"Ireland, a large island of Europe, W of Great Britain, between lon. 6 and 10, 40 W, and lat. 51, 15 and 55, 13 N, 280m. long and 160 broad, and containing 19,436,000 acres divided up into 4 provinces; Ulster N, Leinster E, Munster S, and Connaught to the W, and subdivided into 32 counties. ... The climate is in general more temperate than that of other countries in the same latitude; at the same time it is much more inclined to moisture ... The face of the country is level; it is well watered with lakes and rivers, and the soil, in most parts, good and fertile. A remarkable feature of this country is the extensive bogs, estimated at 2,330,000 English acres. Corn, hemp, and flax are produced in great plenty; beef and butter are exported; and hides, wool, tallow, wood, salt, honey, and wax, are articles of commerce. ... The principal manufacture is fine linen cloth, which is brought to great perfection, and the trade in it is very great. Ireland is well adapted to trade, on account of its numerous secure and commodious bays and harbours. The principal rivers are the Shannon, Bandon, Lee, Blackwater or Broadwater, Liffey, Boyne, Sure, Burrow, Slane, and Bann; lakes, lough Neagh, or the lake of Killarney, the most distingished for its beauties, lough Erne, and lough Corrib. The established religion is Protestant, though the majority of the people are Catholics."

[From The New London Gazetteer (1826)]


The Counties of Ireland:

Here is an alphabetical list of the counties of Ireland, each linked to the county page (and with the Province they belong to shown in brackets).  The three-letter "Chapman Code" shown before each county name corresponds with the county on the map of Ireland above.



Note that the Province of Ulster consists of nine counties, as against the six counties of "Norhern Ireland" as explained below.


Archives & Libraries

In 1922 the Republic of Ireland was created and six of the nine counties forming the province of Ulster (Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, and Tyrone) voted to remain part of the United Kingdom. Separate National Archives were formed for the Republic of Ireland, the National Archives of Ireland (NAI), and Northern Ireland, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI). Similarly civil registration became, for the Republic of Ireland, The General Register Office (GRO) and, for Northern Ireland, General Register Office (Northern Ireland) known as GRONI.

Copies of many national records up to 1922 are available in both the NAI and PRONI and similarly registration records in GRO and GRONI. Records after 1922 are held in their respective offices. It is also important to note that several church dioceses of all denominations have parishes on both sides of the border  and some Ulster collections include records from Monaghan, Donegal and Cavan  as Ulster counties pre 1922.

Local records are held in County Archives, Libraries and Heritage Centres


As part of the United Kingdom, Irish records have historically been created and archived in Britain.   The UK National Archives have produced some guides to their archives and the Discovery catalogue can be used to search English and Welsh archive holdings. 

Printed archive listings include:

  • O’Neill Robert K, Irish Libraries, Archives Museums & Genealogical Centres, Ulster Historical Foundation
  • Helferty Seamus and Refausse Raymond (Ed), Directory of Irish Archives, Irish Academic Press


Online resources:



  • Begley, Donal F., ed. Irish Genealogy: A record Finder. Dublin: Heraldic Artists (1981).
  • Falley, Margaret Dickson. Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestral Research. 2 vols. Evanston, Illinois:
  • Grehnam, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan (1992).
  • McCarthy, Tony. The Irish Roots Guide. Dublin: Lilliput Press (1991).
  • Quinn, Sean E. Trace Your Irish Ancestors. Bray.Ireland: Magh Itha Teoranta (1989).
  • Ryan, James G. Irish Records; Sources for Family & Local History, Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Publishing (1997).
  • Flyleaf Press "My Ancestor was from" series http://www.ancestornetwork.ie/flyleaf/


Two sources listing published biographies are:

  • Grenham, John "Family Histories". In Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The complete Guide.
  • MacLysaght, Edward. Bibliography of Irish Family History 2d ed. Blackrock, Ireland: Irish Academic Press (1982).


The following collections are important sources for biographies of prominent businessmen, political leaders, and religious and historical figures:

  • British and Irish Biographies. London: Chadwyck-Healt (1986).
  • Crone, John S. A Concise Dictionary of Irish Biography.
  • Lee, Sir Sidney, Leslie Stephen, H.W.C. Davis, Et. al., eds. Dictionary of National Biography. 63 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Sieveking, Paul, ed. The British Biographical Archive New York, New York, K.G. Sauer (1986). (FHL fiche 602709-35, 6066966)


Cemetery Records

Typically municipal cemeteries owned and managed by the local authority. These cemeteries are multi-denominational, although may have areas reserved for the various denominations. Records may include age, parent’s names and place of birth and plots may contain several members of the same family. By far the biggest online collection comprises the records of the Dublin Cemetery Trust (pay-per-view), containing about 1.5 million records dating from 1828.


