Trace your ancestor – simple guide with links
Photo: National Library of Ireland
Tithe Applotment Books – 1823-1837
Property Valuation Records showing occupiers, amount of land held and amount to be paid. The books were compiled on a date between 1823 and 1837 to determine the amount of tithes which land occupiers should pay to the Established Church. The originals are in the National Archives. There is an index. Not available for all parishes.
Parish Records – Mostly 1830 onwards but some earlier and some later
The local Parish Priest kept records of baptisms, marriages and in some cases burials. These records date mainly from the early to mid 1800s, some later. The National Library holds microfilm copies of most Roman Catholic parishes in Ireland up to 1880 and in some case to 1900. The microfilms are on line (Free): Website: http://registers.nli.ie/
The Church of Ireland (Anglican) records commence much earlier than the Catholic registers, mid 1700s, and are more complete. Unfortunately two thirds were destroyed in a fire in the Public records Office in 1922. The National Archives hold registers or microfilm copies for the Church of Ireland up to 1871. The Representative Church Body Library also holds some registers and microfilm copies.
Local County centres have indexed most of the parish registers and provide a research service for a fee. Searchable database, all Ireland (Pay site): https://rootsireland.ie/
Griffith’s Valuation 1848-1864
Property Valuation Records showing occupiers of land, the name of the immediate landlord, the amount and value of the property held. Compiled from 1848 to 1864 under the supervision of Richard Griffith.
Civil Registration 1864 onwards
Civil (State) Registration of all Births, deaths and Marriages commenced in Ireland in 1864. Non Catholic marriages were recorded from 1845. The central repository is at Joyce House, Dublin, but each county has a local registrar. Fees are charged for searches and copies. Searches are made by you in the indexes. Website: https://www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/
Census 1901 and 1911 and earlier portions
A census of the Irish population was taken every 10 years from 1821 until 1911. The earlier census have not survived. Manuscript returns for each household survive for 1901 and 1911. There are very small portions of 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851 surviving. The 1901, 1911 censuses and other materials are available in the National Archives. Website : http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/
Calendars of Wills and Administrations 1858 – 1920: http://www.willcalendars.nationalarchives.ie
Property registration Registry of Deeds (Pay Site): http://www.prai.ie/
Valuation Office books 1824-1856: http://census.nationalarchives.ie/search/vob/home.jsp
Prerogative and diocesan copies of some wills and indexes to others, 1596 – 1858: http://census.nationalarchives.ie/search/dw/home.jsp
Diocesan and Prerogative Marriage Licence Bonds Indexes, 1623 – 1866: http://census.nationalarchives.ie/search/dm/home.jsp
Catholic Qualification Rolls, 1700 – 1845: http://census.nationalarchives.ie/search/cq/home.jsp
Records of the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen, 1860 – 1921: http://census.nationalarchives.ie/search/cl/home.jsp
Land Owners in Ireland 1876: http://www.failteromhat.com/lo1876.htm
Irish Flax Growers, 1796: http://www.failteromhat.com/flax1796.php
Pigot & Co’s Provincial Directory of Ireland 1824: http://www.failteromhat.com/pigot.php
Slater’s Commercial Directory of Ireland 1846: http://www.failteromhat.com/slater.php
Irish Newspapers Archive (Pay Site) https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/
MAPS AND LOCATION AIDS
Ordnance Survey Maps – modern and 1800s: http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/
Index to Townlands, 1901: http://www.irishancestors.ie/search/townlands/index.php
Catholic parishes: http://www.swilson.info/rcparishlink.php
Civil Registration Districts: http://www.swilson.info/regdist.php
Townland database: http://www.thecore.com/seanruad/
Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837: http://www.libraryireland.com/topog/index.php
Trade and Social Directories, Newspapers, Estate Records, Registry of Deeds, Wills
Passenger Lists, Monumental (Gravestone) Inscriptions, Family Histories.
Repositories and Libraries
National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin 2: http://www.nli.ie/en/homepage.aspx
National Archives, Bishop Street, Dublin 8: http://www.nationalarchives.ie/
The General Register Office family research facility at Werburgh Street, Dublin 2.
Representative Church Body Library (Church of Ireland), Braemor Park, Rathgar, Dublin 14.
Presbyterian Historical Society, Church House, Fisherwick Place, Belfast BT1 69W.
Valuation Office, Block 2, Irish Life Centre, Abbey Street Lower, Dublin 1. D01 E9X0: http://www.valoff.ie/en/Archives_Genealogy_Public_Office/
National Library Genealogy Advisory Service
The NLI’s free Genealogy Advisory Service is an ideal starting point for those beginning family history research as well as more experienced researchers. No appointment is necessary.
Opening hours: Monday – Wednesday : 9.30am – 5pm Thursday – Friday : 9.30am – 4.45pm
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +353 1 6030 256
Genealogy Research Services
Professional Genealogical Researchers: Most counties have a genealogical centre which provides a service for a fee. The National Library and the National Archives both have lists of professional genealogists on their websites. Also at www.accreditedgenealogists.ie
The starting point for your search is your family and other local records. Obtain as much information from your family and friends as possible. If you are from outside Ireland you need to exhaust the sources in your own country before commencing a search in Ireland. Explore the records of Naturalisation, Census Records, Immigration records, burial records, obituaries etc. Start from your generation and work backwards. In Irish genealogy it is difficult to get back before 1830 due to the lack of records.