Irish Genealogical Sources
In general, Irish genealogical sources fall into four main categories which are mainly held in Dublin and Belfast, these are as follows:
The National Library of Ireland is situated on Kildare Street - just east of Dublin's main shopping street, Grafton Street. There is a free Genealogical Advisory Service at the Library making it the perfect place to start your research. The genealogist on duty will provide you with an overview of Irish genealogical records and explain how to locate finding aids and access records.
The National Archives of Ireland are a 15 minute walk from the National Library taking you through the famous St Stephen's Green. The National Archives also has an advisory service staffed by a genealogist who will assist you in locating records such as Census 1901 and 1911, wills, Griffiths Primary Valuation, Tithe Appointment Books and the other holdings at the Archives.
The General Register Office in Dublin holds all civil birth, marriage and death records from 1864 to 1921 for the whole island of Ireland. After that date all records concerning Northern Ireland are held in the General Register Office Belfast . Full birth certificates are available at both General Register Offices and a research facility is also provided.
The Valuation Office is located in the Irish Life Centre in Lower Abbey Street in Dublin. It houses maps and cancelled and current land books which are based on Griffith's Primary Valuation. The cancelled and current land books document all changes of occupancy of land and property from the time of the original survey to the late 20th century. They are extremely valuable to the family historian, as they can relate to a particular property. The Valuation Books for Northern Ireland are held in the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast.
The Registry of Deeds is located in Henrietta Street - immediately north of Dublin's main thoroughfare of O'Connell Street. It was established in 1708 to regulate land and property transactions. Registrations of deeds was not obligatory and mainly carried out by property owning classes such as land-owners, merchants and traders. A great deal of genealogical information can be extracted from deeds, as they often contain records of marriage settlements and wills, in addition to other property transactions. It is, however, unlikely that one would locate a registered deed for a small tenant farmer.