A Sample of Searching in Ireland
Our topic is - Locating and using vital records--what type of records you'll
find, where to look for them, how to use them, how to cite the
I began at the point where all the seeker knows is: "My ancestor is
Subject: Garvey Gen.
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 21:54:37 -0500 (EST)
Wondered if I might ask some advice. My mother's grandparents were
and Mary Garvey. According to US census came to Ohio in 1860 from
That's all we know. Death certificates don't mention birthplaces,
anything. Any advice on where to start? Did most Garveys come from
Clare? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
Subject: Irish ancestor search
Date: 24 Nov 1997 16:05:25 -0800
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (P Dominie)
A novice genealogist is looking for guidance in starting a search for
Irish ancestors. All I know at this point is the my great-great
grandparents , Daniel and Margaret Toomey (b. 1816 and 1821) came to
upper New York State from Ireland, arriving here in 1878. I've been
watching postings, and get the feeling it is going to be next to
impossible to track them without better dates. Any help to steer me in
the right direction would be appreciated.
My opening advice: Do not begin in Ireland.
- Start with what you know or can find out where you are located. You
need a county of origin at least to start in Ireland.
- Collect all certificates - marriage & death of migrants, birth
certificates of children in new country. Read them carefully for all
information. Note order of first names of children if looking at 19c
The Irish named their children according to this pattern. It can be a
guide when working out a possible father and mother.
The 1st son was usually named after the father's father
The 2nd son was usually named after the mother's father
The 3rd son was usually named after the father
The 4th son was usually named after the father's eldest brother
The 5th son was usually named after the mother's eldest brother
The 1st daughter was usually named after the mother's mother
The 2nd daughter was usually named after the father's mohter
The 3rd daughter was usually named after the mother
The 4th daughter was usually named after the mother's eldest sister
The 5th daughter was usually named after the father's eldest sister
- Seek shipping records for date of arrival and any other details
listed - age, place of birth, other family members on board. As well
as records in your national archives For those who do not know about
it, there is a separate list group for finding ship passenger lists,
To subscribe, send message to
In the message area , put the word SUBSCRIBE
Leave the Subject area blank
- Look for land records - grants, titles in new country.
- Directories can be useful.
- Parish registers in new country if official records fail.
With luck you will turn up at least a county of origin, at best a
parish or townland in the county of origin.
If this still yields no information on the origin of your family all
is not lost.
- Work out a likely date of emigration from Ireland and likely date
of birth for your family migrants.
- Look for lists of names which will show you the distribution of
your surname in Ireland. The "Genealogical Research Directory" which
apears annually will show you who else is researching your surname and
where. Then you can follow up your name in the most likely counties.
You can start with current phone books, but old ones might be better.
Or an index to 1901 census of Ireland.
You can look for lists of names at the time of the migration of your
family. For example, if they migrated around 1857 you could try your
likely counties in the Griffiths Valuation. If earlier you could try
the Tithe Appointment Books for likely counties. Both these sources
have been microflmed by the Church of the Latter Day Saints and may be
requested for reading at one of their Family History Centres
world-wide. There are other places to look, depending on the era.
- Start with books and articles written for the absolute beginner in
The Church of the Latter Day Saints has published a booklet:
"Ireland, Research Outline". Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints. 1993. It can be obtained by writing to the Publications
Department, Family History, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake
City, UT 84150.
Another useful publication is by an Australian genealogist:
Janet Reakes, "Help! My Ancestorıs Irish and Iım Stuck!!!!" , 1997.
Australiaıs Immigration and Family History Centre, P.O. Box 937,
Hervey Bay, Queensland 4655, Australia. At the time of writing the
cost was AUS$18.00 p&p.
or Tony McCarthy, "The Needle in the Haystack", in Issue Number 2 of
1995, page 17 of Irish Roots magazine (Belgrave Publications, Cork,
editor: Tony McCarthy).
The same magazine has a series of eight articles by Sean Murphy in
1995-6, called "A Primer in Irish Genealogy" which deals in great
details with first steps and followups.
- Collect websites, join mailing lists and newsgroups and absorb all
you can about Irish genealogy. E-mail groups: GENIRE, IRELAND, FIANNA.
To join send an e-mail to:
Just write the word subscribe in the message. No subject or signature.
You will receive a response with how to proceed from that point.
You have found the county and have a townland or two where your
surname occurs. Depending on the date you can check the following for
the name of your ancestor:
Census records for 1901 & 1911.
Civil registration after After 1 April 1845 for non-Catholics and
after 1 January 1864 for Catholics.
Griffithıs Primary Valuation between 1848 and 1864;
Tithe Appointment Books between 1823 and 1837.
Parish registers pre-civil registration.
