Emerald Ancestors

This website specialises in Northern Ireland genealogy and has an online database that contains birth, marriage, death, and census records for counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone. My experience of using it tends to be confined to Co. Londonderry and parts of Co. Antrim.

I use it mainly for as an index to civil marriages. Initially, there is a free search of the marriage index which will provide you with the year of a marriage, the full name of the person named in the search, the first name of their spouse and the county where the marriage took place. For a fee, you will be able to search a fuller version of the marriage index that will tell you the full names of the bride and groom, the exact date of the marriage and where the marriage took place. However, if you want more details about a marriage you will have request a lookup, pay a further fee, and Emerald Ancestors will email you a typed copy of the entry in the marriage register. See example of a search for a marriage below.

Alternatively, this index will provide you with sufficient information to enable you to obtain a verification of a marriage at one of the local registration offices within the county. Because the fuller version of the index identifies the church it is often possible to look up a marriage in a church register.

Example of a search for the marriage of William McAfee and Elizabeth Thompson.

Note - to obtain the info. below you must pay a fee.


Click on "view details" and the results are shown below. Then click on "More Details".

You can then request a lookup and, for a further fee, Emerald Ancestors will send you details of the marriage. Note that the information above is sufficient for you to obtain an official certificate or a verification from the GRO in Belfast. Click here to see the official marriage certificate for the above marriage which was obtained from GRO, Belfast.

With regards to births the Emerald Ancestors database is less comprehensive. However, more data on births are being added to the site periodically.  As far as deaths are concerned I found that most of the deaths on the site were probate deaths. Note also that the marriage index is missing a small number of marriages. I am aware of some marriages that took place in Ballymoney Registry Office are missing from the Emerald Ancestors index. There are also some missing from the registrar's districts of Articlave 1885-1922, Bellaghy 1864-1922, Kilrea 1902-1922, Maghera 1864-1922 and Portstewart 1899-1922 in Co. Londonderry.

Copyright 2014 W. Macafee.