Find your ancestors in Institutions & Organisations

Among our institutional records are those of the prisons & courts.

Legal records, whether criminal or civil, are a key source for tracing Irish family history because they record such a huge volume of prisoners, their relatives, and in many cases their victims. This collection is compiled from the records housed in the National Archives of Ireland and covers most surviving records for prisons and court records in the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland. All names appearing in these records (prisoners, defendants, claimants, relatives and victims) can be searched for also a specific time frame, or court.

There are 2.7 million records to be found in the Prison Registers with information on over 3.5 million people. In many cases a physical description of the prisoner is recorded.

Our Petty Sessions order books contain the names of over 15.2 million complainants and defendants. We are continuously adding to these records. A full list of the courts in this record set is available on the Petty Sessions information page