Cemetery records, transcribed by volunteers and searchable by county, are to be found on the IGP website

Headstones (Monumental Inscriptions)


Other resources include:


Printed resources:

  • Mitchell, Brian A Guide to IRISH Churches and Graveyards, Genealogical Publishing Co Inc.



A partial census of Ireland took place in 1813, followed by more complete census every ten years from 1821 onwards.  However the 1821, 1831, 1841 & 1851 census returns were almost all destroyed in a fire in 1922, whereas the 1861 1871 1881 & 1891 census returns had earlier been destroyed on the orders of the government. 

General Guidance:

Available records:

1813 Census:

  • NAI has some surviving fragments for Galway (numerical returns for Longford Barony only) & Londonderry; which can be searched online here.

1821 Census:

  • Almost all census returns were destroyed in a fire in 1922.
  • Indexes for the 1821 to 1851 fragments (linked to images on the NAI website) are available on Familysearch (free).
  • NAI has some surviving fragments for Cavan, Fermanagh, Galway, Meath & Offaly; which can be searched online here.
  • PRONI holds some surviving fragments for Fermanagh and Cavan (PRONI Reference MIC/5A)

1831 Census:

  • Almost all census returns were destroyed in a fire in 1922.
  • PRONI holds some surviving fragments for County Londonderry (City of Londonderry and Baronies of Coleraine, Loughlinsholin & Tirkeeran)

1841 Census:

  • Almost all census returns were destroyed in a fire in 1922 (but see "Census Substitutes" below).
  • Indexes for the 1821 to 1851 fragments (linked to images on the NAI website) are available on Familysearch (free).
  • NAI has some surviving fragments for Cavan, Cork, Fermanagh & Waterford; which can be searched online here.
  • PRONI holds some surviving fragments for Cavan (PRONI Reference MIC/5A/9B)

1851 Census:

  • Almost all census returns were destroyed in a fire in 1922 (but see "Census Substitutes" below).
  • Indexes for the 1821 to 1851 fragments (linked to images on the NAI website) are available on Familysearch (free).
  • PRONI holds some surviving fragments from Cromic Ward (Belfast) and also for County Fermanagh and County Antrim (PRONI Reference MIC/5A/10-26)
  • NAI has some surviving fragments for Dublin city (index to heads of household only) and County Fermanagh; which can be searched online here.
  • A transcription of some extracted fragments for Dunaghy (County Antrim) are viewable free of charge on this website.

1861-1891 Census: All records were destroyed on Government orders and no records survive.

1901 Census:

1911 Census:

1926 Census:

  • The records for the Republic of Ireland are held at NAI (Dublin), but  are not due to be released for public viewing until 2026.
  • The census records for Northern Ireland no longer exist.

1936 Census (Repblic of Ireland only):

  • The records for the Republic of Ireland are held at NAI (Dublin), but are not due to be released for public viewing until 2036.

1937 Census (Northern Ireland only):

  • The records of the limited census undertaken in Northern Ireland are held at PRONI (Belfast) but are not due to be released for public viewing until 2037.

1939 National Register (Northern Ireland only):

  • The records for the 1939 National Register covering Northern Ireland are held at PRONI (Belfast), but are not generally available for public search.
  • No Register was compiled in the Republic of Ireland).


Census Substitutes

The Old Age Pensions Act 1908 introduced a non-contributory pension for eligible people aged 70 and over. Proof of age was an essential part of the process of application for a pension. Because civil registration of births did not begin in Ireland until 1864, applicants had no official documentation to prove their age. It was decided that searches of the 1841 and 1851 census returns could produce acceptable documentary evidence of a claimant's age, so information was extracted from the then surviving 1841 & 1851 census records to support pension applications.

