Guidelines for Family History Research

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Guidelines for Family History Research


•   In recent times there has been a significant increase in requests for family history information from parish registers.  The Archbishop is very aware of the importance of parish registers in this area and wishes to alert researchers to the following:

• Parish registers are neither centralised nor computerised.  They are maintained in their original format in the individual parishes.

• The parishes in the Archdiocese of Dublin have information for their own parishes only and do not maintain the registers for other dioceses.

• Parish clergy and staff cannot understandably give priority to Family History enquiries but they do their very best to facilitate people.

• Direct access to parish registers is not permitted.

• Parishes will only ever be able at the present time to offer a limited service.  This means that you will have to have specific names and a reasonable idea of dates.

• Information from Parish Registers is only accessible up to and including 1914.  You will not be able to access records after this date.

• If you have sufficient information you will also need a letter of permission from the Chancellery etc before contacting a parish.

• Researchers are asked to have patience as it takes quite some time to go through the individual registers.

• The only parish registers maintained in the Dublin Diocesan Archives are those of St. Catherine’s, Meath Street, St. Audoen’s, High Street and SS. Michael & John’s,Lower Exchange Street, up to 1900.  These can be viewed in the Reading Room but an appointment is essential.

• Researchers should also be aware that the microfilm copies of parish registers held in the National Library of Ireland and the database of parish records in Dublin City Library & Archives are now available to view on-line, free of charge.  They are available at  Both the microfilm copies and databases can still be access in their respective repositories.

• Researchers should also note that the National Archives, Bishop’s Street, Dublin 8 offer a free genealogical advice service for those tracing family history.


Contact Details


Chancellery, Archbishop’s House, Drumcondra, Dublin 9.
Tel: (01) 8379253              Email:


Dublin Diocesan Archives, Holy Cross Diocesan Centre, Clonliffe Road, Dublin 3.
Tel: (01) 8379253              Email:


National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: (01) 6030200              Email:


National Archives, Bishop’s Street, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 4072300              Email:


Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 6744800              Email: