March 2, 2022
March is Irish Heritage Month! In honor of this, let’s look at some resources you can use when searching for your Irish ancestors. A quick reminder: try not to place too much importance on the precise spelling of surnames. Variations can occur in different records as many people were illiterate in years past, and Irish was the native language for a very long time. Also of note: loyalty to a place of origin is important. Most records are located where people were living at the time, so you need to know the parish or town.
Here are a few resources you can use to get started and what types of records they have:
- Irish Genealogy.ie – Key church and civil records
- The National Archives – A portal for the records of this period, including the 1901 and 1911 census
- FindMyPast – Military, land, vital records, and many more
- Irish Ancestors – John Grenham’s site for surnames, places, and other helpful information
- Ancestry Library Edition – Vital records
- FamilySearch.org – Vital records, digitized microfilm for various locations
- Church of Ireland – Parish Registers
- National Library of Ireland – Catholic Parish Records
There are many more, but these will get you started. When I started my Irish research, there were not as many wonderful websites as there are now. Of course, not everything is online, but these websites and others can point you in the right direction. You can also check the Library’s online catalog for books and more to help you in your research.
What family stories have you found about your Irish ancestors? What websites have helped you in your Irish research? Let us know in the comments below.
Midwest Genealogy Center
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