Information Needed

It is important to get as much authentic information on your family in your adopted country before starting a search in Ireland. It is a waste of time to write to any genealogist in Ireland and say. " I would like to trace my Irish ancestors, my great grandfather's name was Michael McCarthy and he came from Ireland. There are three things that you MUST know before a search can be even started.

  • You must know your ancestors NAME.
  • You must know at least what COUNTY in Ireland that he/she came from. (preferably PARISH/TOWNLAND)
  • You must know a DATE in Ireland, within 10 years of an event, i.e. baptism/birth, death or marriage.

If you don't have the above information, then you don't have sufficient information to even start a search in Ireland, and if you only have the above information, you are embarking on a "Needle in a haystack" search, which will be very time consuming and expensive, with little chance of success.

Preferred information in order of priority, the first three being essential. Remember, the more information that you have on your ancestors before they left Ireland, the better the chances of a successful outcome to your search.

  • Name --------- Surname and Christian names of your ancestor. (and/or any known relatives)
  • Address ------ County, town, parish, townland or street. (if he/she lived in a city or town)
  • Dates --------- Birth, marriage, death. (within 10 years or age at the time of the event)
  • Religion ------ Religious persuasion of your ancestor. (very important)
  • Occupation -- Trade or profession. (if known)
  • Emigration ---Year that he/she left Ireland and with whom.

Most of the above information can be gleaned from the census returns in the country of adoption, with the possible exception of Address, as it may only give Ireland as the country of origin. You will have to depend on other oral or written family history for this piece of vital information. 


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Bob Murray 2003