Irish Research and Finding Irish Origins
Before attempting research in Ireland, it is important to find out as much as possible from U.S. records, and to at least identify the Irish county. There are many ways to do this. Below is a checklist of sources. I can check local sources in Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Saratoga, and surrounding counties.
- The Search for Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot (1831-1921). These mention Irish people all over the country, not just in the Boston area. They are available in book form, CD, and online free through Boston College and through membership at New England Historic Genealogical Society
- Irish Civil Birth Registration - Many of these are available online through Family Search Others may need to be ordered on film at Family History Centers
- Federal and State Census - compare information on all censuses to get a better idea of birth and marriage dates
- City Directories - check these to find neighborhoods to determine possible churches
- Church Records - look for baptisms, marriages, deaths. If none are found, expand the search to other churches. This may involve old fashioned letter writing unless the church records have been published. Always include a small donation to the church
- Passenger Lists - may not give county of origin, but could give clues to other passengers traveling with your family
- Naturalization Records - may not give county of origin, but look for witnesses that may be family members
- Vital Records - look for all birth, marriage, death records for the immigrant, their spouse, children, and other known relatives. There may be a clue somewhere!
- Obituaries - for the immigrant, spouse, children, known relatives
- Cemetery Records - these are very important, as some gravestones do have the county of origin. Also look for known relatives
- Probate and Land Records - these could help identify relatives and possibly contain other clues