For those born before the introduction of civil registration in Ireland, proving they were old enough for the pension could be difficult. Proof was accepted from entries in parish records and census returns held in the Public Records Office. These searches are of the Church of Ireland registers for births, deaths and marriages and also the 19th century Irish censuses that no longer survive. You may find out not just your ancestor’s name, date of birth and address but also the names of their parents and other family members.hese search forms are mainly to test claims of applicants for the Old Age Pension.
Since civil registration was only introduced in Ireland in 1864, those applying for an old age pension in the early years after its introduction in 1909 had to rely on parish records. Since many births, marriages or deaths ended up not being recorded in the parish registers, confirmation of the applicant’s age would then be looked for in the 19th Century censuses.
The forms were filled out by staff at the Public Records Office as they searched the various sources. You can often see their notes as they found other family members and for this reason the search forms can be a pot of gold if you are researching your Church of Ireland ancestors. Very often the whole family will be listed with dates of birth and the address. Sometimes you will see the letters NF written on the form, even if there are names and dates filled in. This means that the applicant was not found, even if members of their family were.