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Irish burial records, death announcements, funeral reports and headstone inscriptions

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 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 headstone inscriptions, cemetery registers, and death/funeral announcements can now 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

  • Belfast City burials,  (€) comprising about 360,000 records starting in 1869,  on the Belfast City Council website.
  • Cork Archives (free) Burial registers from six burial grounds in and around Cork City can be downloaded in pdf format.
  • Dublin City Library and Archives (free) has a complete guide to graveyards and their records in the Dublin area, as well as the burial registers for Clontarf, Drimnagh and Finglas cemeteries.

  • 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 registers from 32 cemeteries located in the north of County Dublin.
  • Galway Archives burial registers (free) for more than 60 burial grounds. 40,000+ entries
  • Galway Archives (free) has headstone inscriptions for 30 Galway cemeteries, all collected by a volunteer community project.
Glasnevin Cemetery has a pay-to-view database of its 1.6m residents
  • Limerick 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 grounds.

  • 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 cover 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)

The 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.


FindMyPast (€$£)

The FindMyPast database holds an eclectic mix of burial and death 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

The list below includes all the record sets as at January 2021. They are accessible via the links above. To select individual record sets from the landing page, choose your preference from ' Browse Record Set'.

  • 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 Ireland
  • Non-Conformist Burials Ireland
  • 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 collections joined the database in January 2021:


RootsIreland.ie (€$£)

The RootsIreland.ie 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.

Some centres 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:

DiscoverEverAfter 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 historians.

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.

IrishGraveyards' 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.

HistoricGraves is 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 500 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

Headstone 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.

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.

Archive.org

The Journal of the Association for the Preservation 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.

RIP.ie

An internet-based platform publishing recent death, funeral and burial notices. Free. rip.ie

Newspapers

Newspapers, 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 (€$£).





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 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 headstone inscriptions, cemetery registers, and death/funeral announcements can now 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

  • Belfast City burials,  (€) comprising about 360,000 records starting in 1869,  on the Belfast City Council website.
  • Cork Archives (free) Burial registers from six burial grounds in and around Cork City can be downloaded in pdf format.
  • Dublin City Library and Archives (free) has a complete guide to graveyards and their records in the Dublin area, as well as the burial registers for Clontarf, Drimnagh and Finglas cemeteries.

  • 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 registers from 32 cemeteries located in the north of County Dublin.
  • Galway Archives burial registers (free) for more than 60 burial grounds. 40,000+ entries
  • Galway Archives (free) has headstone inscriptions for 30 Galway cemeteries, all collected by a volunteer community project.
Glasnevin Cemetery has a pay-to-view database of its 1.6m residents
  • Limerick 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 grounds.

  • 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 cover 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)

The 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.


FindMyPast (€$£)

The FindMyPast database holds an eclectic mix of burial and death 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

The list below includes all the record sets as at January 2021. They are accessible via the links above. To select individual record sets from the landing page, choose your preference from ' Browse Record Set'.

  • 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 Ireland
  • Non-Conformist Burials Ireland
  • 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 The French Church Of Portarlington, Ireland, 1908
  • Tipperary Clans Archive

In addition, the following collections joined the database in January 2021:


RootsIreland.ie (€$£)

The RootsIreland.ie 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.

Some centres 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:

DiscoverEverAfter 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 historians.

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.

IrishGraveyards' 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.

HistoricGraves is 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 500 graveyards, cemeteries and other burial grounds have been subject to the Historic Graves treatment. They are all in the Republic of Ireland.