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Irish Genealogical Society International

IGSI - New Home - Links

Please note that the links in this section are specific to the New Home topic.
TIP:  If you are searching for a word or phrase in a document or on a web page, hold down the Control (ctrl) key and f key at the same time.  A box will pop-up to enter the word or phrase.  The shortcut on Apple computers is Command f key at the same time.
This page will help you with resources for your family history research.  Organization is an important tool in the research process.  There are two excellent Blog Posts of Interest about using timelines and creating a research plan.  Also in this section, is Lisa Louise Cook’s post about using the FAN club principle to overcome brick walls.
  • Websites and Articles of Interest
Here are some suggested websites and articles.  Make sure you also refer to the More Help section for even more links.
  • Irish Genealogical Society International - The IGSI website has a wealth of information for those researching their Irish Ancestors.  The Septs journal is a benefit for members only.  Issues from June 1980 are available online and can be searched by date and table of contents, and view issues by theme.  Another member benefit is the Ginealas eNewsletter which is available from December 2008.  If you are not a member, we encourage you to join.
  • The Septs January 2009, Volume 30, Number 1 – The theme was Societies and Organizations.  This journal issue is a great resource for different Irish societies in the U.S., including ideas for where you might find records and fraternal organization websites.  Past issues by year are accessed through the “Content” link or you can search for a topic from the “Issues by Theme” link.  
  • Genealogy Databases
  • FamilySearch – This is a free website and you will need to create an account.  Make sure you are signed in to access the collections.  “Discover your family’s story through historical records.  With our collection of billions of records, you can piece together your ancestors’ history and bring their stories to life.”
  • Findmypast – ($) This is a paid site but a free 2 week trial is available.  Here is the link for their free collections:  Findmypast Free Collections – Note you will need to register.  Included for free:  Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms, newspapers, vital records, US and Canadian census records, travel and migration records and Irish family history records.  See Lisa Lisson’s suggestions for getting the most out of a free trial which is listed in the Articles of Interest in this section.
  • – ($) This is a paid website.  There is the option for a free account or a 2 week trial.  The link for the free account is at Free Account.  With a free account, you can build a tree, use the Ancestry messaging service, attach the indexes that are free but you are unable see images or attach them to your tree.  This link is a list of the Free Index Collections on Ancestry.  If you scroll down past the search box, there is an alphabetical list of over 1000 free index collections. 
  • MyHeritage – ($) While this is a paid site, there is the option for a free 2 week trial.  There currently are over 10 billion records, tree building tools, and a powerful mobile app. Included are amazing tools for pictures which include colorizing, enhancing, repairing, and animating. 
  • AmericanAncestors – ($) This is a paid subscription and is the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s site.  There are some free databases including the Boston Pilot Irish Immigrant Advertisements and New York: Wills, 1626 – 1836.  Here is the link to create a free account - AmericanAncestors Guest Users.
  • Heritage Quest Research Library – Please note there is no link included for this database.  This is a free website and you will need to access Heritage Quest through your library’s website.  Most libraries have you log-in to Heritage Quest with your library card number and library pin.  If you are having trouble, contact your library.  Collections include directories, census records which include Canada, local history books, etc. 
  • Libraries and Archives
Local libraries can be are a powerful research tool as are museums, local and state genealogical societies.  University libraries are also great sources for records and information that will assist in your research.  Librarians are an amazing resource and can help suggesting collections that may be available.  Check the state library in the state where you reside.  Many state libraries issue library cards for their residents and you can then access databases such as Newspaper Archive, Newsbank, American Ancestors, JStor, Fold3, etc. from home.  This varies by state but it is worth checking to see what may be available.
Visit the IGSI library where you will find one of the finest collections of Irish genealogy and history books in North America. Everyone is welcome to attend our classes and get help from expert Irish researchers on Irish Saturdays.
  • Family History Library - The Family History Library is the largest genealogical library in the world.  Some of the services are:  Record Lookup, “If you provide the title or call number of the book, along with the page numbers to have copied, if known, we will email you a PDF copy. We ask that you be as specific as possible since we are unable, due to copyright restrictions, to copy a large number of pages from any one book.”  Did you know that a virtual 20 minute consultation with a research specialist is available?
  • The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – This is the U.S. government’s agency that is responsible for the preservation and documentation of government and historical documents.  This is not a site to enter a person’s name in the search box.  It is a wonderful site for context and information.  Of interest to genealogists are maps, historical pictures, informational about how to access immigration records, naturalization records, visas and alien files.
