Our unique resources – an overview of the wealth of material
Since the Society was founded in 1936 it has been building up its library of books and archives relevant to Irish genealogy. The core of the collection of books was first gathered about a century ago by our founder and renowned Irish genealogist Fr. Wallace Clare and today the library and archive is recognised worldwide as the most important collection of material on Irish genealogy held in private hands.
Our online public access collection: In addition to our valuable book and manuscript collection, we have a growing number of resources available on this website that all researchers can take advantage of. Typically, these resources represent the hard work of our members, but some are simply donated to us by researchers who wish their work to be available to wider numbers of family historians.
Currently, the following research materials are held here on the website: (Not all of these links are live yet.)
- The IGRS Early Irish Marriage Finder
- The Irish in Spain
- Drumcondra civil parish, Co Meath: an 1871 census fragment
- Elphin Diocesan Census 1749, Indexes
Our book collection includes hundreds of published studies of families, pedigrees, family trees and surname histories. There are also guides on tracing Irish ancestry and descriptions of source material; an extensive number of county and town trade and street directories, some dating back to the eighteenth century; county, town, diocesan and parochial histories; a set of the Reports of the Keeper of the Public Records in Ireland 1882-1936; journals from many societies relevant to Irish genealogy; published gravestone inscriptions for the Irish from around the globe; histories of Irish communities which settled overseas. A PDF catalogue of our book collection will be added to the Members Area very soon.
Our manuscript collection includes material compiled from records held at the Public Record Office of Ireland before the great conflagration of 1922. For instance, the Hussey-Walsh collection contains references to over 100,000 Irish people and includes notes and abstracts from wills, chancery and exchequer bills, decrees, pleadings; also parish records and deeds and pedigrees relating to the Hussey and Walsh families from across Ireland and many other related and associated families. The vast majority of surnames in the Hussey-Walsh collection are not Hussey or Walsh. Below is a link to the list for the Hussey-Walsh collection. The surname index can be found in the Members Area along with many other lists and indexes to our manuscript collections.
Briefly, amongst the other collections of manuscripts are to be found copies and abstracts of wills, deeds, court records and parish records (particularly parishes from the Co. Cork area); notes and pedigrees on the Irish in Spain and South America; biographical notices from newspapers; card indexes to information noted on the Royal Irish Constabulary, customs men, north of Ireland families, Irish in Canada; information collected on officers of the Irish Brigades in the service of France in the 17th and 18th centuries; gravestone inscriptions; and thousands of files, notes and family trees submitted by members about their families and their research. There really is something for everyone!