So you know or at least believe that you have Irish roots. Now you want to discover more about them. But you don't know what to do or where to start with your research. Well, here's some advice and information, supplied to us by Irishgen Ltd., which should be of considerable help.
1. Talk to Your Relatives
Find out everything that there is to know about your Irish line from your parent/s, their siblings, your grandparents, their siblings, and, if you're lucky enough that they are still alive, speak to your great grandparents and their siblings. Where all of your older relatives have passed away, talk to their close friends. Check to see if any of your cousins have done any work already that may be of help.
So, whether you are in the USA, Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa or elsewhere your goal is to get back to the person or persons who originally emigrated and to discover all about your Irish ancestry.
Much of this guide will also apply to those of you who are living in Ireland, both north and south.
2. Record the Details
You will be particularly interested in recording the names of your ancestors, the places in which they lived and the dates or estimated dates of their births, marriages and deaths.
Events like their emigration from Ireland and other significant events in their lives may have been recorded somewhere, along with, hopefully, additional useful information.
Take note of your source for each bit of information - who told you, how they know it is true, what you were shown, when you found it, whether the information was supported by an official document like a birth certificate. Get copies of all documents, certificates and photographs that you can.
If you have a computer, there are lots of genealogy packages available to record your family tree as well as all of the supporting documentation like certificates, letters and photographs etc.
3. Work from what is Known
Go from what you know to the unknown. Details of the ancestor that you have most information on will help you in you search for other ancestors. So if you have a granduncle or great-uncle that is well documented, by researching him you will probably discover your great-grandparents' identities as well as some more about your grandfather or grandmother.
Irishgen Ltd. 2002
|Guide to Tracing Your Roots|
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