  • Library of Congress Digital Collections – Links from the main digital collections page includes Chronicling America:  Historic American Newspapers, which is an extensive collection of U.S. newspapers.  Use the search box to enter topics such as manuscripts.  If you want context on your ancestor’s life, you might refer to the collection American Life Histories:  Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1940.   Other useful topics are Local History and Folklife, War and Military, and Geography and Places. As with many archives and large libraries, take advantage of their amazing research guides.
  • Archives Library Information Center – Here is a list of archives by state which includes mailing address, phone number, and where available, email address or a link to a contact form.
  • Allen County Public Library – While this library is located in the Fort Wayne, Indiana, they have an extensive collections from around the world.  Go to the Research tab on the website, and then click on Genealogy. 
  • Allen County Public Library Consultations – This information is hidden under videos and you can email a genealogy librarian with questions about collections and databases.  Go to the Research tab, and then click on Genealogy. They also offer 30 minute consultations!
  • Newberry Library Genealogy and Local History – “The Newberry has been collecting genealogy and local history materials since 1887. Staff at the Genealogy and Local History desk can help you explore the Newberry’s rich collections of family histories; local histories; censuses, probate, deed, court, tax, and cemetery records; military rosters; periodicals; genealogical guides; and reference works.”
  • BYU Family History Library – On the left side is the site’s Navigation area.  If you select Research, there is information about personalized research assistance, online databases, etc.
  • US National Archives Census Finding Aid – “Federal Census records have been digitized by several of NARA's partners, and will eventually be available as well through the National Archives Catalog.  NARA's partners are FamilySerch (free) and (subscription site).  Tip:  Begin with the most current census year and work backwards to find people in earlier generations.” 
  • Hoffman Research Library has a great catalog that will help you find titles for the topic or area you are researching.  If you live in or are visiting the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, please visit our IGSI collection housed in the Minnesota Genealogy Center just across the river from the MSP airport.
  • Digital Public Library of America – “Discover 49,018,480 images, texts, videos, and sounds from across the United States.  DPLA is totally free to use and open to all – no library card, subscription, or sign-up required! Our collection, with items from many institutions, offers a unique research resource for family historians and genealogists.”
  • Other Websites
  • FamilySearch Research Wiki – The Research Wiki is a wonderful tool to use when researching a topic or location.  For example, in the search box enter the location of interest e.g. Minnesota, United States Genealogy.  There are research guides, strategies, finding birth, marriage and death records, census records, deeds, land and tax records and county specific information.  
  • Steve Morse’s One Step Webpage Search – The site searches multiple databases and the search list is impressive.  To name a few search options:  incoming passenger lists for Ellis Island and Castle Garden, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Canadian Border Crossings, U.S. Census, Canadian and British Census.
  • The Ancestor Hunt - Kenneth Marks’ has created a wealth of information.  There are 18 Resource Categories of free collection links for the U.S. and Canada.  It includes free newspapers, directories, etc.  The website includes quick reference guides and his blog.  You can also sign up for his bi-weekly newsletter.
  • The Family History Guide – This is a learning website from FamilySearch, which includes an introduction to using FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage and FindMyPast.  The Countries tab has an incredible amount of information for the U.S., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many more countries.
  • Statue of Liberty Discovery Section – This is the Statue of Liberty site which includes an Oral History Section, and pictures which are in the Telling America’s Immigration Story section.
  • Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records – Searching land records can provide additional information about your ancestor, including the digitized copy of the patent.  The National Archives Land Records is a resource about different Federal Land records such as Military Bounty Land Warrants.  “Land entry files (land patent files) are records of the U.S. General Land Office (GLO) that document the initial transfer of public lands from the U.S. Government to individuals, businesses, and institutions.”
  • Find a Grave – If you have names of cemeteries in the area of where your ancestors were from, you can search not only by name, but the name of the cemetery.
  • BillionGraves –“BillionGraves is the world's largest resource for searchable GPS cemetery data.”
  • List of Catholic Orders and Congregations – This is a list of Catholic religious orders and includes the acronym for the order and the nickname.  For example, in Ireland some of the orders include: Augustinians, Franciscans and Jesuits.  The official name for the Jesuits order is Societas Jesu, the symbol is S.J. and the nickname is Jesuits.
  • Blogs and Podcasts
Blogs and podcasts are a valuable tool in staying informed about new record sets and research strategies.  Here are some suggestions.
  • Irish Genealogical Society International Blog - One of the best Irish genealogy blogs around is right here on this site! Note, the blog posts are searchable.
  • The Ancestor Hunt Blog is Kenneth Marks’ blog and includes links to resources such as newspapers, yearbooks, and city directories.
  • FamilySearch Blog – There are “great resources that are available to you for free on the FamilySearch blog.”
