Monday, January 16, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Free Online Sources for Irish Family History and Genealogy


Despite budgetary constraints amid the financial meltdown that still plagues the island of my ancestors, when it comes to Irish genealogy sources available online, there is an ongoing effort to make available as many family history and genealogy resources as possible, and all FREE of charge.

A sincere THANK YOU must go out both to individuals and to organizations who are working their fingers to the bone to provide an abundance of free resources for online researchers.

The Finding Irish Family: Research Aids page of this blog has a long list of resources, both free and paid, available for Irish family history research.  With a tip of my hat and a thank you to Amy Coffin for creating the blogging meme 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, I would like to put the spotlight on some of those online sources which can be accessed for free. There are many others, so be sure to have a look at the research aids page.

Click on the blue links to access websites and pages.

1. 1901/1911 Irish Census - The National Archives of Ireland

Ever since parts of these census documents were first posted on their website years ago, the NAI have worked hard to update and improve this site.  Not only can you view all of the information available from these census records, but you can view the original census documents, and all for free.

All thirty-two counties on the island are included.  The census can not only be searched by surname but also by religion, occupation, relationship to the head of the family, literacy status, county or country of origin, Irish language proficiency, specified illnesses, and child survival information.   They have accounted for almost any search term you might think of.  As stated on the site, "you can now search for female married teachers in County Cork, or how many people spoke Irish in Ballyshannon, or how many Presbyterians there were in Roscommon".

Also visit the NAI Genealogy advice page on which they have their own long list of Irish genealogy websites, some of which are free.

Also be sure to connect with county hubs such as The Wexford County Hub, on which you can learn about the history of the area. Follow this link for an article about the Wexford workhouse, an article which provides some very interesting information and features some great images too.

2. The National Library of Ireland Digital Photograph Database

Through the NLI's free online photograph database, you can view over 33,000 photographs from the collections of some of Ireland's most respected photographers of history.  Browse the collections of the Keogh Brothers, A. H. Poole, and others who used the medium of photography, beginning as early as 1860, to visually record the history of the land and its people.

3. Are you just beginning your Irish family history research, and need advice about Irish records? Take a look at the NLI's Family History introduction, and download the PDF which outlines resources available, and includes need to know addresses.

4.  Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives

As the name suggests this is a project, so the work is ongoing, and regularly updated.  Check this site often for updates.  All thirty-two counties on the entire island are included.  Some counties have more information posted than others.  In particular, the work done by those focussed on County Dublin is excellent.  Special mention has to go to Yvonne Russell and Joyce Tunstead who have done a spectacular job posting hundreds of headstone photographs and transcriptions.

5. Irish Genealogy

If you have ancestors who were hatched, matched or dispatched in County Carlow, County Dublin, County Kerry, or the Diocese of Cork & Ross, then you will want to search the church records on the Irish government website called 'Irish Genealogy'.  They are currently working on adding County Monaghan, Diocese of Clogher.  Although the site is slow to update, there are over three million records here, all available to view for free, and most include images of the original parish registers.

6. Cyndi's List

Cyndi has done an outstanding job bringing together over 3800 links across 32 categories for research, both free and paid, in the area of Ireland, and the United Kingdom.  Ireland has been a Free State only since 1922, and a Republic with no political ties to Britain since 1949, meaning some information applicable to your Irish ancestors may likely be found in British resources, so make sure to check them out as well.

As always, Happy Researching!

Cheers,
Jennifer

Copyright©irisheyesjg2012.


10 comments:

  1. Hello. Thanks for this list of resources! Some I have used successfully & others I will try out very soon. I am newly focused on my Irish roots, trying to gather all the information I can before a summer trip (my fist) to Ireland. Your post is very much appreciated!
    Colleen
    http://www.pasqualefamily.net/web/locations/ireland

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    Replies
    1. Hello Colleen,

      Thank you for your comments; they are much appreciated. I notice from your URL that you are searching for ancestors in Cavan and Tipperary (both very beautiful counties, BTW). Both County Cavan and County Tipperary have Heritage Centres for family history.

      In Cavan the Heritage Centre is in Cana House on Farnham Street in the town of Cavan. They do the search for you, and an initial assessment costs around €35 (around $40 USD). Their database holds more than half a million records of baptism, marriages, burials, census records, pre and post famine land records and numerous other sources. Their earliest church records are 1702. Of course starting dates for church records vary for every parish denomination.
      Their email address is: canahous at iol dot ie
      Their phone number is: + 353 (0) 49 4361094

      Tipperary is a little more complicated. In Tipperary, there are two Heritage Centres. Again, this is a paid service, and they do the search for you. The centre which covers records for Tipperary North is in the Gate House in Nenagh. I don’t think they currently have email, but you can phone them at +353 67 33850.

      The centre for Tipperary South is the Brú Boru Heritage Centre in Cashel.
      Their email is: bruboru at comhaltas dot com
      Their phone number is: +353 62 61122

      Also, you can do some of your own research for both counties in Dublin. If you are searching for records of BDM after 1864 then the General Register Office (in the Irish Life Centre, Lower Abbey Street) will have those.

      Both the National Archives of Ireland (Bishop Street Dublin) and the National Library of Ireland (Kildare Street Dublin) have free genealogy advisory services, so you may want to consult with them first. Their websites offer the details. Also, on their website, the National Library has a full listing of all parish registers they have for view on microfilm.

      You can also find some Cavan and Tipperary records through the Irish Family History Foundation; searching is free, but you must pay €5 for each record.

      I hope this information is helpful to you in setting your plans.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  2. Jennifer,
    Thank you so much for the list of resources. In addition, that is one of the most beautiful collages I have seen.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for your comments; very much appreciated, as always. I'm glad you like the collage. It has some of my favourite photos, especially the one at the top with the Geraghty/ Magee children. The little boy with the big smile looking at the camera is my dad. I smile (and cry a little) every time I look at that one.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  3. I'll add my thanks to Kathy and Colleen for this list. Great answer for Colleen. I hope she's checked back for it.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Charlotte,

      As always your comments are much appreciated. Thank you. I hope Colleen checks back too.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  4. Thank you so much Jennifer for these resources. Beautiful collage - and your dad on the horse - priceless!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Celia,

      Thank you for for your comments; they are much appreciated. I love the little guy on the horse too, but he's not my dad. Dad's in the top photo with all the kids.

      Cheers,
      Jennifer

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  5. Thanks for this very helpful list, Jennifer! It comes at just the right time for me, as I'm researching my husband's ancestors from County Antrim. Like the others, I love your collage too. How did you make it?

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  6. Hi Shelley,

    Thanks for your thanks. I'm glad the list will be helpful. One of my great-granddads was born in Antrim, and my husband's family originated there too. I work on a Mac and made the collage through Aperture 3 by creating a book page and then exporting it into a pdf in Aperture. It's a lot easier than it sounds, just requires a little patience which is sometimes lacking on my end.

    Cheers,
    Jennifer

    ReplyDelete

Comments on this blog are always deeply appreciated; however, in the spirit of true collegiality, I ask that you do not write something you would not say to me in person.

There is a proliferation of SPAM on this blog, so unfortunately comments moderation must be in operation for posts older than two days.

Any comments that are mean-spirited, include URLs which are not connected to the post topic, contain misinformation, or in any way resemble advertising, will be removed. Anonymous comments which do not bear the name of the person commenting within the body of the comment, or are clearly generated from fake Google or Blogger accounts, will also be deleted.

Cheers, Jennifer

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