When beginning your search you need
to gather together as much information as you can about your
family. Talk to parents, aunts, uncles. Grandparents, if still
alive, may be able to recount stories going back another two
generations. So for example someone aged 80, born in 1920,
would have grandparents living in Ireland at the time of the
famine! Talk to older people from the locality of interest
to you. They can be an invaluable source of information. Out
of all this information what you are hoping to find
are names, places and dates.
If your lucky a name may be sufficiently unusual within a
parish or town land you are searching to make your task a
little easier. If it turns out to be a little more common,
then rather than having just one name, say a great grandfather,
it would be better to know his wife or children's names if
possible, to help identify beyond doubt that it's the person
you are looking for.
The more specific you can be about location the better, as
it makes your search a little easier. In Ireland, the division
is into Counties, 32 in total, then parish, and finally town
land (which can be extremely small), can make your search
a lot easier.
Any type of date is useful as you
start to search records, parish records, civil or otherwise.
The date will probably relate to a birth, marriage or death.
Or perhaps date of immigration. Do not rely on the exact date
given, as the further back you go the less reliable it becomes.
Be particularly suspicious of dates ending in zero, as there
was a habit of rounding up to the nearest 10, when estimating
someone's age at a point in time!
Don't discount any piece of information
no matter how small. An occupation if known can lead to some
excellent records. For example a soldier or policeman will
be recorded with a serial number, where he was stationed and
track his career. If a family fell on hard times, they made
have ended up in a local workhouse. There are lists of those
in workhouses available.
The slightly less illustrious career of convict, can still
lead to a rich array of records in the library. There are
letters of clemency. If the sentence was transportation then
further lists give the name, age, crime and sometime the
ship on which the person was to be transported. See
Deportation & Convict
Ships for more information.
The links below represent some of the key start points for
any research of your Ancestors in Ireland.
Consisting of Births, Marriages and
Deaths from the mid 1800's.
Records of births, marriages and sometimes
deaths in a given parish.
Details of state Census every 10 years
from 1821, and others pre-dating this to the 1600's.
Two of the most valuable genealogy
sources in Ireland, Griffith's Valuation and the Tithe Applotment
locations in Dublin
An interactive map of Dublin city showing
the key locations worth visiting as part of your research
Other sources including Wills,
Emigration, School records, Deportation, Graveyards and the
New York Emigrant Savings Bank.