  • FindMyPast Blog - This blog has great articles.  For example, there is one on Google search techniques for family history research.
  • The Legal Genealogist – Judy Russell describes herself as, “A genealogist with a law degree”.  Her blog covers a wide range of topics from DNA to legal terms that you may encounter in doing your research.
  • Heart of the Family - Elizabeth Swanay O’Neal lists several of her favorite posts, including, “Using Fire Insurance Maps for Family History + Where to Find Them Online”.  Her blog includes research tips such as finding an ancestor’s maiden name.
  • Genea-Musings – Randy Seaver’s blog has genealogy research tips, techniques and family history research.
  • Vita Brevis American Ancestors – “Welcome to Vita Brevis, the blog of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Vita Brevis is designed to offer the reader short essays by the Society’s expert staff on their own research as well as news of the greater genealogical community.”
  • Irish American Mom – “I believe it’s never too late to explore your Irish cultural heritage”.  This blog has everything from recipes and beautiful pictures as she writes about the 32 counties of Ireland.   She was born in Ireland and migrated to the U.S. and this blog will give you a flavor customs, traditions and life in Ireland.
  • Olive Tree Genealogy Monthly Newsletter – "Search for your ancestors in free Ships' Passenger lists, Naturalization Records, Palatine Genealogy, Canadian Genealogy, American Genealogy, Native American Genealogy, Huguenots, Mennonites, Almshouse Records, Orphan Records, church records, military muster rolls, census records, land records and more."
  • Amy Johnson Crow Blog and Podcast – This link is to both her blog and her podcasts.  “I believe that we can make those connections and enjoy the process. Looking for (and finding!) your ancestors doesn’t have to feel frustrating or overwhelming or like you’re back in your high school English class getting graded on a term paper.”
  • DNAeXplained – If you have tested your DNA, Roberta Estes’ blog is wonderful.  “Genetic genealogy is a world full of promise, but it changes rapidly and can be confusing. People need to understand how to use the numerous tools available to unravel our ancestral history.  I invite you to follow along with this blog as I share things I learn, answer people’s questions and generally, have fun with genetic genealogy!!!”
  • Legacy Tree Genealogists Blog –There are a wide range of topics, from Irish ancestors, Canada, British Isles, best practices, etc.
Blog Posts of Interest
  • Genealogy Gems Podcast – Lisa Louise Cooke’s free podcasts includes the, “best websites, best practices, and best resources available”.   
  • Family History Fanatics Podcast – Some topics include genealogy research, writing family history, and DNA.
  • The Family Tree Magazine Genealogy Podcast – The list of past podcasts is extensive and are free.  For example, episode 147 is How to Research Your Irish Ancestry or episode 149 is Researching Indentured Servant Ancestors.
  • Amy Johnson Crow Podcast – This link is to both her blog and her podcasts. 
  • Extreme Genes Podcast – The podcast landing page indicates this is “the most listened to family history show and podcast in America.”  If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can click on Podcast Archive and see the list of almost 400 podcasts.
Podcasts of Interest
  • Amy Johnson Crow Overlooked on Family Search – This is an 18 minute podcast with five things that are overlooked on FamilySearch.  The show notes include screen shots and this is helpful for those not familiar with FamilySearch.
  • Amy Johnson Crow Using the Wander Method – “Have you ever felt lost in your genealogy research? Running into brick walls, falling down rabbit holes, following the latest bright shiny object?”
  • Facebook Groups
Facebook groups can be extremely helpful to join for resources and help from members. Consider joining one for the area where your ancestors immigrated to, such as town/city, county, and state.
Here are some suggested Facebook groups to consider. We recommend you take a look at the "Genealogy on Facebook List" which in noted below to find groups in your area of research.
  • Genealogy on Facebook List - Katherine Willson created this list of more than 16,700 genealogy Facebook groups and you can download the document. It was updated in January 2021 for genealogy and history Facebook groups/pages (in English). The list includes groups by country, county, state, county, and topic to name a few categories.
  • Irish Genealogical Society International Facebook Group – Keep up with the latest news from IGSI.  Make sure you “Like” the page.
  • Cyndi's List of Facebook Group - Cyndi Ingle of Cyndi's List is migrating the Genealogy on Facebook List and the list is currently under construction. 
  • Family History Library Facebook Group – The Family History Library has Facebook live presentation that are recorded and can be watched later.   Some of the presentations range from using FamilySearch to DNA.  If you access the recorded presentations from the home page, there is link to the handouts if available.
  • Heart of the Family Facebook Group – “The Heart of the Family Genealogy Community is an inclusive place to discuss all things genealogy and family history.”
