Beginning Irish ResearchEdit This Page

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Ireland, How to Find a Place Name
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Guide
Introduction
Events in the lives of your ancestors, including births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths, may have
been officially recorded at the time they took place. In many cases, you need to know exactly
where an event took place in order to find a record of it. If you don't know the place, you may be
able to find that information in sources readily available to you. This guide suggests sources that
may help you identify place-names.
What You Are Looking For
Look for the name of the place where an event occurred in the life of one of your ancestors.
Steps
Follow these 8 steps to find sources that will help you identify a place-name.
Step 1. Gather information from home and family sources.
Many sources for identifying place-names may be found in your own home or in the home of a
family member or relative. These sources may include:
• Letters.
• Journals and diaries.
• Scrapbooks.
• Family Bibles.
• Birth, baptism, marriage, or death certificates.
• Photographs.
• School records.
• Military records.
• Naturalization papers.
• Obituaries and funeral cards.
• Newspaper articles.
• Deeds.
• Pension records.
• Tax records.
• Wills and other probate records.
• The personal knowledge of older relatives.
Any of these sources could supply needed place-names. Gather information from the sources
you can find in your home and from relatives.
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Step 2. Write the information on forms.
Write the information you find on pedigree charts and family group record forms. If you need
forms, you may print them from your computer now, or you can order a supply online. You can
also purchase a software program for your home computer that helps you organize your
genealogy and allows you to print out these forms. Programs are available at most computer
software stores. One program, Personal Ancestral File, may be downloaded online. It may also
be purchased on CD-Rom.
Not all of the information you collect will fit on pedigree charts and family group record forms. See
Tip 1.
Step 3. Decide on a research goal.
Once you have gathered information and recorded it on forms and in notes, you can see what
information you have and what is missing. You may have dates without places to go with them.
Even when a place is identified, you should verify that it is correct. Determine a place name, such
as a place of birth, that you would like to find or verify. This is your research goal.
Step 4. Look for compiled research sources.
After reviewing home and family sources and selecting a research goal, look for research on your
family compiled by others. Someone else may have already identified places where the events in
the lives of your ancestors occurred. Compiled research may be found in private and public
collections of individuals, libraries, and societies, as well as on the Internet.
For more information about finding compiled research sources, see How to Find Compiled
Sources.
Step 5. Analyze what you know about your ancestor.
If you are still missing the name of the place where an event in your ancestor's life occurred, you
can analyze the facts you do know to help you determine where to look for the missing
information. See Tip 2.
Step 6. Look for indexes.
Look for indexes to records with broad coverage for Ireland or for indexes to records for the
specific county where your ancestor lived. Surname indexes to collections of records may provide
the names of places where people of your surname lived. You can then look for your ancestor in
records of those places. Indexed records may include:
• Civil registration records.
• Census records.
• Church records.
• Burial or cemetery records.
• Probate records.
• Tax records.
• Land records.
Indexes are available at libraries with genealogical collections, such as the Family History Library.
Indexes may also be available on Internet web sites. Some indexes are created by family history
societies, private groups or individuals and may be available for purchase from them. For more
information on finding indexes, see Where to Find It.
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Step 7. Cite your sources.
Every time you find new information in a record, cite your source. When you cite a source, you
document the information taken from that source. If you need to look at the source again, your
documentation will help you find it. If others should consult your research, they will also be able to
find the source.
Cite your sources on a research log, and include a library call number when applicable. If it is an
original source, make note of where you found it. Your research log will serve as a guide to your
research.
If possible, make photocopies of your sources, and cite the sources on the copies.
Step 8. Find information about a place.
Once you have identified a place, you should find information about it.
You should also locate the place on a map.
Tips
Tip 1. What should I do with information that does not fit on my
genealogy forms?
In addition to names, dates, and places, you will collect additional information about the lives of
family members that does not fit on standard genealogy forms, such as:
• Military service.
• Education.
• Employment history.
• Social or economic status.
• Migration.
• Participation in community, social, religious, or historical events.
• Physical description.
• Other biographical details.
You should keep this additional information as notes. Keep these notes with your records, or
include them in the area provided for notes in your genealogy computer program. Your notes
should also include the source of the information.
Tip 2. How do I analyze what I know about my ancestor?
You can analyze the facts you know about your ancestor to help determine where to look for
missing information. For example, if you are looking for the birthplace of your ancestor, you might
ask yourself the following questions:
• What is the earliest known fact about my ancestor?
• Where were my ancestor's parents born, married, or buried?
• Where were my ancestor's siblings born?
• Where was my ancestor married?
• Where was my ancestor's spouse born?
• Where were my ancestor's children born?
• Where did my ancestor die?
• If my ancestor emigrated, who were his neighbors in the place where he eventually settled?
• Did any of my emigrant ancestor's relatives also emigrate?
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You may search the records of the places where any of these events took place to see if you can
find birth information for your ancestor. In addition, learning about your ancestor's relatives and
neighbors may give you clues that will help you find information about your ancestor.
Where To Find It
The following are suggestions for finding indexes to records that may help you identify placenames:
On the Internet
Indexes to selected records of Ireland may be available on Internet web sites. In addition, many
of the family history societies in Ireland and throughout the world have Internet web sites that
contain lists of their publications for sale, including indexes. You can access many of the sites for
Ireland and some indexes through GENUKI. Others may be available through additional websites
such as CYNDISLIST.
Family History Centers
Most Family History Centers have at least one index to records of Ireland in their collections:
• International Genealogical Index, available on microfiche, on computer, and on the Internet. It
includes information extracted from civil registration and church records of Ireland. You may
access the index here by clicking on Search for Ancestors above, and then selecting the
International Genealogical Index.
Some Family History Centers will not have microfilmed indexes to records of Ireland in their
collections, but centers can borrow microfilms from the Family History Library. There is a small
fee to have a microfilm loaned to a center.
If an index is not available on microfilm, you may request a photocopy of an index page from the
Family History Library. You should complete a Request for Photocopies form, which is available
at all Family History Centers. Complete the section of the form for books, and include the library
call number for the index that you obtained from the catalog. Send the form and the payment to
the library.
Family History Centers are located throughout the United States and other areas of the world.
See Family History Centers for the address and phone number of the center nearest you.
Family History Library
The Family History Library has a large collection of indexes to records of Ireland that could help
you identify place-names. There is no fee for using the library's collection in person.
For a list of the library's holdings, click on Family History Library Catalog above. Do a Place
Search for both the country and your county of interest. Look for topics with Indexes as
subtopics. When looking at the catalog entry for a specific index, check to see if it is available in
microform and can be sent to a Family History Center.
For more information about contacting or visiting the library or a Family History Center, click on
Family History Library System above.


