This page deals with Irish death records created outside the
mandatory civil registration of death system. It provides details of
online collections such as church and cemetery interment registers and
headstone and memorial transcriptions, and suggests sources for finding
published reports of deaths and funerals.
For civil death registers (1864-current), see the Irish Death Records page.
Irish burial records - those formally noting interments in individual burial grounds - used to be as rare as hen's teeth.
Other than a proportionally small number of church burial registers and those records created by Glasnevin Cemetery, most researchers were limited to discovering a date of death in a civil record, a book of headstone inscriptions or a newspaper report.
In recent years, mainly thanks to the internet, family history society volunteers, and local community groups, more Irish burial records, headstone inscriptions, cemetery registers, and death/funeral announcements can be found much more readily, even if the gathering of information is still largely being done in a fragmented manner.
This page of Irish Genealogy Toolkit should help you. It includes details and links to the larger online sources of headstone inscriptions and photos and burial ground records and photos, all of which are free to users, if not to the burial authorities. My list aso includes sources for burial registers of localised, individual or clustered burial grounds, and other suggestions for tracking down these important records.
Irish burial registers and headstone transcriptions
City burials, (€) comprising about 360,000 records starting in 1869, on
the Belfast City Council website.
Burial registers from seven burial grounds in and around Cork City can be
downloaded in pdf format. So, too, can the registers for Abbey graveyard in Bantry. (Many more are not online but can be accessed in person at the archive.)
- Dublin City Library and
has a complete guide to graveyards and their records in the Dublin area,
as well as the burial registers for Clontarf, Drimnagh and Finglas
- Dublin City Graveyards (free) has published a series of ebooks on the graveyards and memorials of St James's, St Catherine's, Bully's Acre and Royal Hospital Kilmainham, and the Moravian Cemetery in Whitechurch. Transcriptions and more, by genealogist and tutor Sean J Murphy MA.
- Dublin Cemeteries Trust (previously Glasnevin Trust) offers a database (€) of more than 1.5million individuals buried in five cemeteries: Glasnevin, Dardistown, Newlands Cross, Goldenbridge and Palmerstown.
- Enfield Graveyards, (free) 32 cemeteries across the Enfield Common Bond Area in counties Meath and Kildare.
- Buried in Fingal/North Dublin: (free) This interactive site includes a
database holding Irish burial registers from 32 cemeteries located in the north of
- Galway Archives burial registers (free) for more than 60 burial grounds. 40,000+ entries
- Galway Archives (free)
has headstone inscriptions for 32 Galway cemeteries, all collected by a volunteer community project.
Glasnevin Cemetery has a pay-to-view database of its 1.6m residents
- Glasnevin cemetery. Renamed Dublin Cemeteries Trust, March 2021. See above.
City Archives (free)
has the burial registers of Mount St. Lawrence (searchable database) and
Mount St. Oliver (pdf downloads).
- Mayo (free) Headstone transcriptions from nearly 80 burial grounds across the county.
- South Dublin (free) registers, photos
and headstone transcriptions from Deansgrange and Shananagh cemeteries in
the Dun Laoghaire and south Dublin area. Ongoing project.
- Waterford Libraries has burial records for five
Co. Waterford cemeteries, and funeral books spanning 1874-1918.
- West Cork Graveyards (free) Skibbereen Heritage Centre has created a
database holding transcriptions of headstones and burial registers from 46
graveyards in the west Cork area. Also photos and videos of some burial
- Wexford County Archive: Wexford Town Burial Registers for of the oldest municipal cemeteries: St Patrick's, St Micheal's, St Luke's and St John's, spanning 1881 to 1926.
Other major Irish burial records and headstones collections
The list above includes websites that provide access to Irish burial records in specific towns, counties or regions.
The list below provides details of volunteer-donated material to larger, usually island-wide databases.
Largest volunteer-led collections (island-wide) of Irish burial records
largest volunteer-led sites for headstone transcriptions in Ireland are:
Interment.net is another source for Irish burial records data. While some of its records come from headstone transcribers, others are gathered from cemetery offices, government offices, church offices, and archived documents.
The FindMyPast database holds an eclectic mix of Irish burial records, including many collected from headstones. They are spread across two collections:
Parish Burials in Life Events and Civil Deaths and Burials in Life Events
list below includes all the record sets as at January 2021. They are accessible via one or other of the links above. To select individual
record sets from the landing page, choose your preference from ' Browse
- Galway County Burials
- Billion Graves Cemetery Index
Ireland Deaths 1864-1870
Irish Death Notices In American Newspapers
- Irish Deaths 1864-1958
- Tyrone Cemetery Records
- Donegal Cemetery Records
Fermanagh Cemetery Records
- Fermanagh Parish Registers Burials
- Down St Colmans Annaclone (RC) Burials 1851-1913
- Down Annaclone (Coi) Burials 1877-1900
- Ireland Memorial and Burial Register, 1618-2005
Ireland Memorial Inscriptions
Ireland Roman Catholic Parish Burials
- Roscommon Kiltullagh Cemeteries
Ireland, Gravestone Records
- Non-Conformist Burials
- Society Of Friends (Quaker) Deaths
- Irish Parish Register Burials, Ffolliott Collection
Leitrim Cemetery Records
- Memorials Of The Dead: Galway & Mayo
The Parish Register Society Of Dublin
- The Registers Of St. Patrick,
Dublin, 1677-1800 & 1907
- The Register Of Derry Cathedral 1642-1703
- Thomas Philip Le Fanu, Registers of French Church Of Portarlington,1908
- Tipperary Clans Archive
In addition, the following two collections of Irish burial records collections joined the database in January 2021:
database is managed by the Irish Family History Foundation, the
organisation that also manages the all-island network of county
genealogy and heritage centres.
