Useful Links

Helping to make connections

Births, Deaths and Marriages

This is a free website from the National Archives of Ireland which enables you to search civil birth, death and marriage registrations for both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.  For Northern Ireland, these are available from 1845 (Protestant marriages only) until around 1921, when partition of Ireland occurred and Northern Ireland the Republic of Ireland became separate countries.  More details are on the site.

This is a free to search website from the NI Direct which enables you to search civil birth, death and marriage registrations for Northern Ireland.  These are available as follows:

Births - 1864 up to 100 years before the present day

Marriages - 1845 (Protestant marriages) and 1864 (All marriages) up to 75 years before the present day

Deaths - 1864 up to 50 years before the present day

However, if you want to see the registration details, then you have to pay.  Full details on the site.

This is a subscription website from Armagh Ancestry which allows searching of baptisms, marriages, deaths, gravestones and more from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.  Full details on the site.  Its major value is in church records from before the period when civil registration took place.

Land and Property Records

This free website enables you to identify townlands, parishes and baronies all over Ireland, providing you with a location map and other details.

PRONI offers an historical maps viewer with Ordnance Survey maps of Northern Ireland from the historical First Edition (1832 - 1846) right to the present day.  This is a great resource in conjunction with Griffith's Valuation maps, enabling you to see what buildings there may have been on your ancestor's land at that earlier period, and to see how the area has changed over time.

PRONI has an extensive collection of estate records which record details on landholding, tenants, farming, towns, transport, emigration, politics and local administration, as well as the building of schools and churches.  During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the majority of the population in Northern Ireland lived on large estates.  The administration of these estates produced a large quantity of records, including maps, rentals, and account books.  Rent rolls, leases and maps listing the tenants on the estate may be the only source available for the period before 1830.  None of these are online, however, and must be searched at PRONI's building in Belfast.

Freeholders were men who either owned their land outright or who held it in a lease for the duration of their life, or the lives of other people named in the lease.  Freeholders' records list freeholders who were entitled to vote and those who did vote at elections and they are identified by townland.  These records in some cases go back into the 1700s.

The Tithe Applotment Books were compiled between 1823 and 1838 as a survey of land in each civil parish to determine the payment of tithes to the established church, which was the Church of Ireland.  They are now available for Northern Ireland on PRONI's e-catalogue and can be searched either by parish or by townland name.

This is part of a free website from Ask About Ireland and enables you to search Griffith's Valuation for either a name or a place anywhere in Ireland.  Griffith's Valuation was the primary valuation of Ireland carried out between 1848 and 1864 and gives  detailed information on where people lived in mid-nineteenth century Ireland and the property they possessed.   You can see on a map exactly where the Head of a Household lived and also get details of the value of the property and land that they leased.  No other family details are given.

PRONI holds valuation records relating to the valuation of property in Northern Ireland from the 1830s to 1993. The original purpose was, and remains, the assessment of every building and every piece of land and an estimation of its financial value.  These records enable you to trace forward from Griffith's Valuation to see who takes over the lease of someone recorded in Griffith's Valuation, which may aid in working out relationships, approximate dates of death and so on.

Census Records

This is a free website from the National Archives of Ireland which enables you to search by name or by townland and more, the two complete censuses which still exist (1901 and 1911) and also search whatever fragments remain of the other censes of 1821 to1851 - it is only in 1851 that anything relating to Counties Armagh or Down may be found.

Wills

This free website enables you to search by surname or full name and you can also add a location and or a date of death.  Some of the entries have an image of the actual will attached and these can be so valuable for family names and relationships.

Sir Arthur Vicars indexed all Irish Prerogative wills up to 1810. It deals with over 40,000 Irish wills. Almost all of these wills were destroyed in the 1922 explosion at the Public Record Office in Dublin, so his work is often the only surviving evidence of what wills were processed by this court. This index provides the name of all those who left a will, their address, rank/occupation and the date of probate. Vicars' publication was based on the transcripts, abstracts and notes taken from the original wills by Sir William Betham, Ulster King of Arms (1779-1853) and is the only index available to his vast collection of genealogical abstracts.  Furthermore, this online edition on Find My Past of Vicar’s publication is even more important, because Find my Past has incorporated an unpublished supplement compiled in 1914 that corrected all errors and inserted omissions. This additional typescript was compiled by Frank Marsh and includes over 1,200 further entries.  It's important to realise that this is only an index - the actual wills themselves are unlikely to have survived.  Find My Past is a subscription website.

If your Irish ancestor left a will when they died before 1858, it would have been proved before one of the ecclesiastical courts of the establishment Church of Ireland. These handwritten indexes and will books can give you your ancestor’s name and their occupation, and even details of what they left in their will and to whom.  This index is provided by subscription website, Find My Past.

This is another collection at subscription site, Find My Past.  The well-known English family history publisher W.P.W. Phillimore, along with the tireless Irish genealogist Gertrude Thrift published a 5 volume series of indexes of Irish wills between 1909 and 1920.  These were compiled from the finding aids then in use at the Public Record Office in Dublin (PROI). The volumes record surviving wills, then in existence at the PROI, which had been proved at local diocesan courts.  The series does not cover every diocese because the project was cut short by the destruction of the PROI in 1922. Following that disaster, this index represents often the only evidence that a will was left at all, and as a consequence is vital for researchers. The index includes entries for over 32,000 wills for many diocesan consistorial courts in Ireland.