Ireland, How to Find Compiled Sources

Guide
Introduction
When you begin family history research for one of your ancestors, you should begin by looking for
compiled research. Compiled research sources contain names of individuals for whom data has
been transcribed, indexed, or collected. These sources were created by individuals, groups,
societies, universities, archives, and commercial corporations. Determining what research has
already been done by others, including your own family members, can:
• Save you valuable research time.
• Help you find information in original records more quickly.
• Help you avoid unnecessary duplication of work.
• Provide clues for further research.
• Guide your research.
What You Are Looking For
Look for compiled sources which may give information on your ancestors. The information you
find varies from record to record. These records may include:
• Names of children, spouse, parents, siblings, and other family members.
• Birth or baptism, marriage, and death or burial information.
• Dates of other important events such as immigration or land purchases.
• Age at the time of dated events.
• Place or street of residence.
• Occupations.
• Schools attended.
• Military service.
• Religious affiliations.
• Country, county, or specific place of origin.
• Other biographical data.
Steps
These 7 steps will help you find and use compiled sources.
Step 1. Identify compiled sources.
Identify as many compiled sources as possible. They can include:
• Published family histories.
• Unpublished manuscript histories.
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• Local histories.
• Computer databases and surname listings.
• Compiled pedigrees.
• Biographies.
• Record collections.
• Indexes to original records (such as censuses, marriages, and gravestone inscriptions).
• Registries for research exchange.
• Surname or one-name lists.
To find examples of compiled sources, see the publications listed in Where To Find It.
Step 2. Locate compiled sources.
You can find compiled sources through:
• The Internet.
• Family History Centers.
• The Family History Library.
• Archives and Libraries.
• Heritage Centres.
• Societies (family history, county, regional, and national).
Step 3. Decide which compiled sources to search.
Search for compiled sources that:
• Deal with your specific family name.
• Cover your specific place of interest.
• Cover a range of years during your ancestor's lifetime.
Step 4. Search compiled sources.
Compiled sources are often indexed or alphabetically arranged. Search for your ancestors in the
compiled sources you find. In addition to your direct-line ancestors, search for their family
members, relatives, or in-laws. Information about other relatives may give you clues to
information about your direct-line ancestors.
Step 5. Copy and document the information in your research
notes.
Copy the information from the record exactly as it was given onto the family group sheets and
pedigree chart for your ancestor. Be sure to record the source of the information onto a research
log. You may want to make a photocopy of the record for future use. To learn how to keep good
notes, see Note taking & keeping for genealogists.
Step 6. Analyze and use the information found in compiled
sources.
Compare any information you found in compiled sources with knowledge you already have about
your ancestor. Does it:
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• Conflict with what you know? If the information conflicts, use other sources to verify it.
• Support what you know?
• Add to what you know?
Then ask yourself:
• Did the source have the information I wanted?
• Is this information accurate?
• Does this information suggest other sources to search?
Step 7. Verify information from compiled sources with other
records.
When you obtain information from compiled sources, you must verify the information by searching
original records.
Where to Find It
Internet Sources
FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service
Many compiled sources are available on the Internet.You can search for compiled sources
through FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service. FamilySearch Internet can search online
records and other web sites to see if they contain the information you need. To look for compiled
sources through FamilySearch Internet, go to Search for Ancestors and use either the All
Resources or Web Sites search option.
Websites
The following are examples of websites that provide compiled sources that are searchable by
surname:
• Internet FamilyFinder
• Ancestry.com (Fee required)
• GenSeeker
Links to Websites
Many websites do not provide names and dates but link to sites that do. Examples of these are:
• CyndisList.
• GENUKI (Genealogy in the United Kingdom and Ireland).
• GenDex.
• Genealogy SiteFinder.
• Ireland GenWeb.
• Northern Ireland GenWeb.
Family History Centers
