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Access to records

Access to records

Access to records in the RCB Library, National Archives and PRONI is straightforward but it is mutually beneficial if potential researchers contact the repository in advance to check on opening hours and conditions of admittance. However, repositories will not usually undertake genealogical research on behalf of enquirers.

Records in the custody of local clergy may be more difficult to see and the following procedure is recommended:

1. Write to the relevant clergy contact detailing the information which you need and ask if s/he will perform a search, for the relevant fee (see below). It would be prudent to offer some payment in advance. (Names and addresses of local clergy may be had from the online Church of Ireland Directory, or the printed edition published annually copies of which may be ordered through the website at this link).

2. Clergy are not required to conduct searches on behalf of researchers, but they are required to make the registers available to researchers or their agents: this is a statutory requirement under the terms of the Constitution of the Church of Ireland, and relevant national archives and public records legislation in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

If you would wish to conduct a local search yourself you should write to the local clergy contact to make an appointment. It is wise to confirm that appointment by telephone before travelling as many clergy work alone and occasionally pastoral emergencies may cause the last minute cancellation of your appointment.

The clergy are required to supervise your search and there is a fee for this activity.


Certified copies of entries in parish registers can be issued by local clergy or by the certifying officers in the repositories.
Photocopying of parish records is forbidden on all occasions.
Photography from parish records may only be undertaken with the written permission of the owner of the copyright. Further information on copyright matters may be had from the RCB Library.

Fees for searches in registers

Registers of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials
The following scale of fees was approved by the General Synod in 2002:–
Searches up to one hour €20 / Stg£12
For each additional hour or part of an hour €20 / Stg£12
Each additional certified copy €10 / Stg£6
Reduced fees are applicable for searches and the issue of certified copies for social insurance/national insurance purposes – see Church of Ireland Directory 2015 p. 265–6.

Searches in Civil Marriage Registers

The statutory fees prescribed by the state are as follows:–
Particular search €1.90 / Stg£4 for five year span
General search €15.24 / Stg£19
Certified copy €6.98 / Stg£9
Reduced fees are applicable for certified copies issued for certain statutory purposes – see Church of Ireland Directory 2015 pp 265–6..

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