shamrocksIrish genealogy. Millions of people around the world have Irish roots. And everyone says researching Ireland is hard. OK, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but there’s still lots of people who would put up their hand up if I asked you “who finds Irish genealogy hard”. But trust me it’s getting easier.

The number of records available online continues to boom, and this includes Irish genealogy records too. And having these records available at our fingertips means that we are spoilt, in that we can search them any time of night or day that we choose – I’m sure you’re all familiar with the term “pajama genealogy”. No longer do we have to schedule in a trip to the local archives or library on our day off, and spend a day there manually going through records. Well, not for these records anyway.

Now back to the Irish bit … there have been a number of major additions online and I wanted to highlight those here.


old Irish newspapersIRISH NEWSPAPER ARCHIVE 1820-1926findmypast Ireland
First up we find that Findmypast Ireland has added over 100 years of old Irish newspapers to its online collection. So far there approx. two million newspaper articles which cover all parts of Ireland. These newspapers come from the British Library newspapers, and include The Belfast Morning News, The Belfast Newsletter, The Cork Examiner, The Dublin Evening Mail, The Freeman’s Journal and The Sligo Champion. Different dates are covered by each title ranging from pre-Famine era right up until post-Irish independence in 1926. For family historians newspapers are an invaluable resource of historical information, but for family and social history.

Overall date coverage for each of the newspapers is as follows:
The Belfast Morning News (1857-1882)
The Belfast Newsletter (1828-1900)
The Cork Examiner (1841-1926)
The Dublin Evening Mail (1849-1871)
The Freeman’s Journal (1820-1900)
The Sligo Champion (1836-1926)

This collection is also accessible on all findmypast international sites (UK, Aus, or US) through a World subscription. You can read the full announcement of it here.


Irish Genealogival Reseach SocietyINDEX TO ‘THE IRISH GENEALOGIST’ JOURNALIrish Genealogical Research Society
The Irish Genealogical Research Society which is the “Great Granddaddy of all Irish Family History Societies” recently launched an online names index to its annual journal “The Irish Genealogist”. Containing over a quarter of a million names, this journal was first published in 1937, and allowed members to share the results of their research resulting in many thousands of genealogy related articles, family histories and transcriptions of unusual records and sources. Typically, members have submitted information from newspapers, parish registers, family bibles, genealogies, voters lists, pedigrees, membership rolls, deeds, marriage settlements, census substitutes, land and tenure surveys, marriage license bonds, courts records, wills and much more besides. The index runs from 1937-2001, and will be extended to 2012 soon. This index contains enormous potential for all genealogists with Irish roots … Do  you know if any of your family have been mentioned in their Journal? No, well why not check it out. It’s free!


Ancestry UK have added to their Irish records collection recently, with the launch of three new databases.
– Ireland Guinness Archive Index, 1824-2002
– Ireland Census 1901 Census
– Ireland Census 1911 Census
With each of the Censuses listing over 4 million names, these are undoubtedly useful for your research. Note, the censuses on Ancestry are an index only, but do give a link to the National Archive of Ireland, which then allows you to view the image.

The Guinness employee records are interesting. The information about them on the website states the following; “In 1759 Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on a ‘disused brewery’ in Dublin and started brewing ale and porter. Since then, millions of barrels and thousands of employees have passed through the brewery’s gates. This database contains an index of details about Guinness employees extracted from personnel files. Entries typically include the following items:
– name
– date of birth
– date of death
– date and age when employee joined the company
– spouse name


Tithe Applotment Records

TITHE APPLOTMENT BOOKS 1814-1855FamilySearch
And although not-brand-new-online (it has been up for a couple of months) this is worthy of a mention as it is a valuable resource when researching your Irish roots. FamilySearch now have the Tithe Applotment Books online. In case you’re wondering just what the ‘Tithe Applotment Books” are, the National Archives of Ireland gives a good description …

The Tithe Applotment Books are a vital source for genealogical research for the pre-Famine period, given the loss of the 1821-51 Census records. They were compiled between 1823 and 1837 in order to determine the amount which occupiers of agricultural holdings over one acre should pay in tithes to the Church of Ireland (the main Protestant church and the church established by the State until its dis-establishment in 1871). There is a manuscript book for almost every civil (Church of Ireland) parish in the country giving the names of occupiers of each townland, the amount of land held and the sums to be paid in tithes. Because the tithes were levied on agricultural land, urban areas are not included. Unfortunately, the books provide only the names of heads of family, not other family members.

FamilySearch has all of these Tithe Applotment Books indexed, as well as links to the original images, so yet another awesome Irish genealogy resource is online.


So if you’ve got Irish roots, and have been stuck for a while, or have been ignoring that branch for a bit … now is the time to get back into it, and see what else you can find. Records are waiting to be searched.
Happy researching!