This Irish Genealogy site offers the Irish descendant (from New York, Canada, UK, Australia...) the chance to trace their Irish family tree and search for their surname origins and the records of their Irish ancestor's birth, marriage or death.
All you know is that your ancestors came from Ireland and other than that, you know very little.
How and where
do you start? What follows is a very brief outline of how you should go about
tracing your ancestors. There are far more detailed and informative sites to which
we have provided links and suggest you make
use of. An important thing to remember is that you will have to do a lot of reading
from various sources in order to get the most out of this quest of yours. We highly
recommend spending time at your local library, as the amount of information you will get
out of books, in this case, will definitely surpass that found online.
The best place to do any initial research is at home. Your parents, grandparents,
cousins, aunts and uncles - any relatives at all, could possibly give you the first clues
that will help to solve the puzzle of your family history. Even close family friends
can often provide very useful information. First, gather together any
documents that relate in any way to your family - birth and death certificates,
photographs, family bibles, scrap books with newspaper cuttings, letters, wills, military
documents and even family legends. Then talk to your relatives and begin to document
carefully and accurately the basic facts of your close family's genealogical history i.e.
places and dates of birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial. Work backwards to
your Irish ancestors by tracing birth, marriage and death certificates in local or state
registries. Local churches and church archives may prove useful for records such as
baptism and marriage certificates.
It gets a little more complicated when trying to find out exactly where your Irish
ancestors arrived from. Passenger lists from Ireland are scarce, so passenger
arrival documentation will probably provide valuable information. The 1900 or 1920
federal census in the United States, found in federal archives, are very helpful for
pinpointing the dates of immigration.
If you have no luck as to information about which town or county in Ireland your ancestors
hailed from, concentrate on the Irish surname. In Ireland, different surnames are
more concentrated in certain areas than others. An invaluable source of information
can be found in the form of microfilms of Irish records in the Church of Jesus Christ of
the Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City. These microfilms are not online, but many of them
are reproduced and held in various LDS Family History Centers around the world. You
can arrange to have copies of these sent to you. Don't forget that many libraries
and genealogical societies could also be very useful in your research.
Once you have established the parish or village in which your ancestors in Ireland lived,
and the approximate date, you can then make use of the National Archives in Dublin.
They have set out certain guidelines as to where to start your search:
If your ancestors are from the North of Ireland, the Public Record Office of Northern
Ireland is the place for you to go and do some digging.
Once you have gathered certain essential details, head out to the local parish of your
ancestors, chat to the priest, the locals and visit the graveyard. Who knows you
might bump into someone with a strong family resemblance!