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How to research your Irish ancestors – our ‘wiki’ will help

The pointless and quite reprehensible destruction by explosion and fire of the Public Record Office of Ireland during the Irish civil war forever robbed Ireland, its people and diaspora of many of the building blocks of genealogy. As a result, building a family tree can be difficult for the Irish.

However, contrary to popular belief, it is far from impossible. First off, none of the civil records of birth, death & marriage (which stretch back as far as 1845) were affected. Nor were the parish records of the Christian churches other than the Church of Ireland – and even a third of those have survived. For the loss of the nineteenth century census records genealogists have come successfully to rely upon the early nineteenth century tithe applotment books and mid-nineteenth century Griffith’s Valuation. In recent times, the entire Irish 1901 and 1911 census returns have been digitised and indexed and placed online, creating a free to access resource noting data about very many Irish people born as far back as the early 1800s.

But since 1922 many other sources have been discovered and made available to Irish genealogists. The purpose of this wiki is to enable researchers to find the information they require and to equip themselves with the knowledge they need to better understand the nature of such sources, the history of why they were created and how they might assist in genealogical research.

This wiki will not be something that is static. It will be constantly evolving and growing as it is added to from the wealth of knowledge of everyone from the Society’s members across to the leading experts in their field. Happy hunting!

Our Unique Resources menu                                       Page last updated 26 August 2014


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