Irish Birth Certificates: How to Find Them and Obtain Copies

Posted in News on 15th May 2020

In transactions that ask proof of identity like applying for a passport, a birth certificate is one of the documents that is usually submitted. As some put it, this is the first identity document of a person.

But this civil certificate is not just useful for those who need proof of identity. It can also be very helpful for family historians or those doing genealogy research.

What Details Are on Irish Birth Certificates?

This document can be a valuable source of information. It has the person’s complete legal name – first and surnames. It also states the time and date of birth.

Aside from a person’s name, sex and birthdate, the certificate indicates the place of birth. This information can be very specific, containing the house number and street or townland.

It is not just pertinent information about the child that’s in the birth certificate, though. It also contains details about his/her parents.

On the document, you can find the name of the child’s father and/or mother. Here, the mother’s full name (first name and current last name), birth surname and other surnames she used are recorded. Furthermore, the birth surname of the mother’s mother (the child’s grandmother) is on this document.

The certificate also shows other relevant information about the parents such as their marital or civil status.

It should be noted that the father’s name can be included in the certificate even if parents are not married. It is also possible to do this even if the mother is or was married to someone else. Furthermore, it is legal to enter the name of a parent without the consent of the other one (say, the mother putting the father’s name) for as long as a court order is provided.

Other details about the parents that are entered in the document are their addresses at the time of the birth, their birthdates and their occupation.

Undeniably, a birth certificate can provide a wealth of information which can help you in your research. It can give details which can point you in the right direction or where to search next, i.e., having parents’ surnames make it easier to find marriage records.

How to Obtain Copies of Irish Birth Certificates

The General Register Office is Ireland’s repository of civil records for births, deaths and marriages. This is one of the places where you can get copies of birth certificates. Alternatively, you can order at any Registrar’s office in the country.


Obtaining copies from government offices is not the best option there is. For one, it can take weeks before you would receive the documents you ordered. This processing time applies for requests made in-person, online or by post.

What is then the best way to obtain copies of birth certificates in Ireland?

Order from a company that issues copies of civil certificates. These service providers, Births Deaths Marriages (BDM) in particular, observe a 48-hour processing time (or less). For as long as you provide the right information, you can expect to receive the document in 2 days.

What’s more?

The application process is simple and hassle-free. Orders are placed online and can be accomplished in just a few minutes.

Some providers also offer the “Data Only” option. When you order this, what you’d be getting are the details contained in the certificate instead of a printed or scanned certificate. This product would suffice if you are merely gathering information for research purposes.

In summary, when you are doing genealogy research or tracing events, birth certificates can help you fill the gaps. Thankfully, civil documents in Ireland such as this one can easily be obtained with the help of companies like BDM. So, if you are in a hurry to complete your research, the best option is to order from a private company that provides copies of civil certificates.

Do you need to obtain a copy of a birth certificate for your genealogy research? Get it from us! We are the preferred civil certificates provider of many Irish citizens. Visit our website today to place an order!