March 5, 2016

Got Irish Ancestors? You're in Luck!

View from the Wicklow Mountains

If you’re researching Irish ancestors, there’s a lot of good news these days. New databases and digitized original records are making it easier than ever to find your family in the Emerald Isle.

Yes, Irish research still has its difficulties. Nothing is going to bring back the historic records lost when the Four Courts building in Dublin burned down in 1922, or the census records of 1861-1891 that the government destroyed. But the clamor for genealogical resources has inspired some helpful substitutes, as well as wider access to surviving records.

With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, companies are also offering special discounts and access to their Irish collections. Here’s a rundown of some recent announcements:





National Archives of Ireland, Dublin

To keep up with the latest releases and developments, I recommend following the Irish Genealogy News blog by Claire Santry. Her companion website, Irish Genealogy Toolkit, provides a wealth of information and links to help you with your Irish family history research.

The photos you see here were taken during my trip to Ireland in May 2015. We had a great time, and I can’t wait to go back. Hopefully we’ll be able to see some ancestral sites next time. My husband has recent Irish roots—his grandfather, Harry Baxter, and great-grandfather, Robert Baxter, both immigrated from Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the early 20th century. I believe I have Scots-Irish ancestry as well, but it’s much further back in time, and I still have a lot of research to do. But each new database, finding aid, and online record collection helps bring that goal a little closer. I hope it does for you, too. Slainte!


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