Tips for tracing Irish ancestors

Started by Private User on Monday, October 24, 2011
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Private User
10/24/2011 at 4:33 AM

Many people around the world trace their heritage back to relatives who came from Ireland.

Whether it was a great-grandfather who came from Cork and a great-grandmother from Kerry, millions of family trees have branches that include at least a bit of Irish ancestry!

During the hard times in Ireland many young people and families joined the Irish Diaspora. ( They wandered to other lands to find work and a better life. Their roots were in Ireland, but they married and raised children in a new land.

Keeping in touch with friends and relatives in the Old Country was difficult in the days before inexpensive international telephone calls and email. Most children, grandchildren and later generations of these émigrés lost contact with their extended families in Ireland. Looking for information on these Irish ancestors is a research project that takes plenty of detective work, but is also exciting and rewarding.

For millions worldwide, all roads lead back to Ireland

Today, for many families in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand and many other countries... all roads lead back to the Old Sod.

Now that genealogy information is easier to find, descendants of the Irish who were scattered throughout the world are looking for their Irish roots.

Old church records, census rolls and passenger lists from ships that sailed from Irish ports are just some of the places that can reveal the secrets of where Irish ancestors lived and help trace any relatives who may still be in the area. You may even find a few people in forums and message boards who are looking for the same family information as you.

Travelers to Ireland often include a visit to a city, town, or village rich in family heritage. With a bit of luck, they may find distant cousins who can share family histories with them and help with reconnecting to the land of their forefathers and researching their roots. Just walking through the streets where grandparents or great-grandparents grew up can be a surprisingly moving experience.

See the Irish portal discussion, Irish links and sources for online sources

10/24/2011 at 5:25 AM

1901 and 1911 Irish census are available free, online at National Archives of Ireland web-site.

Grirrith's Valuation is free on "Ask About Ireland" This was an extensive survey of the whole country listing main resident occupier of one million dwellings and a detailed map. Carried out between 1847 and 1864. A must!

10/24/2011 at 5:35 AM
Private User
10/24/2011 at 5:46 AM

Today at 12:43 PM
Report | Delete

Or Griffiths valuation on

Also see Irish links and sources for online sources here in this Irish portal

Private User
10/24/2011 at 7:47 AM

Above website gives more detailed info (for free) on the griffiths valuation,
Will actually give map ref and actual valuation as well as search by townland etc.
The image above shows a digital scan of the original Griffith's Valuation ledger page. Use the zooming controls to examine the page in more detail. The record you clicked is 40 lines from the top. When you have finished, use the close button at the top right to close this popup area.

Private User
10/24/2011 at 9:19 AM

Kenneth Kwame Welsh, (C) Irish in Jamaica is added to the related projects in the Irish portal
Thank you

Private User
9/5/2013 at 6:34 PM

Hello - On a recent trip to Ireland I was told that there are detailed records of Irish people who were resettled by Cromwell in 1650. Family lore says my 6X great grandfather and grandmother were two of the people resettled. Any idea where to look for these "resettlement lists"?

Private User
9/6/2013 at 4:02 AM

After Cromwell’s victory, huge areas of land were confiscated and the Irish were banished to the lands of Connaught. Most of the lands of Clare, Galway and Mayo were taken over by Irish people whose land in other parts of the country had been taken from them. This movement of large numbers of people out of their lands and the transfer of these lands to English people was known as the Cromwellian Settlement.Many other Irish people were transported to work on plantations in the West Indies. Irish soldiers were given the opportunity to exile. Large numbers of Irish men left to become soldiers in other armies in Europe and never returned. Good lands were given to Cromwell’s soldiers and to the supporters of the Parliamentarians. Other lands were bought by English merchants and some of these new owners took on Catholic tenants.

I know there are snippets of records but how complete they are I do not know, who are you looking for Ann?

Private User
9/6/2013 at 5:56 AM

Hi Anne-Marie -His name was Malachy Foley and he was married to Rosie O'Neil. I think her first name was really an Irish name that began with " Ros"

Malachy was origianally from Ballyfarriter in the Dingle Peninsula and was a black smith for Owen Roe O'Neil's army.He was settled on the Loop Head Peninsula of Clare, outside of the town of Carrigaholt.

All this is oral tradition in our family but it would be nice if there were written records that support it..

Private User
9/6/2013 at 6:15 AM

Ok thanks, I will see what I can find over the weekend :)

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