  • The original images are held in the National Archives of Ireland and the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland. Index and images are available on the National Archives of Ireland website (free) and Findmypast (subscription).
  • The indexes with a link to images on the National Archives of Ireland website are available on Familysearch (free).
  • Index with images of transcriptions on Ancestry.
  • Various local indices and transcriptions have been produced by volunteers. Many of these are to be found in the Irish Genealogy Project website.
In addition some other census substitutes exist. Please see subjects “Land and Property” and “Taxation”

Church Records

General Guidance:

Parish registers are the most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the commencement of the civil registration of births, deaths and marriages in 1864.  Prior to this parish registers may contain the only surviving record of a particular individual or family and can supply evidence of direct links between one generation and the next (via baptismal registers) and one family and another (via marriage registers). Familysearch recommend the following strategy:

  1. Search indexes first. 
  2. Search all parish registers and other available church records of the appropriate locality for the time period you are researching.
  3. Search available Church of Ireland records even if your family was not Church of Ireland.
  4. Search surrounding localities if you cannot find records in the expected locality.
  5. Note all entries, including burials, for the surname you are searching (unless the name is very common).
  6. Note gaps or missing pages in the record. You may want to search alternative records for the missing time periods.
  7. If you find little or no mention of your family in parish records, search other records.
  8. Use the additional information (residence, occupation, etc.) given in parish registers to find other records to search.

Parish names and boundaries may differ between Roman Catholic Parishes, Church of Ireland Parishes and the name of the city/town. Reference should be made to an online sources such as The IreAtlas Townland Database (formerly “Sean Ruad”) or Irish Ancestors or reference books including: Mitchell Brian, A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland, Genealogical  Publishing Co Inc.

Research Guides:

Specific Denominations:


Church of Ireland:

  • Online Records: Church of Ireland Anglican Record Project.
  • Online Guide: Church of Ireland records - availability, and range of years covered; information from Fianna.
  • Downloadable: Guide to PRONI holdings Your Family Tree Series - 3
  • Online Guide: Genealogy - Church of Ireland web site
  • Publication: Refaussé, Raymond, Dr., Church of Ireland Records, Irish Academic Press, Dublin, 2000






  • Online Information: Methodist Historical Society of Ireland
  • Downloadable Guide: PRONI Methodist Church Records - See page 3 of Your Family Tree Series - 3
  • Publication: ffeary-Smyrl, Steven C., Exploring Irish Genealogy, No. 1. Irish Methodists - Where do I start?, Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations, Dublin, 2000


Roman Catholic:

Society of Friends (Quaker):

  • Online Guide: Quaker records for Ireland online.
  • Online Archive Guide: Lisburn Meeting Library.
  • Online Archive Guide: Historical Library, Quakers in Ireland, Dublin
  • Online Records on the FindMyPast website (£ Subscription): births, marriages, deaths, congregational records, and school records.
  • Publication: Eustace, P. B. and Goodbody, O. C., Quaker Records Dublin Abstracts of Wills, Stationery Office for the Irish Manuscripts Commission, Dublin, 1957.
  • Publication: Goodbody, O. C. and Hutton, B. G., Guide to Irish Quaker records, 1654-1860, Genealogical Pub. Co. Baltimore, MD, 1999
  • Publication: Library of the Ulster Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, 2000 CD-ROM, Craigavon Museum Services, Craigavon, (2000)
  • Publication: The Quaker Corner - from Joanne Todd Rabun of Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A.


These Websites offer national and multi-county indexes, transcriptions or images of parish registers

  • Irish Family History Foundation Parish Registers and Civil Registration with links to NLI images. (Subscription)
  • Irish Genealogy Church Records Cork, Kerry and Dublin, Civil Records for Ireland Some images. (Free)
  • Emerald Ancestor  Births, deaths and marriages from historic Ulster (subscriptions)
  • Ulster Historical Foundation  Baptism and Marriage records Co. Antrim and Co. Down. (subscription)
  • Findmypast Ireland  Parish records from across Ireland and across all religions. Some images. (subscription)
  • Ancestry Parish records from across Ireland and across all religions. Some images. (Subscription)
  • Familysearch: Parish records  indexes from across Ireland and across all religions. (Free)

The following libraries have collections that include indexes and transcriptions of parish registers:


Civil Registration

General Information

Civil registration of all births, marriages, and deaths in Ireland began in 1864, except for non-Catholic marriages, for which registration started in 1845.  Some guidance can be found in PRONI's downloadable guidance note: "General Register Office" (free).

