Useful Information

Emigration records are records of people leaving a country.  Immigration records are records of people entering a country.  These records might include passenger lists, permissions to emigrate, records of passports issued, lists of transported prisoners, and registers of assistance to emigrate.  These records may contain name, age, occupation, destination, place of origin or birthplace, date of departure, and date and sip of arrival.  Names of fellow passengers may suggest familial relationships or provide hints about a passenger’s place of origin or destination.

Genealogical centers have been indexing church records, mainly Catholic parish registers, for hundreds of years.  Some are also indexing Tithe Applotment books, Griffith’s Primary Valuation, the 1901 census, and gravestone inscriptions.  They’re also computerizing their indexes.  The records are not open to the public, but staff will search their indexes for a fee.  Search Irish counties that interest you for contact information.

As much as you would like to own your family crest, you might want to save your money.  Coats of arms were granted to individuals, not families or surnames.  Coats of arms were originally granted to identify individuals in battle.  Eventually, the crown began to grant coats of arms to people who performed heroic deeds, made notable achievements, or held prominent positions.  The right to use a coat of arms could be inherited only by legitimate male descendants of the person to whom the coat was granted.  Most Irish ancestors did not have a coat of arms.

Useful U.S. Websites

Before taking your search across the pond, get a leg up on your research by visiting the Family History Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Their library has an entire floor dedicated to Irish and English genealogy.  A great place to obtain needed documents.  Plan to spend a few days as this is place is amazing,  They have available many of the same documents as Ireland.

Irish Genealogical Society International – explore their wide array of resources.  Check out “Irish Days” at their library on the second Saturday of every month for classes on Irish genealogy and research.  Membership required.  They conduct Webinars to enable their far-flung members to take advantage of top-notch learning opportunities.  Or perhaps you’d like to host your own less on geneaology.  IGSI is a voluntary organization housed in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Their wealth of resources are available to all who have an interest in their heritage.  You might be interested in joining this group to receive the SEPTS award-winning quarterly journal.  Lots of tips and stories to aid in your search: info about Irish research methods, articles about various aspects of Irish history and the Irish diaspora, and links to information that may be helpful to your research.  Contact the editor at if you have any questions.  Search their website for information,

National Archives & Records (NARA).  Search for locations throughout the U.S.

Facebook Groups

Perform a quick search on Facebook for the following group names:

  • Forgotten Ireland
  • Memories of Ireland
  • Ireland, travel, culture
  • Across the pond
  • Ireland the old country
  • Valentia Island Down Memory Lane
  • O’Shea Ancestry
  • Iveragh Peninsula Genealogy
  • Irish genealogy
  • Irish Ancestry
  • My Heritage