“This website contains images from the NLI’s (National Library of Ireland’s) collection of Catholic parish register microfilms. The registers contain records of baptisms and marriages from the majority of Catholic parishes in Ireland and Northern Ireland up to 1880. …The start dates of the registers vary from the 1740/50s in some city parishes in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick, to the 1780/90s in counties such as Kildare, Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny. Registers for parishes along the western seaboard do not generally begin until the 1850/60s.”
“Although civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1864, records were not accurately kept for a number of years, so a cut-off date of 1880 was applied for the microfilming of registers.”
“Church registers of marriage and baptism are considered to be the single most important source for family history researchers prior to the 1901 census. In many cases, the registers contain the only surviving record of particular individuals and families.”
These records contain over 373,000 digital images from 3500 parish registers and 550 microfilm reels. The records are presented free of charge. Searches can only be made by parish but the parish records are very legible and can be scanned for family names pretty easily.