A Marriage Certificate: A Key to Finding Irish Birth Records

We have received many queries from applicants in the UK and the US who are trying to locate the birth records of their Irish parents and grandparents to apply for Irish citizenship and hence an Irish passport.

Many applicants have sparse details about their Irish relatives but we recommend that people seek out the marriage certificate of their Irish relatives BEFORE applying for a Irish Birth Certificate for that long forgotten Irish ancestor.

A Marriage Certificate – from Ireland or indeed any country – can be a source of valuable information when trying to track down Irish relatives.

Firstly the certificate may give the date of birth of the Bride and Groom, a piece of information many applicants lack.

Alternatively the Marriage Certificate may give the AGE of the Bride and Groom on their wedding date, allowing the searcher to estimate a relatives year of birth.

In some cases the marriage certificate will state both parties to the marriage were FULL AGE at the date of marriage.

This means both parties were 16 years of age or over on their wedding day, which means you can estimate a rough year of birth so you discount any year of birth that makes them less than 16 on the year of the wedding date.

The marriage certificate will also provide the name of the Father of the Bride and Groom AND their Father’s occupation.

The occupation of a father can be very useful when trying to sift through birth entries that are near matches to a sought birth record.

Some later marriage certificates MAY include the names of the mother’s of the wedding couple.

Finally some marriage certificates will state where the Bride and Groom were born in Ireland which is another vital jigsaw piece when tracing an Irish ancestor.