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OIDHREACHT NA COIRIBE

CULTURAL HERITAGE - Genealogy

Background

The Battle of Dublin was a week of street battles in Dublin from 28 June to 5 July 1922 that marked the beginning of the Irish Civil War. The anti-treaty side occupied the Four Courts which contained the state archives. The garrison consisted of approximately 180 men including  including Chief-of-Staff Joe McKelvey, Director of Engineering Rory O'Connor, and Quarter Master General Liam Mellows. Several hours before the surrender to the forces of the Provisional Government at 3.30 p.m. on the 30th June 1922, the Irish Public Records Office located in the western block of the Four Courts which had been used as an ammunition store by the Four Courts garrison was the centre of a massive explosion destroying one thoursand years of state and religous archives. A study of the battle concluded that the source of the explosion was caused by fires ignited by the shelling of the Four Courts which eventually reaced two loads of gelignite.

 As this closely followed the 1921 destruction of centuries of other important Irish records kept in the Custom House, Dublin, the cumulative effect was the devastating annihilation of a huge swath of Ireland's historical resources, to the loss of all future researchers seeking to document many aspects of Irish history. Subsequent efforts by archivists and other interested parties have played an extremely important role in attempting to replace what was lost, but, though an impressive inventory of material has been amassed, continues to accumulate, and is now housed in the National Archives of Ireland, much of what was lost in the 1922 fire was irreplaceable.[


Irish Civil Records online

In September 2016, the General Register Office put the vital records online, with free access for all.  Over 2.5 million historic records of births, marriages and deaths are now freely available online giving easy access to historical genealogical information.

State or Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths commenced throughout Ireland in 1864 for all religions (1845 for non-Roman Catholic marriages). These records are very valuable sources of information, despite their late commencement dates.

The records can be accessed at www.irishgenealogy.ie

Census Records for 1901 and 1911

The first attempt to take an Official Census in this country was made in 1813, pursuant to an Act passed in 1812. The 1901 and 1911 censuses are the only complete surviving census records for the pre-Independence period. Fragments survive for 1821 – 1851 for some counties. The initial attempts were not very suffessful. Click here for further information.

The household returns and ancillary records for the censuses of Ireland of 1901 and 1911, which are in the custody of the National Archives of Ireland, represent an extremely valuable part of the Irish national heritage. All 32 counties for 1901 and 1911 are now available on this site. Some material is still missing and will be replaced as it becomes available. The site is dynamic as people are continually sending in corrections.

Parish Registers 1834-1880

These are in microfilm images. You must know your parish to search them.

There are difficult to read as many of them have suffered fire damage.

Griffith’s Primary Valuation of Ireland

The primary evaluation was the first full-scale evaluation of property in Ireland. It was overseen by Richard Griffith and published between 1847 and 1864. It is regarded as one of the most important surviving 19th century genealogical sources.



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