Available Records

Registration produced two sets of records: the registers for births, marriages & deaths, plus the published indexes to those registers. In 1922 the repository was split onto two:

  • Records for Northern Ireland kept by the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) in Belfast. Online search is available for the indices of records of births over 100 years old, marriages over 75 years old and deaths (including World War II death records) over 50 years old. More recent records can only be viewed in-person at GRONI's Search Room in Belfast.
  • Records for the Republic of Ireland are held at the General Register Office (GRO) in Dublin. Online search is available for records of births (1864 - 1920), Marriages (1845 - 1945) & Deaths (1871 - 1970); but note that Roman Catholic Marriages records only began in 1864.  Records of deaths 1864 - 1871 are currently being added to the search facility.

Certificates can be ordered online and by post from GRO and GRONI as appropriate.

Indexes (only) have been published on a number of websites:

  • Familysearch,  index to 1958 but excluding records for Northern Ireland after its creation in 1922. (free).  These indexes are also available at Family History Libraries on microfilm.
  • Ancestry births, deaths, marriages, excluding index records for Northern Ireland after its creation in 1922 (Subscription).
  • RootsIreland births, marriages and deaths.

Various local indices and transcriptions have been produced by volunteers. Many of these are to be found in the Irish Genealogy Project website.


Court Records

Familysearch Wiki Ireland Court Records

“The Irish court system was based on the English system of law. The Four Courts of Equity were the Exchequer, Chancery, Common Pleas, and King’s/Queen’s Bench. The destruction of the Public Record Office in 1922 significantly impacted the record availability for these courts. Of the four courts, only a small collection of original records for the court of Chancery survive. There are however, a number of indexes, abstracts, and transcripts that are available. “ Read the full article.

Court proceedings are widely reported in local and national newspapers

Websites with Court related collections:

Findmypast (££):


Ancestry (££):


Familysearch (Free):

  • Calendar of the justiciary rolls or proceedings in the court of justiciar of Ireland: preserved in the Public Records Office of Ireland.
  • Margaret Falley, Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestral Research provides a good description of court records and lists repositories and published inventories of court records. Many of the published inventories she notes are available at the Family History Library.

Description & Travel

Under this topic here, and on the county pages, we list links to sites that provide general tourist and current information, and to large online services related to particular localities.

You can see pictures of Ireland which are provided by:



Directories for Dublin first appeared in the early eighteenth century and continue today. Provincial (town) directories began somewhat later and have continued only sporadically. See the research guide on Irish Ancestors.

The following websites hold online collections of national, regional and local directories


Hard copies of national, regional and local directories are held in local studies libraries throughout Ireland and some facsimile copies have been published. These are mostly out of print but may be available second hand or on CD.

Newspaper advertising is also a useful source for commercial life.

Other Directories available:

  • Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland Membership Registers, 1733-1923

Emigration & Immigration


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“The phenomenon of migration from Ireland is recorded since early Medieval times,[ but it is only possible to quantify it from around 1700: since then between 9 and 10 million people born in Ireland have emigrated. This is more than the population of Ireland at its historical peak in the 1840s of 8.5 million. The poorest of them went to Great Britain, especially Liverpool; those who could afford it, almost 5 million, went to the United States.

In 1890 40% of Irish-born people were living abroad. By the 21st century, an estimated 80 million people worldwide claimed some Irish descent, which includes more than 36 million Americans who claim Irish as their primary ethnicity.”

In the 19c emigration from the island of Ireland was mostly from Derry/Londonderry in the North West and Cobh (Cork) in the South West. Journeys to the ports were either overland or via coastal shipping. Many travelled via mainland ports, including Liverpool, Bristol and Glasgow.

It should be noted that until 1922 travel between the UK mainland and Ireland was a domestic journey and no records were kept.



The following websites offer collections of passenger lists and other documents:

Irish Ancestors


FindmyPast (Subscription)


Ancestry (Subscription)



USA - Ellis Island



Other material on Irish Emigration and Immigration




One of the best printed gazetteers, providing detailed information on all towns, parishes etc, is S. Lewis. A topographical dictionary of Ireland, comprising the several counties, cities and villages : with historical and statistical descriptions, S. Lewis (1837, 1846). 

  • Transcriptions of the complete 1837 edition have been provided by Mel Lockie, © 2011.
  • Volumes I and II of the 1837 edition, and the associated atlas in Volume 3, are available at Ask About Ireland. (PDF)
  • The full text of the 1837 edition can also be searched at LibraryIreland.


