But I don't know where in Ireland?


I think I hit an all time high in the number of people who read my post last week. My most popular posts always are about finding the locality in Ireland and last week was no exception with comments like the one above. Everyone seemed positive about the site, but questioned how it could help them if they didn't know the location.


Let me first suggest that if you're having difficulty with the location in Ireland, you can go back and read all of the blogs I've written over the past two and a half years. One of the reasons I moved my site was the ability to tag blogs by topic. Just go the menu bar above the blog that starts with "All Posts." Notice that there are topics, one of which is "Finding a Locality in Ireland." Click on that and you will see those blogs that I have tagged with the topic. For other topics, just go to "More" and there will be other topics. If you don't see one that covers your question, either leave a comment on the site, or email me.


Usually I hear, "I've searched everywhere and it only says Ireland." If I probe a little deeper, it usually means, I've searched everywhere online. I need to remind you that only a small percent of all records are online. Although more records are being added daily, sometimes you need to do it the old fashioned way. If the information about the locality in Ireland exists, it's likely in a record left in this country, or whatever country your ancestor emigrated to. Also, you're not likely to find the information in just one record. You need to correlate information found in multiple sources and for multiple people.


If your research question (you do have a research plan, right?) is "where in Ireland was my ancestor born," perhaps you need to break it down further. Do you have any additional corroborating detail that will help identify your ancestor in Ireland? Searching for Michael Daly, or any other common surname in Ireland, is going to be near impossible unless you have some additional information. Who were their parents, including their mother's maiden name? Do you know the names of any of the siblings? Do you have a timeline that narrows down the possible birth or immigration dates? Did your ancestor marry in the country of immigration or in Ireland? Do you know the place they first settled and have you asked yourself why they settled there? Who did they know in that location? Remember, they didn't throw a dart at a map...they likely knew someone there, either a relative or someone from their home locality in Ireland. Any or all of these questions could be part of your research plan to start.


I don't recommend that you try to jump the pond until you've answered some of these questions. Irish Ancestors can help you, however, once you have some of these answers. A couple of years ago I wrote two blogs about Irish Ancestors.


Irish Ancestors (when you know the locality)

Irish Ancestors (when you know the county)


Now I'm going to look at Irish Ancestors (JohnGrenham.com) when all you know is Ireland. Again, I want to remind you that you need to know some additional information for this to work, so go back and do your homework. This works best if you have at least one name that is a bit unusual. Moughty is one of those names, but the problem is, there are so many spellings in various records that it doesn't show up. But I can use the same example as last week (Daly) to demonstrate. The data behind this is Griffith's Valuation, published between 1847 and 1864. Although Griffith's Valuation is frequently referred to as a census substitute, it is a tax list and lists occupiers of the land. It's is the only resource we have that lists the majority of individuals we might consider "head of household" although it only lists the person responsible for the tax. Since individuals frequently leased multiple pieces of land, they could be listed numerous times. I explain this in my Quick Reference Guide on Land, Tax and Estate Records in Ireland.

Even if your ancestors left Ireland prior to 1846, this website is still important. It is likely that some members of the family (the parents or siblings) remained in Ireland. If your ancestor emigrated in the 1700s that might be a different conversation. You can check out Scots-Irish under Links and Resources for additional information.


Happy Hunting and Stay Safe!


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