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Ireland: civil registration districts

A map and alphabetical list (by county) of Irish civil registration districts.


In Ireland, civil registration districts were created shortly after Poor Law Unions were established and followed the same boundaries. Each had a market town at its centre and they were of varying size, depending on the level of population in the town's natural catchment area.

Need to register a birth, marriage or death?
Republic of Ireland civil registration offices: addresses, phone numbers & opening hours.

Northern Ireland civil registration offices: addresses and emails, phone numbers, and opening hours.

King's Inn, Dublin. The old General Register Office
Old King's Inn, Dublin

Crucially for Irish genealogy research, these Poor Law Unions and registration districts do not necessarily obey the county or parish boundaries by which other records are arranged.

For example, the civil registration district of Shillelagh is centred on the Wicklow village of that name but includes rural areas in both Co. Carlow and Co. Wexford.

County civil registration offices (see box above right), the National Archives of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland hold lists of all townlands in each district.

The list and the maps below have been created from information supplied by the General Register Office's Research Room in Dublin, and cover both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Working in the other direction, where you have a townland but not the name of the local register district, you should consult the Alphabetical Index to the Towns, Townlands and Parishes of Ireland (which is held in book format by the National Archives of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland, and by major libraries around the world) to find the name of the relevant Poor Law Union (PLU) or registration district. Alternatively, you can check the free online Townland Database.

Alphabetical by counties of Ireland: civil registration districts

Antrim: Antrim, Ballycastle, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Belfast, Coleraine, Larne, Lisburn, Lurgan.

Armagh: Armagh, Banbridge, Castleblaney, Dundalk, Lurgan, Newry.

Carlow: Baltinglass, Carlow, Enniscorthy, New Ross, Shillelagh.

Cavan: Bailieborough, Bawnboy, Cavan, Cootehill, Enniskillen, Granard, Irvinestown, Kells, Lisnaskea, Oldcastle.

Clare: Ballyvaughan, Corrofin, Ennis, Ennistimon, Killadysert, Kilrush, Scarriff, Tulla, Limerick.

Cork: Bandon, Bantry, Castletown, Clonakilty, Cork, Dunmanway, Fermoy, Kanturk, Kilmallock, Kinsale, Macroom, Mallow, Middletown, Millstreet, Mitchelstown, Skibbereen, Skull, Youghal.

Derry: Ballymoney, Coleraine, Derry (Londonderry), Limavady, Magherafelt, Newtown.

Donegal: Ballyshannon, Derry (Londonderry), Donegal, Dunfanaghy, Glenties, Inishowen, Letterkenny, Milford, Strabane, Stranolar.

Down: Banbridge, Belfast, Downpatrick, Kilkeel, Lisburn, Lurgan, Newry, Newtownards.

Dublin: Balrothery, Celbridge, Dublin North, Dublin South, Dunshaughlin, Rathdown.

Fermanagh: Ballyshannon, Clones, Enniskillen, Irvinestown, Lisnaskea.

Galway: Ballinasloe, Ballinrobe, Clifden, Galway, Glenamaddy, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Oughterard, Portunna, Roscommon, Scarriff, Tuam.

Kerry: Cahirsiveen, Dingle, Glin (dissolved after 1892 and split between Listowel and Rathkeale in co. Limerick), Kenmare, Killarney, Listowel, Tralee.

Dispensing joy, tears and medicine

The Poor Law Act 1838 saw the introduction of (initially) 130 Poor Law Unions (PLUs) into Ireland. Civil Registration did not start until some years later but when it did, each PLU became the basis for a Superintendent Registrar's District (SRD).

Just as each PLU was subdivided into Dispensary Districts, each with its own medical officer, so each SRD was subdivided into Registrar's Districts. Since the Registrar's District corresponded geographically to the Dispensary District, it was often the medical officer who took on the additional duties of the District Registrar.

When not attending the sick and dispensing medicine, he was required to issue death, birth and marriage certificates and record appropriate entries in a register.

At the end of each quarter, the registers were forwarded to the District Superintendent Registrar who in turn made certified copies of the registers and sent them to the Dublin office of the Registrar General for Ireland. Civil Registration indexes covering the entire island were then made.

For a full explanation of Ireland's civil registration system and how it can be used in your Irish genealogy research, see the link under the 'Where next?' section at the bottom of the page.

Kildare: Athy, Baltinglass, Celbridge, Edenderry, Naas.

Kilkenny: Callan, Carrick-on-Suir, Castlecomer, Kilkenny, New Ross, Thomastown, Urlingford, Waterford.

King’s: see Offaly

Laois (Queen’s): Abbeyleix, Athy, Carlow, Donnaghmore (dissolved after 1887 and split between Roscrea and Urlingford), Mountmellick, Roscrea, Urlingford.

Leitrim: Ballyshannon, Bawnboy, Boyle, Carrick-on-Shannon, Castlerea, Manor Hamilton, Mohill, Roscommon, Strokestown.

Limerick: Croom, Glin (after 1892 split between Listowel and Rathkeale), Kilmallock, Listowel, Mitchelstown, Newcastle, Rathkeale, Tipperary.

Londonderry: see Derry

Longford: Ballymahon, Granard, Longford.

Louth: Ardee, Drogheda, Dundalk.

Mayo: Ballina, Ballinrobe, Belmullet, Castlebar, Castlereagh, Claremorris, Killala, Newport (included in Westport after 1886), Swineford, Westport.

Meath: Ardee, Celbridge, Drogheda, Dunshaughlin, Edenderry, Kells, Navan, Oldcastle, Trim.

Monaghan: Carrickmacross, Castleblayney, Clogher, Clones, Cootehill, Dundalk, Monaghan.

Offaly (King’s): Edenderry, Mountmellick, Parsonstown (Birr), Roscrea, Tullamore.

Queen’s: see Laois

Roscommon: Athlone, Ballinasloe, Boyle, Carrick-on-Shannon, Castlereagh, Roscommon, Strokestown.

Sligo: Ballina, Boyle, Dromore West, Sligo, Tobercurry.

Tipperary: Borrisokane, Callan, Carrick-on-Suir, Cashel, Clogheen, Clonmel, Nenagh, Parsonstown, Roscrea, Thurles, Tipperary, Urlingford.

Tyrone: Armagh, Castlederg, Clogher, Cookstown, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Gortin (dissolved after 1899 and split between Omagh and Strabane), Irvinestown, Omagh, Strabane.

Waterford: Carrick-on-Suir, Clonmel, Dungarvan, Kilmacthomas, Lismore, Waterford, Youghal.

Westmeath: Athlone, Ballymahon, Castletown, Delvin, Granard, Mullingar, Tullamore.

Wexford: Enniscorthy, Gorey, New Ross, Shillelagh, Wexford.

Wicklow:Baltinglass, Naas, Rathdown, Rathdrum, Shillelagh.

Where next?

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By Claire Santry, Copyright© 2008-2018 Dedicated to helping YOU discover your Irish Heritage.
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