Irish Ancestors (formerly the Irish Times) has produced an online genealogy guide based on Grenham's 1992 book "Tracing Your Irish Ancestors". (Direct links to appropriate parts of this guide are given under relevant topic headings on this page.) The guide includes an "expert system designed to provide comprehensive information about records relevant to a particular Irish ancestor" - for fee-paying subscribers only.

  • What to do if your ancestor (or any of his or her siblings) was born, married or died in Ireland after 1863?
  • What to do if your ancestor (or any of his or her siblings) was of a religious domination other than Catholic, and married in Ireland after 1844?
  • What to do if your ancestor was not born, did not marry, and did not die in Ireland after 1863 and you do not know where in Ireland he or she came from?
  • What to do if your ancestor was not born and did not marry or die in Ireland after 1863, but you know where in Ireland he or she came from?
  • What to do if your ancestor lived in Ireland before the nineteenth century, and you know where in Ireland he or she came from?
  • What to do if your ancestor lived in Ireland before the nineteenth century, but you do not know where in Ireland he or she came from?


RootsTech 2017 have published a guide to which records have been digitised in "The Digital Revolution in Irish Genealogy"

Other tutorial accounts:

  • Extensive tutorial material, plus lots of links, are also to be found at the Irish Genealogical Society, International (IGSI) site.
  • Each county now has a local Heritage Centre - part of the Irish Family History Foundation. listed on Irish Ancestors.  Many of these centres offer a fee-paid search service. For details see under Genealogy in the individual county pages - however there have been concerns expressed about the accuracy (and cost) of the information supplied by some Heritage Centres.
  • An overall access point for posting queries about Irish Genealogy is provided by IrelandGenWeb (part of WorldGenWeb) - see also under individual counties.


The North of Ireland Family History Society have these research guides for sale

  •     Researching Your Ancestors in the North of Ireland: A Beginners Guide.
  •     Researching Your Ancestors in the North of Ireland: A Research Guide.
  •     Researching Your Ancestors in the North of Ireland: Websites.
  •     Researching Your Ancestors in the North of Ireland: Locating Church Records.
  •     Researching Your Ancestors in the North of Ireland: Census Records.
  •     Researching Your Ancestors in the North of Ireland: Emigration to Australia & New Zealand.


All-Ireland Newsgroups and mailing lists:

  • Cúpla Focal - Irish language tuition via Skype
  • FIANNA-L-request[at]rootsweb[dot]com (sources and methods for Irish research)
  • GENIRE - Gatewayed with the soc.genealogy.ireland newsgroup
  • IRELAND - A mailing list for anyone with a genealogical or historical interest in the island of Ireland
  • Ireland Genealogy Forum
  • IrelandGenWeb - A mailing list addressing general and specific questions about Ireland genealogy, methodology, etc.
  • IRISH-ADOPTEES-SEARCH (adoptees who wish to share search/reunion stories, genealogical pursuits, and knowledge of Ireland)
  • SURNAMES-IRELAND - Gatewayed with the soc.genealogy.surnames.ireland newsgroup for surname queries related to Ireland and Northern Ireland


Other Online Resources:



Irvine, Sherry and Nora M Hickey. Going to Ireland: A Genealogical Researcher's Guide. Trafford Publishing, Victoria, Canada. [ISBN 1 55212 077 5] [Very favourably reviewed in Family Tree Magazine, June 1998.]



The records of the Genealogical Office (2 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, Ireland) deal mainly with heraldry (mostly relating to English Lords who were transplanted to Ireland as landowners. The office's holdings include information extracted from records that were destroyed when the Public Records Office burned.

See also:

  • Eddie Geoghegan's Coats of Arms in Ireland - a large collection of representations of coats of arms of Irish families/clans.

Historical Geography

An overview of the relationships between counties, baronies, civil parishes and townlands can be found on this page.





Further reading:

  • Sources for the History of Irish Civilization: Articles in Irish Periodicals. 9 Vols. Boston: G.K. Hall and Co. (1970).

Land & Property

Records of place can provide useful information about where your ancestors lived. The main sources for records of place are Griffith's Valuation, the Tithe Applotment Books, Estate Papers and maps.


The primary valuation of Ireland or Griffith's Valuation - carried out between 1848 and 1864 to determine liability to pay the Poor rate (for the support of the poor and destitute within each Poor Law Union) and provides detailed information on where people lived in mid-nineteenth century Ireland and the property they possessed.  PRONI have produced a free explanatory guidance booklet available here.

