Thursday, February 18, 2016

U.S. Consular Registration Records, 1907-1925

The Ancestry databases U.S., Consular Registration Certificates, 1907 - 1918 and U.S., Consular Registration Applications, 1916-1925 contain records pertaining to "naturalized or native born American citizens who intended to stay in a foreign country for a protracted length of time."[1] Records from these databases have a lot of information about the individual who was requesting to stay outside the United States. 

There are almost 800 entries across the two databases for people who were born in Ireland, became a citizen of the United States when they moved there, and then were required to file registration with a U.S. consulate when they resided outside the United States. In almost all examples for Irish born people, their county or area of birth was recorded. The majority of these people moved back to Ireland for various lengths of time but some also moved to Great Britain.

Denis Barry was born in Sunday's Well, County Cork on 15 May 1860.[2] At some point in his life he moved to the U.S., naturalized, and lived in Washington D.C. He arrived back in Ireland in 1900 to reside at 17 Friars Avenue, Cork City. His reason for returning to Ireland was 'health failing and it is my intentions [sic] to return to the United States, if health improves." His Certificate of Registration of an American Citizen is dated 18 September 1907. A search of the 1901 Census of Ireland shows Denis Barry residing with his two unmarried sisters at the address he provided.[3]

Page from Consular Registration Certificate of Denis Barry, 1907

If you find a person of interest in these databases, be sure to look at the pages either side of the relevant image as there will usually be more than one page in a person's application. Typically, a witness who believed the applicant's statements to be correct is also listed on the document. In the case of Denis Barry, William Ellis of 11 Douglas St, Cork, verified the information provided by Barry. Other records from applicants provide the name of a spouse, any children and all their birth places, if the applicant was married and had children. 

These databases are an interesting example that shows a small subset of Irish people who returned to Ireland from the United States, either temporarily or permanently. Access them at:

U.S., Consular Registration Certificates, 1907-1918
U.S., Consular Registration Applications, 1916-1925

[1], U.S., Consular Registration Certificates, 1907 - 1918. 2013. accessed 7 February 2016.
[2] United States, Department of State, Bureau of Citizenship, Certificate of Registration of an American Citizen, Number 48774, Denis Barry, dated 1 September 1907; digital image, U.S., Consular Registration Certificates, 1907 - 1918, Ancestry (, accessed 6 February 2016.
[3] The National Archives of Ireland, 1901 Census of Ireland, County Cork, DED Cork Urban No. 4, Townland/Street Friars Avenue or Granbraker Road, house 4, Form A , Denis Barry; digital image, The National Archives of Ireland, accessed 7 February 2016.

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