsIreland's online civil record collection now covers half of the island

Publishing yesterday's news about the upload of civil marriage records to RootsIreland's County Sligo database reminded me of a post I've been meaning to write for some time.

Quietly and surely, the Irish Family History Foundation's local genealogy/heritage centres have been adding transcriptions of civil birth, marriage and death records to the RootsIreland database, and this has now built up into a sizeable online collection that's been flying under the radar.

I've had a run through the 'online sources' page for each of the local genealogy centres and found that civil records are now available for half of all 32 of the historical counties of Ireland. Sligo's new database has only civil marriages, and Waterford's has only civil death registrations, but most of the others hold a wider mix of records.

There's no uniformity in coverage across each county – each of the centres negotiates with local record holders – so the civil collections may be complete in some counties and more scattered in others. For example, while Galway East has a full line up of births, marriages and deaths for 24 districts, some dating as late as the 1930s, the Galway West centre has no online civil records.

Where available, most of the record collections span from the start of civil registration to 1900 at least.

Transcriptions are on the site for the following counties: Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Derry, Donegal, Down, Galway, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Limerick, Mayo, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary and Waterford.

If you have ancestral connections to these counties, you may find RootsIreland offers a handy alternative to the GRO's postal service.