Genealogy

Penal transportation records: Ireland to Australia, 1788–1868

Irish archives are a major source for Australians researching Irish convict ancestors, despite the fact that not all records from the Chief Secretary’s Office in Dublin Castle survive, especially from the period before 1836. Penal transportation to Australia, and later to Bermuda and Gibraltar, covered the years 1791 until 1853, when the sentence of penal […]

Wills and administrations

To ensure the legality of a will of a deceased person, a grant of probate must be made by the courts. As part of this process, the original will is lodged with the courts. If someone dies intestate, without having made a will, the courts can grant letters of administration for the disposal of the […]

Guide to Church of Ireland (Anglican) parish registers

What Church of Ireland parish registers are held in the National Archives? Parochial records (baptisms, marriages and burials) of the Church of Ireland (Anglican Church) pre-1870 are public records and may be held on microfilm in the National Archives. For records post-1870, it will be necessary to contact the Representative Church Body Library (RCB Library), […]

Research guides & sources

National Archives has produced a series of brief guides to some of the most important, or heavily consulted, collections we hold. This list is not exhaustive and only represents a fraction of our holdings. These guides are designed to give a brief overview and to place the collections in their historical context. They are also useful […]

1901 & 1911 census

A systematic government census of the Irish population was taken every 10 years from 1821 until 1911. No census was taken in 1921, due to political unrest as a result of the War of Independence and Civil War, but the work of taking census resumed in 1926. All census returns from 1926 onwards are closed […]

Guide to penal transportation records: Ireland to Australia, 1788–1868

Irish archives are a major source for Australians researching Irish convict ancestors. Not all records from the Chief Secretary’s Office in Dublin Castle survive, however, especially from the period before 1836. Penal transportation to Australia, and later to Bermuda and Gibraltar, covered the years 1791 until 1853, when the sentence of penal transportation was commuted […]

Guide to testamentary records

What is a will? A will is a document written by an individual in which they express their wishes as to how their estate is to be divided after their death. A will can only become a legal document once a grant of probate is taken out following the death of the individual. A person’s […]

Court records held in the National Archives

Why does the National Archives hold court records? Court records are defined as departmental records under the terms of the National Archives Act, 1986 and are, therefore, subject to the same legislative protection and permanent preservation as other records of state. The National Archives Act, 1986 was the first legislative protection given to Irish public […]

Guide to court records in Ireland post-1922

Modern Court System The Courts of Justice Act, 1924 established the modern court system of the District, Circuit, High and Supreme Courts. District Court The District Court replaced the Quarter, Petty Sessions and County Courts and is the lowest court in the court system. It is presided over by the President of the District Court […]

Guide to the archives of the Office of Public Works

The following guide draws on the archives of the Office of Public Works (OPW) held in the National Archives. Establishment The Office of Public Works, or Board of Works, was established as a department of state by legislation passed in 1831 entitled An Act for the Extension and Promotion of Public Works in Ireland (1 […]