Tuesday Tip: Your Irish Genealogy Pot of Gold
If the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day this past weekend motivated you to find out more about your Irish heritage, my top recommendation is:
This site boasts the largest collection of Irish records. Don’t be deterred by the subscription prices. They have a selection of records that are always FREE to view. You can also make use of their offer for a two-week free trial. (That’s what I did!)
I was most excited about their recent digitization of Roman Catholic Parish records
in four major U.S. cities: New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Chicago. The release of these records by the Catholic church represents a major milestone. Even though I have been researching for years, this new source enabled me to find baptism records for my great-great grandmother and her siblings.
Pay special attention to the names of the sponsors of the child being baptized. They will often be grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members. Some records may include the name of the parish in Ireland from which the family came!
I learned about the release of these records through the RootsTech conference. If you think these Catholic records could be useful for your family, check out this recording to step you through the process.
Here are a few other helpful articles and websites to get started with Irish research:
"The programme is based on a simple idea; reverse genealogy. Instead of waiting for people of Irish descent to trace their roots, Ireland XO volunteers worldwide are networking with people of Irish descent in their local areas, helping to build bridges between the present and the past by connecting people with the home parishes of their ancestors."
Their genealogy site offers an overview of what records are available (both civil and church) in their repository. Images of the original documents are free to access.
To research your Irish ancestors after their arrival in America, check out their blog post featuring new resources for Irish-American heritage month.