Family History Centers have computer databases of compiled records. In addition, a Family
History Center may have some compiled sources for local families. Family History Centers can
also borrow microfilms and microfiche of compiled sources from the Family History Library. The
Library charges a small fee to loan microfilm or microfiche to a Family History Center.
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If a compiled source is not available on microfilm, you may request a photocopy from the Family
History Library for a small fee. You will need to fill out a Request for Photocopies form, which is
available at Family History Centers. Complete the form with the library call number for the source.
Send the form and the fee to the Family History Library. Note that many published sources are
copyrighted and cannot be photocopied in their entirety.
Family History Centers are located throughout the United States and other areas of the world. For
the address of the Family History Center nearest you, see Family History Centers.
Family History Library
The Family History Library has one of the world's largest collections of compiled research
sources. These include:
• International Genealogical Index--available on microfiche, on computer, and on the Internet. It
includes information extracted from civil registration and church records of Ireland. You may
access the index here by clicking on Search for Ancestors above and then selecting
International Genealogical Index.
• Ancestral File--available on microfiche, on computer, and on the Internet. It includes
information submitted by individuals researching their Irish ancestry. You may access the
index here by clicking on Search for Ancestors above and then selecting Ancestral File.
• Pedigree Resource File--index only, available on the Internet. The files are on CD and may be
purchased online. You may access the index here by clicking on Search for Ancestors
above and then selecting the Pedigree Resource File.
• British Isles Vital Records Index--available on CD at the library and many Family History
Centers. It can also be purchased online.
• Family History Library Catalog, Surname Search--lists published family histories; available on
microfiche, on computer, and on the Internet. You may access the catalog here by clicking on
Family History Library Catalog above and then selecting Surname Search. Search for
your surname of interest.
There is no fee for using the library's collection in person.
Sources for Previous Research in the British Isles lists and discusses major compiled sources
available in the Family History Library. Some of these sources are available in other archives and
libraries.
For information about contacting or visiting the library, click on Family History Library System
above.
Archives and Libraries
Compiled sources are available in archives and libraries throughout the world. Some major
archives and libraries are:
Ireland
• The National Archives of Ireland.
• General Register Office, Dublin.
• General Register Office, Belfast.
• The National Library of Ireland.
• The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.
England
• The British Library.
• Public Record Office.
• Society of Genealogists.
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Australia and New Zealand
• National Archives of Australia.
• National Archives of New Zealand.
• National Library of New Zealand.
United States and Canada
• National Archives (U.S.), with regional branches throughout the country.
• Newberry Library.
• Library of Congress.
• New England Historic and Genealogical Society Library.
• National Library of Canada.
Addresses for archives and libraries can be found at Ready, 'Net, Go. Select Master List of
Archives.
Contact an archive or library before you visit to find out what compiled sources are available.
Heritage Centres
Government sponsored offices, called Heritage Centres, are located throughout Ireland to assist
individuals with their Irish family history research. They have compiled collections and indexes of
Irish records, including:
• Church records.
• Census records.
• Civil registration records.
• Gravestone inscriptions.
• Tax records.
• Land records.
• School registers.
• Trade directories.
• Voters' lists.
• Workhouse records.
Centres will search their collections for a fee. For more information about these centres, go to the
Irish Family History Foundation web site.
Societies
Family history and genealogy societies may also extract and index records and may have
collections of research done by their members and others. Many societies also publish journals
and periodicals that include compiled research.
Some of the societies in Ireland include:
• Local family history societies.
• The Irish Family History Society.
• The North of Ireland Family History Society.
• The Ulster Historical Foundation.


 

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