Experienced genealogists run these centres, and a significant part of
their work involves transcribing locally-held church registers, civil
BMD registers, headstone inscriptions, and other documentary sources of
potential genealogical value.
Just as each county on the island
has its own unique history, so its heritage centre - and its mix of
surviving records - is different to its neighbours.
have transcribed many church burial records; others have none. Some
centres have been involved in the transcription of headstone
inscriptions in local burial grounds; others have not.
The database reflects these differences, but you can see which Irish burial records each centre holds via the online sources widget.
Graveyard surveys (free)
During the last decade, the marriage of two techologies - land-scanning for burial plots and the creation of online-accessible databases - has helped a new breed of headstone inscription collectors to emerge. Burial ground surveys have become the specialitiy of a small number of enterprises in Ireland, and the work has transformed the collection, accuracy, and presentation of interment records.
Most of these surveys first identify the individual burial plots. The residents of the plot are easy enough to identify if there is a headstone. But what if there is no marker? The second stage of the survey begins by bringing together the local community and asking them what they know about the burial ground, who is buried there, and to gather stories, names and other anecdotal information about the place and its inhabitants.
The memories of the local community can be long indeed! And this has helped the surveyors to produce maps of the burial ground, with most, if not all, plots identified by surname, at least.
In one form or another, the data is then placed online, usually free to the researcher, and can be searched by name of the deceased, plot number, or burial ground.
The three main operators of Irish burial record surveying are:
and IrishGraveyards are fairly similar as they supply graveyard
management services, first and foremost. The collection and publication
of their transcripts is a by-product very much enjoyed by family
DiscoverEverAfter has been particularly active in
Northern Ireland's counties Armagh, LondonDerry and Tyrone, but has also
ventured into the Republic with some large projects in counties Louth,
Meath, Dublin, Leitrim, Westmeath and Carlow.
main areas are in Atlantic coastal counties, especially Donegal, Galway
and Mayo, but they have also carried out surveys in counties Longford,
Cavan, Down, LondonDerry, Louth and Offaly.
slightly different, and is heritage and community-led, rather than
church or local authority-led. In most cases, funding is provided from
regional heritage grants to local volunteer groups who clear vegetation
from burial grounds, as required, and then record not only the headstone
transcriptions but also the heritage and stories of people who have
been associated with it.
Photos, transcripts, stories, maps and more are
then uploaded to the website. More than 800 graveyards, cemeteries and
other burial grounds have been subject to the Historic Graves
treatment. They are all in the Republic of Ireland.
Other sources of Irish burial records
Local history and genealogy societies
transcribing was for many years the mainstay activity for volunteers of local
history and genealogy groups. Some of the societies have published booklets of
the inscriptions. Most of them now have a website or facebook page, so should
be easy to locate and contact for assistance.
IGRS's Early Irish Deaths Index
This clearly-focussed, and growing indexing project is exclusive to the Irish Genealogical Research Society. It records details of deaths and burials from unusual and rare sources, ie not civil or parish records. The records dating from 1660 to 1864. The Index is free to members. (Non-members can also search for free, and the results will tell you how many entries in the database match your
search criteria. It will not provide all the details of those matched
records.) See IrishAncestors.ie.
Libraries' Local Studies Departments
Another good source for such records are Local Studies
departments of county (public) libraries. Not every county has a Local
Studies section, and there's a huge difference between those that are
most active and those that are a side-thought.
The Journal of the Association for the
of the Memorials of the Dead was published between 1888 and 1934 and
recorded a vast number of inscriptions, many of which have now been lost
to the elements or wilful destruction. The journals up to 1909 are online at Archive.org.
- Most deaths in the Republic of Ireland are reported to this site by
funeral directors. A small proportion of deaths from Northern Ireland
may also appear (you may need to search with the county name). The
site's archive dates from July 2006. It is free to search.
FuneralTimes.com is similar to RIP.ie but covers only Northern Ireland. Free to search.
especially for death and funeral notices, reports of funerals, and
obituaries can be outstanding sources of Irish burial records and
genealogical information. See Irish Newspapers (free) and Irish Newspapers (€$£).