  • Your DNA Guide Facebook Group – “Your DNA Guide helps turn DNA test results into meaningful family connections.” 
  • Videos
  • IGSI Past Recorded Webinars – IGSI members have exclusive access to the past recorded webinars and handouts.  Some of the webinars are free, and others are for a fee. 
  • The Family History Guide – This is an amazing learning website from FamilySearch, which includes an introduction to using FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage and FindMyPast.  Each area includes helpful videos.  The Countries tab has an incredible amount of information for the U.S., Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. 
  • Ancestry Academy – Take a look at Ancestry Academy which has tutorial for topics such as methodology and skills, using Find a Grave and DNA.  Some of the videos are 5 minutes or less.
  • FamilySearch Learning Center Search – You will need to create a free account.  There are over 900 videos on topics such as DNA, United States Research, Ireland and Australia.  There are also videos for specific U.S. states.  
  • Family History Library Classes – "On this page you will find a list of all the class schedules as well as webinars that will be taught. A webinar is a class that is broadcast over the internet, anyone interested can attend. In order to attend a webinar find the class from the below list. The classes are organized according to geographical region."  Note, times are in Mountain Time.
YouTube Channels
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Videos of Interest
  • BYU Family History Library Video Timelines – “Answers Hiding in Plain Sight:  Using What You Know to Discover What You Don’t Know.” 
  • Genealogy TV Easy Breezy Source Citations – “Would you like a quick and easy way to document your sources? Perhaps you’ve never thought to write down your sources? By the end of this video, you’ll have a quick and easy way to remember how to write source citations every time.”  This is a six minute video with an easy way to document sources.
  • FamilySearch Learning Center Brick Walls Research Process – “Having trouble with a brick wall? Maybe the solution lies in how you are searching. Let's examine your approach by using the research process.”    
  • Allen County Library Breaking Through the Brick Wall – The hour long video is “14 steps for re-thinking and solving genealogical problems.”
  • Allen County Library Using WorldCat – WorldCat is a catalog that itemizes the collections of more than 15,000 libraries in over 100 countries.  “Join us to find out how to turn WorldCat, the largest compilation of library resources in the world, into your discovery toolbox!”
  • Bookshelf
  • If you live in or are visiting the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, please visit our IGSI collection housed in the Minnesota Genealogy Center just across the river from the MSP airport. The Hoffman Research Library has a great catalog that will help you find titles for the topic or area you are researching.
  • If you are looking to build your genealogy bookshelf, you might consider used books in good condition from used book dealers.
  • Not ready to purchase just yet? Check WorldCat to find the book you want in a nearby library. Your local library may be able to arrange an inter-library loan of the book you would like to borrow.
  • O'hanlon, John Rev.  The Irish Emigrant’s Guide for the United States.  Patrick Donahoe Books.  1851.  This book is simply fascinating and is a reprint of a book published in 1851.  Emigrant Guides gave detailed information for people that were emigrating.  There is an abundant information such as distance from New York to Chicago, how to get there by railroad and steamboat, time and fares, job opportunities, which to expect when disembarking from the ship, etc.  It is available free on Google books, an e-book is on Amazon, and print-on-demand copies are available for sale.
  • Beidler, James M.  The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide:  How to Find Your Ancestors in Archived Newspapers.  Family Tree Books, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2018.
  • Bettinger, Blaine T.  The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.  Family Tree Books, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2019.
  • Dollarhide, William.  Census Substitutes and State Census Records, 3E.  Family Roots Publishing, Orting, Washington, 2021.  This is a 5 volume set but you can buy individual volumes which are by geographic area.
  • Greenwood, Val D.  The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 4E.  Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland, 2017.
  • Hendrickson, Nancy.  Unofficial Guide to  How to Find Your Family History on the #1 Genealogy Website.  Family Tree Books, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2018.
  • Hone, E. Wade.  Land & Property Research in the United States. Publishing, Lehi, Utah, 2008.
  • McCullough, Dana.  Unofficial Guide to  How to Find Your Family on the World’s Largest Free Genealogy Website.  Family Tree Books, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2020.
  • Morton, Sunny Jane.  How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records.  Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland, 2019.
  • Rose, Christine.  Courthouse Research for Family Historians, Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures, 2E.  CR Publications, Hammond, Indiana 2020.
  • Southard, Diahan.  Your DNA Guide - the Book.  Family Roots Publishing, Orting, Washington, 2020. 
  • Sturdevant, Katherine Scott.  Bringing Your Family History to Life Through Social History.  Betterway Books, Mishawaka, Indiana, 2000.