Griffith's Valuation (free) is fully searchable online and includes images and maps.

Websites that include Griffiths and/or other land records include:

Index and images to valuations between 1824 and 1856 are available on:

  • National Archives of Ireland
  • Findmypast (subscription)
  • Familysearch holds 355 microfilms  of Valuation  books available to view as images or microfilm viewable in a Familysearch Family History Library. (Note that the LDS microfilm service was terminated in September 2017, records are now digitized and online.)
  • Family Search  Transcripts of memorials of deeds, conveyances and wills, 1708-1929    (2686 microfilm reels)
  • PRONI Valuation Revision Books covering counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone between the years 1864 to 1933.(Subscription)


The Tithe Applotment Books were compiled between 1823 and 1838 as a survey of land in each civil parish to determine the payment of tithes (a religious tax). Unlike Griffith's Valuation they do not cover cities or towns. PRONI have produced a free guidance booklet, available here.

Tithe Applotment records can also be found on the following websites:

  • Tithe Applotment Books on the NLI website (free)
  • The Tithe Applotment Books, Ireland, 1814-1855 on Familysearch (free)
  • The Tithe Applotment Books, Ireland, 1823-1837 on Ancestry (subscription)
  • Tithe Defaulters, 1831 on Find My Past (subscription)


In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the vast majority of the Irish population lived as tenant farmers on estates. The administration of these estates produced large quantities of records such as leases and deeds, rentals and account books, maps and correspondence.

Archives and Libraries with Estate Paper Collections:

Estate Papers can also be found in County Archives and Local Studies Libraries and  a number of Irish Estate Papers are to be found in U.K. National Archives and County Archives. These can be searched using Discovery on the National Archives website.

A selection of  websites which include indexes and images relating to Estate Papers



Language & Languages






Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (Proni Historical Maps) Has an useful place name searchable database built in


  • Mitchell, B. A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland. Genealogical Publishing Co. [Shows counties, dioceses, baronies and civil parishes.]

Map of Ireland showing counties and their Chapman Codes - based on a map obtained from Paddy Waldron.


Military History

Until the creation of the Republic of Ireland, military service was as part of the British Army and Navy and, as such, most remaining records are held by the UK National Archives at Kew. Northern Ireland continues to be part of the United Kingdom. Before searching these archives some knowledge of the recruiting, organisation and structure of the Army and Navy and their records is recommended.  The National Archives publish a series of free Research Guides:

Personnel records are mostly classified by regiment (army) or ship (navy) and are open to the public up to 1923. Requests may be made for WW2 service records, under the Freedom of Information Act. Many of the service records have been indexed but regimental/ship’s muster and pay records can only be searched at the National Archives.

Service record Indexes can be searched using the National Archives Discovery catalogue and the following websites hold extensive indexes and images.





Familysearch: (Free)


Enlistment records. The Connaught Rangers, the Leinster Regiment, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Regiment and the Royal Munster Fusiliers were units of the British Army, which were disbanded following the establishment of the independent Irish Free State in 1922. The enlistment books contain records of soldiers serving in these regiments in the period 1920-22.

Regimental Museums hold some personnel records but mostly record the history of the regiment.

Most military records for the Republic of Ireland are covered by Data Protection legislation, some information is available on Defence Forces Ireland , Military Archives website (free) and Findmypast have published the Irish Army Census 1922 (subscription).


Names, Personal

The pool of Irish surnames is relatively small compared to the rest of Europe and the use and re-use of family forenames can make it difficult for Family Historians to be sure which member of the community is the right ancestor.

The following websites give general information on the history of names in Ireland:


Other sources:



  • MacLysaght, E.The Surnames of Ireland (6th. ed.). Irish Academic Press (1985).


Local newspapers in Ireland have been published since the early 18th century and cover all aspects of national, regional and local life. Copies of most newspapers were sent to the British Library and have since been scanned and indexed (note the indexing has been by OCR and is subject to error). The British Library collection has also been released by Findmypast.

Historic Newspapers collections online.


Many Irish libraries hold microfilm and paper copies of local newspapers which are free to browse.

Since the 1990s many newspapers have started making copies available online. There is a guide to online holdings.



Many Irish people were agricultural labourers or small farmers, for which few records exist. However, for other occupations the situation is much better. A detailed description of the various types of Records concerning Occupations is given at the Irish Ancestors site.

