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October is Family History Month

Final Dinner at St. George's Market, Belfast 2018

October is typically the time that I am in Ireland with my research group. According to my calendar, I should be leaving tomorrow! As you probably know, the trip was postponed and I'll be taking two groups in in May and one in October. If you are interested (or know of someone who might be) please share the information which you can find here. If you can post the information to your Society website or Facebook page that would be helpful as well.

Since I'm going to be here for the month, I've got plenty to do. I've been working on the consultations for those traveling with me in 2022. I want to get them back to everyone so they can be better prepared for their research in Ireland. Compared to when I began my Irish research, there are so many resources available online today so if you're planning to research in Ireland, you don't want to spend time in Ireland looking at material you could review online prior to your trip.

As you focus on your research, first (and most important) you need a Plan. Identify your research question, determine what you already know, and identify the resources that might provide the answer to your question. Here's a link to a blog on creating a research plan. If your research question relates to records in Ireland (and you know the locality of your ancestor) here are some places you should check. Rather than repeat what I've written in the past, I'm going to link you to previous blogs.

  • This site contains the civil registrations for all of Ireland until 1921, and for the Republic of Ireland after 1922. One update is that Death records are currently available from 1871...still missing are records from 1864-1870. This site is a must for all records after 1864 (births, deaths, marriages) and for Non-Catholic marriages from 1845. The site also contains Church Records for Kerry, parts of Cork and Dublin City. The site is Free.

  • Church records for various denominations for most of Ireland. Not all churches or dates are included (new records are added regularly) but a great place to start. This is a subscription site, however you can subscribe for a day, a month, 6 months or a year.

  • National Library of Ireland Lots here including the images of Roman Catholic records. Although most Roman Catholic Churches are included, not every church allowed their registers to be filmed. The Library did not index the images, but indexes were created by Ancestry and Findmypast. They are Free on Findmypast, and part of your World subscription on Ancestry. When preparing for your research trip, the Catalog and the Sources database are excellent resources to find information on the locality, including local histories and manuscripts. The site is Free.

  • National Archives of Ireland This link includes a video on the various sources available at the National Archives. There is a second blog on just the Census. This site is Free.

  • The Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) This office was created after the partition of Ireland and after the Fire at the Public Records Office in Dublin (now the National Archives). Although it's primary records are for the six counties of Northern Ireland (Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone), it also has records for the three additional counties of Ulster that became part of the Republic (Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan) and some of the border counties. One of the excellent online resources is the Revision Books for the six counties. (The Revision Books for the Republic are not online and must be reviewed at the Valuation Office in Dublin.) This site is Free

  • AskAboutIreland One of the most important resources for mid-19th century research in Ireland is Griffith's Valuation. I've been surprised that many of those registered for one of the research trips have not used this resource. Because of the destruction of the census records prior to 1901, Griffith's is the only listing of where people lived during the period of 1846-1864 (each county was done at a different time during this period). Griffith's is frequently referred to as a Census Substitute since we don't have census records, but it's important to understand that it is a tax list. Most of our ancestors were occupiers and leased their land and/or house. They were still required to pay the tax and therefore the person signing the lease was listed. If you are not familiar with this resource, you can click on "More" on the top menu that begins with "All Posts" for a drop down menu and select Griffith's Valuation to learn about this important resource. This is a Free site, but it is also available at Ancestry and Findmypast.

I'll touch on some additional online resources next week.

Happy Hunting and Stay Safe!

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