Friday, 14 March 2014

St Patrick is the patron saint of Irish genealogy

The photo on the left shows my youngest son Jamie a couple of years ago, getting stuck in some sand at a beach near Tramore in County Waterford. By an absolutely extraordinary coincidence, it also depicts the exact same feeling many of us have had with our Irish family history research over the years.

But a great new truism that continues to be reaffirmed every year is that Saint Paddy's Day was made for genealogists. In ways yet to be understood by modern science, it seems that his magical mystical pixie dust seems to get everyone motivated once a year to really push for new family history resources to be made available online, and on that front, this year has been no exception.

So here's a quick pre-St Paddy's Day round up of recent things that have been happening online, as reported on British GENES, which I will update over the next few days should more emerge!

More Northern Irish wills calendar entries now online!
Also check out the British GENES Irish probate calendars page at (or top of this page)!

Irish Origins St Patrick's Day offers

Irish Lives Remembered - free March 2014 issue

Eneclann - St Paddy's Day discount

Ancestry - free access to Irish records

Major news: Irish Catholic parish registers join Ancestry

1864 Dromore Presbyterian Church census on Emerald Ancestors

Co. Clare baptism records added to RootsIreland

PRONI guide to Northern Irish school records holdings

FamilySearch's Irish page

Irish ancestry in Cavan and New York - book reviews

National Archives of Ireland catalogue - March update

And stories to keep an eye out for next month:

The new GRONI records platform
The launch of the new ScotlandsPeople style Northern Irish records platform from the GRO in Belfast in April - civil registration records dating back to 1845.

Major Irish databases to launch in time for Christmas
They didn't quite get online at Christmas! But there are several major new databases coming online soon in the Republic of Ireland

Don't forget, for a round up, explanation, and detailed context of many resources already online, there is also my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. The book provides an extensive examination of how to find archives and societies, commercial sites, free resources, vital records, censuses, land records, occupational records, records in Britain (The Republic of Ireland was in the UK for 120 years, whilst Northern Ireland still is) and so, so much more. There is also a province by province, and county by county, guide to various resources placed online at a more local level, and a guide to many resources for the Irish diaspora.

The book is available to buy (print and ebook editions) from and many other retailers, including at - you'll find a free preview version of the book on each site also to help give an idea of what's covered, and some great reviews.

Here's a wee video introduction:

(Also available at

I'm heading off to Portugal on Sunday for a week to give a few talks as part of the Lost Cousins Genealogy in the Sunshine event, and will be giving a talk on online Irish resources in the Algarve on Monday - will post pics up of the event in due course - I have to wear a St Paddy's Day hat....! :)

Just to end this post, the following photo, taken in Donegal a few years ago, shows exactly how the relief of breaking through an Irish genealogical brick wall can be manifested in human form...

Have a good one!


Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

1 comment:

  1. Happy St Patrick's Day Chris from across the pond here in Montreal. Sláinte! Yours Aye