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Trying to find grandmother's birth date

  • 15-05-2024 11:50am
    Registered Users Posts: 2,317 ✭✭✭

    Hi. I'm trying to find the birth date (specifically year) for my deceased grandmother. My mam doesn't know it and was curious to find it. I signed up for the free trial for ancestry and found a lot of info for her side of the family but no birth register.

    I know there was some story about her aunt being given the money to go register the baby but she was an alcoholic and instead went to the pub which caused problems 60 years later when my grandmother went to get a passport for the first time. Whether it's true or not is another story. What other resources are there that could help? Thanks for any help.


  • Registered Users Posts: 113 ✭✭55Gem

    When approximately was she born? Do you know her parents names, or at least her mother’s maiden name. Do you know where she was born?

    This site has birth certs up to 1923, just sign in and prove you’re not a robot.

    Perhaps start with her marriage cert if before 1949.

    This has the index of births up to 1958

    You’ll need to register.

  • Registered Users Posts: 113 ✭✭55Gem

    If the story about her aunt is true than her birth may not have been registered until the year she got her passport in which case you probably need to go to the Registration Office.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,317 ✭✭✭p to the e

    My mother is convinced it was 1928 or 1929. What's funny is that her DOB is not even on her headstone. I'll try those websites but I'm thinking I might have to contact the registration office. Thanks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 113 ✭✭55Gem

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,029 ✭✭✭✭cnocbui

    A death cert usually mentions the DOB.

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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,646 Mod ✭✭✭✭pinkypinky

    You didn't/don't have to pay to register a birth. There is a fine if it's done late though.

    Nowadays a death cert mentions a date of birth but this only changed in the last 15 years or so. Prior to that, it just had your age last birthday. Both of these categories are supplied by the person registering the death and not cross-referenced, so they can be wrong, and the DOB can be left blank if unknown.

    The GRO will do a search for you if none of the website we've suggested help. However, if you want to give us her name/husband's name and the part of the country they lived, we can help further.

    Genealogy Forum Mod

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,317 ✭✭✭p to the e

    Thanks. She died August 17th, 2000 so may not have the DOB on the death cert as you mentioned. Her maiden name was Clack. It's a fairly unusual name and I've actually been able to trace the family back a long way in England. Apparently all Clacks in Ireland can trace their roots back to one man who settled in Ireland. What also make things a little bit more complicated is that she was Christened Mary Catherine (or Mary Kate) but was known as Pauline for most of her life. Even my mam doesn't know why. Her mother was born Margaret O'Toole and married a William Byrne (I've heard he died in WW1 but I don't think the dates add up) but he died so she remarried to George Clack and had my nanny around 1928/1929. She then married my grandad John Whyte. FYI there are a lot sons and daughters with the name Mary Kate and George Clack.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,939 ✭✭✭wingnut

    Check the local parish church for the baptism record, most likely the same year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 113 ✭✭55Gem

    George Clack and Margaret Byrne widow father O'Toole is on Irish Genealogy 1921 so you can get that cert for nothing at least.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,646 Mod ✭✭✭✭pinkypinky

    Ok, so few things to point out.

    The birth indexes that are on Familysearch won't have the mother's maiden name in them for the 1920s except 1929.

    Births up to 1923 are online, and there's a George Clack on born 1922 to George Clack and Margaret formerly Byrne née O'Toole in Dun Laoghaire. So we're looking at Rathdown registration district.

    Looking in the less detailed indexes for the mid-1920s. All Rathdown.

    Bridget Clack born in 1924

    Bridget Mary Clack also born 1924 (not clear if this might be a double indexing but the refs are different)

    Teresa Patricia born 1925

    Honor Rosaleen born 1927

    There is a Mary in 1929 but her mother's surname was Reddin and a Pauleen in 1930 but her mother was Graham.

    I would order your grandparents' marriage record from 1951 as a next step. People were better at putting ages on marriages by then although I wouldn't expect a DOB. Email and request the below record. It'll cost €5.

    First name(s)

    Mary C

    Last name


    Registration year


    Registration quarter & year

    Jan - Mar 1951

    Registration district







    Mary C Clack married one of these peoplePeter McManus, Laurence Finnegan, John J Whyte, Joseph Holton, Gerard Wilson, Rosaleen M Darcy





    Record set

    Irish Marriages 1845-1958


    Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records


    Civil Marriage & Divorce

    Collections from


    Genealogy Forum Mod

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  • Registered Users Posts: 669 ✭✭✭Mick Tator

    Coincidence. I remember a George Clack in Dun Laoghaire in the 1970’s. He had a window cleaning business,used to do all the premises in Georges St, a nice guy and had a daughter (maybe niece?) Pauline who would have been in her 20s then and worked in Penneys.

  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭dubred

    If you check the link posted by pinkypinky, there is another George Clack birth on the same page, whose father is a window cleaner, sadly, I think that George died shortly after.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,317 ✭✭✭p to the e

    Thanks a lot for this.

    As I mentioned above there's several George Clacks in the family. My nanny's father, grandfather and brother were all George. Similarly there's a lot of Mary Kates or Mary Catherines. The person you mentioned could have been the brother. I'll ask my mam who was the window cleaner. My mam always called him uncle Georgie and I met him a few times when I was very young. I think he's buried in the same plot as his father and mother.

    Edit: I asked my mam there and she said her uncle George (my nanny's brother) was a binman and a road sweeper on the weekends. And what was his patch? George's Street. She said that the window cleaner was George's cousin also called George.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,646 Mod ✭✭✭✭pinkypinky

    Let us know how you get on.

    Genealogy Forum Mod

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,317 ✭✭✭p to the e

    Unfortunately didn't turn up much. It's a nice thing to have but didn't get me any closer to finding a birth year. What is the word under "Age" say?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,766 ✭✭✭BowWow

    Age = "Full" - means 21 or over.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,646 Mod ✭✭✭✭pinkypinky

    As a next step, I would approach the church in Dun Laoghaire to ask for their help in locating her baptism. None of the names in the birth index are a close match.

    Genealogy Forum Mod

  • Registered Users Posts: 792 ✭✭✭cobham

    I wonder if the records survived the fire of that church in 1960's?

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 27,176 CMod ✭✭✭✭spurious

    An outside the box possibility would be old examination results (if she did any):

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,317 ✭✭✭p to the e

    I'll ask my mam if she is out that way soon. She might pop in.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 669 ✭✭✭Mick Tator

    My guess is that they survived - I was a kid, in Dun Laoghaire because racing (sailing) was on Wednesdays back then. I remember seeing stuff being carried out onto the street while the firemen were there. The fire started in the organ loft so it was at the opposite end from the vestry.