If you’re of Irish descent, you may be interested in resources to help you trace your ancestors. It may feel daunting, but with the right tools and support, it’s possible to discover the stories and characters that make up your Irish family history.
Below, we’ll cover five great resources to help you find your Irish ancestors and learn more about your heritage. Whether you’re just getting started or searching for years, these tools can help you unlock new information and get a clearer picture of your family’s story on the mystical island of Ireland.
You may have learned of your Irish heritage through family stories or may be unsure of your background. Tracing your family back a few generations can help you discover where your ancestors came from. Luckily, some records go back as far as the 15th century and beyond, and modern technology makes it easier than ever to uncover your family’s roots.
However, historical documents aren’t perfect and can sometimes leave out information. So in some cases, it may be tricky to pinpoint your ancestors. To save time, you can always enlist our genealogy experts to support your ancestry research.
Here are six online sources to help you discover where your ancestors lived in Ireland and other fascinating details about their lives.
The National Library of Ireland (NLI) has a wide range of ancestry resources, including digitised microfilms of historical documents. This resource is beneficial if you’re interested in searching parish and church records. You can search by a specific parish or county to reveal microfilms related to your family’s history.
However, your search will yield as many as hundreds of microfilms in some cases. Luckily, websites like Findmypast have indexed documents, which may help your research process.
Irish Genealogy is a free website run by the Irish Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht that offers access to various types of historical records. You can search these documents by name, place, date, and record type.
On this website, you’ll find birth, marriage, and death records within the following timeframes.
Church records on this site include documents from the Church of Ireland, Roman Catholic parishes, and a limited number of presbyterian church documents.
The National Archives of Ireland is an excellent place to search for your ancestors for free. The archives are particularly useful for searching census records. However, they also hold various documents that may be challenging to track down, like marriage licence bonds, wills of soldiers, tithe applotment books for finding your ancestors’ land, and more.
Through this online source, you can pore over raw data or browse PDFs of original records. These options make the National Archives a great place to begin ancestry research.
If you’re looking for information on ancestors from Northern Ireland, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is where you’ll want to begin. PRONI holds many historical records, including surviving church records from various denominations in Northern Ireland.
Through the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, you’ll find tools to help you access public records and private archives. Their online guide to family and local history records will help you learn what’s available and how to access information on your Irish ancestors.
RootsIreland is an online genealogy database run by the Irish Family History Foundation (IFHF). This website offers access to searchable indexes, making it easy to track transcripts and original records.
RootsIreland contains documents of marriages and deaths, as well as birth and baptism records. It also holds other fascinating documents, like ship passenger lists and Irish gravestone inscriptions. You can search this database online by entering your ancestor’s name and the year you want to search.
Tracing your Irish heritage with the online sources listed above puts thousands of historical documents at your fingertips. However, you may seek additional help to pinpoint the right approach and make tracing your ancestry easier.
If you’re looking for help with your research process, the Irish Family History Centre can offer support. We’re here to verify findings, uncover new documents, and save you time on this journey.
Services include private consultations with our genealogy experts, access to educational resources, and commissioned research. Find out more about your options through our research services page.
Contact the Irish Family History Centre today to get expert support with piecing together your family tree. Our Irish genealogy experts can help you uncover a wealth of information about your Irish roots.