Alphabetical List of Teachers Employed by the Commissioners of National Education on 31 March 1905


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Poor Law and the Workhouse in Ireland are included in the excellent website “The Workhouse” .Information on individual workhouses includes history, maps , photographs and the location of remaining records. Note individual records may be subject to a 100 year closure period.

A number of workhouses have re-opened as Heritage Centres and Museums giving an insight into life in the Workhouse,

Websites with Workhouse content


Other Records



  • The Workhouses of Ireland John O’Connor Anvil 1995
  • Derry and the Irish Poor Law Patrick Durnin Waterside Community Local History Group 1991

Probate Records

Irish probates were handled by ecclesiastical courts up to 1858. Twenty-eight diocesan courts, known as consistory courts, existed. The highest court, with authority over all the ecclesiastical courts, was the Prerogative Court of Armagh (which operated from Dublin). If a person had an estate that included property in more than one diocese and was worth more than £5, that person's will would have been proved in the Prerogative Court. And in addition, the wills of wealthy people were usually proved in the Prerogative Court. If the Estate included property in England or Wales the will may have been proven in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury or Prerogative Court of York.

In 1858, civil authorities, government departments, and courts, took on the work of proving wills and administrations. Eleven district will registries and a Principal Probate Registry in Dublin replaced the church probate courts. Each registry made copies of wills and administrations that it proved in 'will and admon books' and after 20 years sent the originals to the Public Record Office in Dublin. The originals and copies, of almost all records of the Principal Probate Registry (which also had jurisdiction as a district court over the counties of Dublin and Kildare) were destroyed in the fire that consumed the Public Record Office in 1922.  Copies of wills and administrations kept by other district registries have been gathered into the National Archives and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, where they remain grouped by district.

There is an exhaustive description of Ireland Probate Records on Familysearch.

Family Search  Transcripts of memorials of deeds, conveyances and wills, 1708-1929    (2686 microfilm reels)

Websites with Probate indexes and images.

Familysearch Family History Libraries also hold microfilms of indexes and images of probate documents. (Note that the LDS microfilm service was terminated in September 2017, records are now digitized and online.)



The Commissioners for National Education, which was subsequently known as the National Education Board was established in 1831 with the aim of providing a non-denominational education for the poor of Ireland.


Social Life & Customs

Goodridge, John. A Catalogue of British and Irish Labouring-class and Self-taught poets c 1700 - 1900    Version dated 1/8/2020    This is the latest version of this descriptive listing of labouring-class poets and poetry, giving brief bibliographical and biographical information on 2,255 named poets.



Irish Ancestors includes links to the following societies.

  • Ballingeary and Inchigeela Historical Society, Co. Cork
  • Clogher Historical Society
  • Co. Roscommon Family History Society
  • Co. Tipperary Historical Society
  • Cork Genealogical Society
  • Cork Historical & Archaeological Society
  • Dungarvan Museum Society
  • Genealogical Society of Ireland
  • Grand Orange Lodge
  • Irish Family History Society
  • Mallow Archaeological and Historical Society
  • North of Ireland Family History Society
  • Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society
  • Ratoo Heritage Society
  • Skibbereen Heritage Centre
  • Termonfeckin Historical Society
  • The Glens of Antrim Historical Society
  • The Irish Genealogical Research Society
  • The Irish Railway Record Society
  • The Methodist Historical Society of Ireland
  • The Wicklow Heritage Project
  • Western Family History Association
  • American-Irish Historical Society
  • British Isles Family History Society - U.S.A.
  • Irish Genealogical Society International
  • Irish Genealogical Society of Wisconsin
  • New Zealand Society of Genealogists
  • Society of Australian Genealogists
  • The American Irish Historical Society
  • The Bahrain Irish Society
  • The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
  • The Federation of Family History Societies (U.K.)
  • The Irish Ancestral Research Association
  • The Ulster-Scots Society of America


Other Societies include



  • Many Irish tax records were lost in 1922 when the Public Records Office burned. Surviving archives are mostly land valuation records, including the Tithe Applotment books and Griffith's Primary Valuation. These sources are included in the Land and Property Section.
  • During the 18th and 19th Centuries, flax was an important cash crop a list of known flax growers on the island in 1796. It provides the name of grower and county of residence and the number of spinning wheels/looms that were awarded. The index can be searched on Ancestry and transcription is available to members of the Ulster Historical Foundation.