The best place to find documented information about your ancestors is from these certificates. However, one really important thing to remember is that the details were only as accurate as the knowledge of the person who was reporting the information. Civil registration in Ireland only started on 1st January 1864, although non-Catholic (Protestant or Registry Office) marriages were registered from 1845. Therefore, you will not be able to find such certificates prior to this date and will have to rely upon Parish Registers, which are covered in a separate hand-out. So, what can you expect to find? Birth Certificates They contain the following information: · full name · sex · birth date and birthplace · the parents' names (including maiden surname of mother) · father's occupation and place of residence · name and signature of the informant with their residence and often their relationship to the child. Marriage Certificates From 1845 for non-Catholic and Registry Office marriages and from 1864 for all marriages: · date · place and denomination (for church marriages) · names of bride and groom, · their ages (frequently given as “full age”) · occupations · marital statuses · residences at the time of marriage · names and occupations of their fathers · signatures of the bride, groom and witnesses The marriages usually took place in the bride’s parish and were registered by the minister, priest or registrar. Death Certificates They contain the following information: · name · occupation · age at death · marital status of deceased · duration of illness · date, place and cause of death · signature, qualification, and residence of the informant For a married or widowed woman a spouse’s name is sometimes recorded. Where a child has died, the child’s occupation is often given as “son or daughter of …”. In the Northern Counties, the father’s names of unmarried adult females are often recorded. Important: Please remember that the information registered was only as good as the knowledge of the person registering the event. Therefore, some ages or names might be different from what you expect. Also, the event was registered where it took place, which is not necessarily where you would expect. For example, a person’s home might be in Wexford, but their death occurred in Dublin. It will be Dublin where you find the certificate registration! Where do I get a certificate copy? Certificates may be ordered online from the General Register Office of Ireland in Roscommon (www.welfare.ie/).A full certificate ordered online will cost €20. However, the very much cheaper €4 photocopy of an Irish BMD can only be requested by downloading an application form from the website and sending it to them. You can have the certificate emailed back to you rather than sent in the post - you just need to tick another box on the form for this service.