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Nailing Jello to the Wall: Seeking your Irish Ancestors

Tracing your Irish roots can be akin to spending every Saturday night in a bingo hall and rarely having the opportunity to fling up your arms and yell BINGO! The cataclysmic impact and mass emigration precipitated by Ireland’s Potato Famine has certainly made it difficult to track elusive Irish ancestors. Compounding the problem is a gaping hole in the usual resource pool that all genealogists rely on; the census returns.

While the census returns for 1901 and 1911 are now available online through the National Archives of Ireland, none of Ireland’s earlier censuses have survived. So, if you want to find records for your Irish ancestors that pre-date 1901, you are going to have to be somewhat more creative in your research methodology. Here are a few resources to get you started, or maybe keep you going!

At the library:

Books

• A Guide to tracing your Donegal ancestors

o Godfrey Duffy, Helen Meehan

o Call # 929.3 41693 Duffy

• A new genealogical atlas of Ireland

o Brian S. Mitchell

o Call # 929.3 415 Mitch 2002

• Basic guide to Irish records for family history

o Brian Mitchell

o Call # 929.3 415 Mitch 2008

• Ireland’s Memorial Records: World War 1, 1914-1918

o The Committee of the National Irish War Memorial

o Call # 137 Com

• Probate Jurisdictions: Where to look for Wills

o Jeremy Sumner Wycherley Gibson, Else Churchill

o Call # 929.3 41 025 Gibso 2002

• Tracing your Irish family history

o Anthony Adolph

o Call # 929.1 094 15 Ado 2009

Periodicals

• Cumann geinealais dhun laoghaire

o From the Dun Laoghaire Genealogical Society

• Divelina

o From the Dublin Genealogy and History, Ireland

• Familia

o From the Ulster Genealogical Review, Belfast

• Genealogy Society of Ireland Journal

o From the Cumann Geinealais na hEireann

• North Irish Roots

o From the North Of Ireland Family History Society, Belfast

On-Line

Belfast Burial Records

Council of Irish Genealogical Organizations

From Ireland

Irish Clans Network

Military Archives

National Archives of Ireland

Roots Ireland (pay per view)

The Gathering, Ireland 2013

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