Even with just a handful of names and dates you can take your search for your genealogy a long way. You may feel like it’s a long shot, but you can fill in the blanks of your family tree. Use these ten tips. We will show you how to find your Irish ancestry. The first few steps will feature data collection. Then we will talk about how to put that information to good use.
Begin collecting information at home. It’s a good idea to use family tree software or at least a spread sheet to enter names, birth dates and other pertinent information. Start with the statistics of your immediate family. Collect dates from the family Bible and the even the back of old photographs.
If you aren’t too sure of what the death dates are of your grandparents and great grandparents visit the cemetery. Or you could check with your local health department. They will usually present family members with death certificates for a small fee.
Listen to Stories
Take your tape recorder and go on a fact finding mission. Visit elderly relatives and share with them your plan to trace your Irish ancestry. They will most likely be happy to help by regaling your with stories they may have heard or even events they witnessed. Ask specific questions they may know the answer to like these. Are we Irish Catholics or Protestants? What county in Ireland do we come from? Where did our ancestors settle when they first came to this country?
Use the U.S. Census
Using any names you may have collected, start searching census records. Some family tree websites like Ancestry.com have ‘earn a leaf’ features that signal you when they find clues. They are automatically linked to all census records. You could peruse the census records yourself but it helps sometimes to have friendly access via a reputable company. You are looking for a surname that will help you find the right Irish parish or town that your ancestors came from.
Use the Irish Census
From 1821 the Irish government kept census records, like the U.S.every decade. Some years have been destroyed because of a fire, but lots of records are still out there. Check them out.
Irish Church Records
Tithing records, birth records and death records were all kept in local Irish churches. Trace your Irish ancestry by locating your ancestor’s parish and finding the records in the local churches. Alot of these records will depend on whether or not your ancestor was Catholic or Protestant.
Irish Property Records
After you’ve discovered the right parish check with local government offices to locate property records. Property owners and renters were all recorded in local records. You could find more information about your Irish family using their surnames.
Irish Surname Websites
Using the surnames you’ve found, search for websites that contain information about your family’s last name. You could join groups with common surnames that are also searching for Irish ancestors. These groups are pretty friendly and will gladly help you by sharing information.
National Irish Archives
Check the National Irish Archives in the Republic of Ireland. They have copies of wills, indexes, school and union registers. You could also check the National Record in London as well.
Join An Ancestry Search Group
Using online family tree software will help you connect with your Irish ancestry. Chances are there are dozens of other members of your extended family looking for the same information. And they often use sites like Ancestry.com, Family Finder and Genealogy.
Get started today finding your Irish ancestry!