Find My Past has two collections of Irish marriage records. One collection is the index to the civil registration records. The other collection has transcripts and images of parish church marriage records.
This article explains how to find what you need from the civil registration archive.
Irish Civil Marriage Records On Find My Past
We have a separate article on the Irish Catholic Parish Registers on Find My Past. The linked article will show you how best to search the parish registers.
This article focuses on civil marriage records. I’ve put together a list of the most frequently asked questions. Read on…
Do I need to pay to see the marriage records?
The Irish civil marriage collection is part of the paid tier on Find My Past.
You can run searches and set a list of results. However, you’ll need the basic subscription in order to see the transcripts.
Why don’t I see the full details of the marriage certificate?
Irish marriage certificates contain details like the witnesses and the father’s occupation and address. More recent certificates include the mother’s occupation!
Unfortunately, you won’t get these rich details in the Find My Past records (or the alternative sites that have the same collection).
The Find My Past civil marriage records are index records. This means that they have limited details like:
- first and last name
- marriage registration year and quarter (not the exact date)
- county and district of registration
The main challenge is that the person’s spouse is not in the index record. This makes it more difficult to tell if you’ve got the right record before ordering a full copy.
However, Find My Past gives you help with this through its MarriageFinder technology. I’ll cover that in a separate section all to itself!
How far back do the marriage records go?
The civil registration of Protestant marriages in Ireland started in 1845. The registration of Catholic marriages started later in 1864.
Church registration precedes these dates, so don’t forget the parish archives. I’ll cover these in a later section.
How recent are the marriage records?
The available index on Find My Past runs up to 1958. If you’re researching your family tree, this is probably far enough.
Irish civil marriage records are public, so the more recent records are available to you. They’re just not indexed on Find My Past! You can contact the General Records Office to order certificates for a fee.
Do the archives cover the full island?
The collection on Find My Past covers the full island up until 1922. After that date, the collection is restricted to the 26 counties of the Republic. This excludes six counties in Northern Ireland.
If you’re not familiar with the history of Ireland, I should explain that the full island was under the British government before 1922. When the Republic was formed, 26 counties came under the administration of a separate government (the current Irish administration).
What Is The Find My Past Marriage Finder?
When I search for my grandfather’s marriage record, I get this extra information on the index transcript.
Looks like Grandpa had a lot of lady friends! But no, that’s not how this works. Let’s explain what the Marriage Finder is doing for you with the above example.
The transcript for the marriage of James Gamble doesn’t name his spouse. Instead, it names the volume and page number of the register in which the details were recorded.
In this case, the transcript says he’s on Page 75 of Volume 3 of the Cavan register of the 3rd quarter of 1948.
If I found the transcripts of the four women, they would also be on the exact same page of the register. They would appear on the page along with James and three other gentlemen.
The search system doesn’t have enough information to tell me which man is paired with which woman. But it knows that James is paired with one of the four in the list.
What if you don’t know the maiden name?
My example has two women named Rose. If I didn’t know the maiden name, then I have a few options.
I could order a photocopy of the marriage certs of both Rose Smith and Rose Plunkett on this page to see which has James.
However, there’s another route to narrowing this down. The church parish records do have the spouse names in the transcripts.
More About Find My Past
You may also find a notice or write-up of a marriage in a local Irish newspaper. Check out our article on the newspaper collections on Find My Past.
We’ve also covered the court records of the Irish Petty Sessions on Find My Past. If you’re not sure what these are, check them out! They include minor misdemeanours and fines, and can be very useful for your research.