The ‘Big’ Irish Online Databases for the Family Historian

Irish genealogy has been totally transformed in the past couple of years with the availability of online databases of important Irish record sources such as 1901 and 1911 census; mid-19th century Griffith's Valuation; indexes to Irish civil birth, marriage and death registers; and last, but not least, the very significant county databases of church and civil records built up over the last three decades. Thus, Irish family researchers to get the most from their hobby must be guided to the internet and how to use online databases
Search, for free, the 1901 and 1911 census returns, which includes images of original documents, for all counties in Ireland. These returns, arranged by townland and parish in rural areas and street and town in urban areas,  detail, for every person, their name, age, religion, education, occupation, marital status, and county or city of birth, or country (if born outside Ireland).

Ancestry at
Access, by subscription, birth, marriage and death records, census returns, passenger lists and military records for Ireland, UK and around the world which amounts to an online collection of 16 billion records.

[Subscription details at and select ‘worldwide’ tab. Ancestry’s Worldwide membership (1 month £20, 1 year £180) provides unlimited access to Ancestry’s entire library of more than 16 billion records. ‘Worldwide’ package is one to go for if members of group want to trace ancestors that emigrated to USA]

RootsIreland at
Search, by subscription, ‘Ireland’s Largest Family Records Database’ with over 20 million records extracted from civil and church registers in 30 of Ireland’s 32 counties. This website contains the largest online source of Irish church register transcripts which are the building blocks of family history. The value of this database is further enhanced by its powerful index. RootsIreland can’t compete with global reach of Ancestry but it is superior at the local scale in terms of data collection and knowledge.

Researchers can either search across all counties or search a particular county. For example, County Derry database on RootsIreland (at consists of pre-1922 civil birth and marriage registers for the city and county of Derry, the early baptismal and marriage registers of 85 churches (with earliest entry dating to 1642), gravestone inscriptions from 117 graveyards and census substitutes and census returns dating from 1628 to 1921.

[Subscription details at RootsIreland membership
(1 month £18, 1 year £160) provides unlimited access to all available county databases in Ireland]

IrishGenealogy at
Search, for free, historic indexes of Irish Civil Registers of Births