Module Four: Working with Vital Records
Working with Vital Records
In this module you will begin your research in Irish records of civil registration, develop your awareness of the availability of church records by denomination, and carry out research for an individual using the online website of the Irish Family History Foundation.
all of us there is a hunger, bone-marrow deep, to know
our heritage - to know who we are and where we have
- Alex Haley
Understanding Irish Names
you begin your research in Irish records, you will need
to be aware of the many possible varieties of both
surnames and first names that you may find in the
records. For example, James may be listed as Seamus (the
Gaelic version) or Jacobus (the Latin version). So you
will want to search for James, Seamus, Jacobus, and
Jacob. Joanna may be Joan, Johana, or Siobhan.
more information on Irish first names and their
varieties, read this article on Christian
Names in Ireland.
Understanding Civil Registration
registration is the government registration of births,
deaths, and marriages. Civil registration began in
Ireland on April 1, 1845, with only the registration of
Protestant marriages. All birth, deaths, and marriages
were registered starting January 1, 1864. Certificates
can be requested from the General Registry Office, and
many are available online.
more about Irish
video tutorial about Irish civil registration is
available at FamilySearch. The video is about 30
minutes, and a class handout transcript is available at
the same site.
Using Church Records
To learn more about church
records in Ireland, go to the FamilySearch
wiki. This website has links for each of the major
religions in Ireland. Select the one you are interested
in, and read more about available records.
video tutorial on Irish records is available at
FamilySearch. The video is about thirty minutes long, and
a class handout transcript is available on the website.
How Can I Search These Records?
Now that you understand the
content of Irish civil registration and church records,
how can you search them? Many are becoming available
online. The indexes for Irish civil records are available
at FamilySearch. Other records are starting to become
available, and it is suggested that you do a Google search
for the parish you are searching.