Some of these have been filmed by the Church of the Latter Day sSaints
and are catalogued in their Family History Libraries world-wide. Where
the index or record has been filmed, one can order it to be read at
the Centre. Here are film numbers for the indexes:
Civil Registration:1865-1921 LDS Films 101 041-101 079
Northern Ireland:1921-958 LDS Films 231 962 - 231 969
Southern Ireland:1921-1958 LDS Films 101 229 - 101 240
The Foreign Register of births, deaths, and marriages 1864-1923 LDS
Film 101 764
You may have to write for certificates of photocopies or further
information from Ireland.
Addresses can be found on The addresses page
check the page for each county
You may need to look at a map to find the places you have located.
This is a website with links:
Or the IreAtlas site will give you information on townlands and
It is likely that none of the records mentioned so far will have the
information you seek. There are still records to check:
Estate records, military records, deeds and tax records, probate
records, compiled family histories, pedigrees and biographies.
The LDS Family History Centre catalogs will help you locate these.
Also look at "Irish Roots Magazine" who runs regular columns on lesser
used sources in Ireland such as records of evicted tenants, tithe
defaulters and so on.
The estate records in the two major Dublin repositories, The National
Archives and The National Library, are not catalogued in detail. The
only comprehensive guide is given in Richard Hayes' "Manuscript
Sources for the Study of Irish Civilization" and its supplements,
copies of which can be found in the National Library and National
Archives. Detailed maps were made of many estates in Ireland. Most of
these maps are among the thousands of items listed in "Manuscript
Sources for the Study of Irish Civilization" by Richard Hayes.
"Manuscript Sources..." (aka Hayes index) has about 15 volumes and was
an expensive series of books to buy. You will only find them in a
large library. Many of the items indexed have never been microfilmed
and are only available in Dublin in the National Archives, National
Library Manuscripts Department, etc.
Two publications: O.H. Hussey de Burgh's "The Landowners of Ireland"
provides a guide to the major landowners, the size of their holdings,
and where in the country they were situated. "Landowners in Ireland:
Return of owners of land of one acre and upwards ...," (London: 1876)
Once you have a county, then you need to find a townland, parish etc.
Once you know the county you can also go straight to a heritage
centre and pay a lot of money for them to do the work.
This site tells you this and more
Most of your Irish research must be done offline, but some useful
online sites include:
Sites like Cyndi Howe's on the internet
will tell you how.
You need to be prepared that it will be slow, but you will learn a lot
- and must - along the way because research in Ireland is very
Other Online sources:
& similar for each county
The following links start up telnet sessions from your computer
If your browser is properly configured to start a telnet session.
If you do not have telnet, there is a connection to a public access
Hytelnet software at
Note: some Library servers have limited or restricted hours of access.
|telnet://darcy.ucg.ie||University College Galway|
|telnet://library.tcd.ie||Trinity College, Dublin|
|telnet://library.ucd.ie||University College Dublin|
|telnet://library.ucc.ie||University College Cork|
|telnet://library.dcu.ie||Dublin City University|
|telnet://library.ul.ie||University of Limerick|
|telnet://library.may.ie||St.Patrick's College Maynooth|
|telnet://18.104.22.168||The Linen Hall Library, Belfast|
|telnet://lib.qub.ac.uk||The Queen's University Belfast|
|telnet://library.ulst.ac.uk||University of Ulster|
Unfortunately there are as yet very few resources actually searchable
online. Find links to these at:
Ireland, Antrim Co. 1851 Census
Ireland, Limerick, Collectors of Poll Tax, 1660-61
Ireland, Limerick, Directory -- 1769, 1788
Ireland, Ship Passenger Lists, 1803 -- another list found here
Ireland, Ship Passenger Lists to Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Ireland, Ulster Genealogical & Historical Guild, Subscribers'
Beagh Co. Galway Assorted cemetary/parish records
Australian Transportation Records database Easier to use on-line
in the National Archives.
Griffith's Valuation for Brosna & Castleisland, Co. Kerry, 1852
Passenger list of the 'Abysssinia' from Liverpool, 1872
Compilation of pre-1845 Irish immigrants to North America
Contents lists for Albert Casey's O'Kief, Coshe Nang Records for
The Irish in 19th-century Portsmouth, NH
Irish Emigrants (Andrew Morris) A very large listing
Irish Genealogical Society, Minnesota Assorted resources
Leitrim-Roscommon townland database
The National Archives of Ireland Genealogy Page is at:
GRENHAM'S Irish Recordfinder
GRENHAM'S Irish Recordfinder is an expert system for genealogical
research on Irish records. It is designed to allow someone with no
knowledge of genealogical records to obtain a detailed custom-made
analysis of all Irish records relevant in researching a particular
A useful site for Irish research:
When all else fails:
If you are looking for a professional researcher to help you, then the
correct place to look is in the soc.genealogy.marketplace newsgroup.
You might also try sending the following message:
Subject: *Leave Blank*
Submitted by M.M.Brandl
To Co Clare
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