Sunday, 2 October 2011

Ancestry - Irish civil marriage searches walkthrough

I have been asked by a reader to clarify a marriage search on the new Irish civil records index on Ancestry (, to point out the difference with the FamilySearch ( hosted equivalents. So here's a quick step through guide!

a) In this case I want to search for the wedding of a Patrick Giles who I know came from Carrick-on-Suir in Tipperary. I know he married an Ann Colleton, but not where and when the marriage happened. So I start with a very basic search on his name and use Carrick as a location:

b) Clicking on Search I find an entry for a Patrick Giles in Carrick comes up first in 1922, which seems a good bet.

c) If I now click on View Record, a page returns with the crucial details that I will need to order a certificate up from the GRO in Roscommon, namely name, date and place of registration, and volume and page number. If I want to order the Mormon microfilmed version of the record, the film number is also there. Note, however, one other thing - the page number, in this case 272, is listed as an active hyperlink, with click to see others on page written after it.

d) If I click on 272, a list of names now appears, all from the same page of the GRO index book. The first name on the list, before Patrick's, is Annie Colleton - so this is almost certainly the right marriage record (though there is always the possibility it is another Patrick Giles perhaps married to a Mary Kennedy). If I click on Annie's name, the same details, volume and page number, etc, will be returned.

If I did a search and knew that I was looking for a Patrick Giles from Carrick on Suir, but not his wife's name, I would still be presented with the option of knowing that either Annie Colleton or Mary Kennedy was his wife - again incredibly useful as I can now try to narrow down my search with those names to the right candidate.

The online FamilySearch version of this database does not offer this last option, making this a major improvement. The last part of a search through FamilySearch simply shows the following:

I therefore cannot find possible spouses' names through the FamilySearch database, so I cannot confirm if this is the right entry - but I can through Ancestry.

Hope that helps!


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