, 2022-06-21 09:18:11,
Derry City and Strabane genealogist share his top tips for finding out as much as possible about your Irish ancestor using public records and archives.
There are 2,508 parishes in Ireland. You can identify the civil parishes of Ireland, and their associated townlands, at John Grenham’s Civil Index by selecting the county of interest on the map. To gain insight into the economic and social landscape of 19th century Ireland you can consult A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, published in 1837, by Samuel Lewis. Arranged in alphabetical order by parishes, towns, and villages this book can be viewed online at Library Ireland. An excellent starting point for surname research is the “surname search” option at JohnGrenham.com where you can explore the location, frequency and history of Irish surnames.
Step 1: Search 1901 and 1911 census returns
Although census enumerations were carried out every decade from 1821, the earliest surviving complete return for Ireland is that of 1901. The census enumerations of 1901 and 1911, arranged by townland in rural areas and by street in urban areas, can be searched, for free, at the National Archives. These returns will list the names, ages and place of birth of all members in a household.
Step 2: Search for births, marriages and deaths
Civil registration of births, deaths and Roman Catholic marriages in Ireland began on 1st January 1864 while non-Catholic marriages were subject to registration from 1st April 1845. Prior to the commencement of civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in Ireland, family history researchers usually rely on baptismal, marriage and burial registers kept by churches. With civil registration of births and deaths commencing in 1864, and with the patchy survival of…
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