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Irish Genealogical Society International

Search in Ireland

Once you have found your ancestor’s townland or at least the county, you are ready for Irish research.  You have a good start on your research and now it's time to take the next step - or actually "jump" - across the Pond to Ireland where you will want to continue your research. If you are researching at home or planning a research trip to Ireland, it is important to be organized.  Use this section to look into important resources.
Place of origin (within Ireland)
Finding the place of origin for your Irish ancestors likely will be your most difficult family history challenge. Did you "jump" there without going through the Start Here and New Home pages? You MUST do your homework! Unfortunately, there is no website or book that you can check to see where your ancestors lived before they left the Olde Sod.
If you have done your homework (gold star!), check out the following:
Irish given names
Bridget or Bridie? O'Shea or Shea? It seems like Irish names are purposely recorded to confuse us.  The Irish Names article points out that given names in Ireland may be in English, Gaelic or Latin.  It is important to know the various forms a name may have taken and the ways a given name may have been recorded. It may have been recorded in Latin in a church record. A person may have decided to use either the English or Gaelic version of their name at various times of their life.
Irish jurisdictions/maps
Confused about provinces, counties, baronies, civil parishes (which are different from Church of Ireland parishes and Roman Catholic parishes!), dioceses, townlands, Poor Law Unions, etc.? We can help!
Irish records 
The major Irish records contain valuable genealogical information. Recognizing key essential genealogical records related to Irish family and knowing how to use them helps direct your research.
The article includes information for:
  • Census and census substitutes
  • Name list
  • Church records
  • Civil registrations
  • Land records
  • Military records
Emigration data
Different groups emigrated at different times. Understanding the historical context of our ancestors lives is an important part of family history.  Included is information about migration in the 18th and 19th centuries from Ireland to America. 
Irish history relative to genealogy
Irish Americans likely are related in some ways to several major people groups. This article will help you place your roots in the historical context of groups such as the Gaelic Irish (500-600 BCE) to the Vikings and Normans down to the Ulster Scots (1600s) and beyond. Want to learn more? Check out the bibliography.
To enhance your learning, we have created a page of valuable websites, articles of interest, blogs, podcasts, Facebook groups, videos and a bookshelf.  Check it out here: Search in Ireland - Links.