by Ciara Kerrigan, Research Services
Thousands of people visit us here at the NLI each year to carry out research on their family history. Many of these visitors know little or nothing about where to start; some may have found their family on the 1901 and 1911 Census Online and want to go back further, while others may have heard stories about certain ancestors and want to find out if these stories are true. A sizeable number of family history researchers come from overseas – the UK, US, Canada and Australia – and are looking to find more information on their Irish roots. Because records for Irish family history research are located in a number of different places, it can be difficult for anyone starting out to know where to go. In addition, the huge number of websites devoted to genealogy can be a minefield for those new to this kind of research.
Our new booklet Family History Research: Sources at the National Library of Ireland, which is available in our Genealogy Advisory Service and also downloadable from our website, aims to address some of these issues. The booklet provides simple information on starting your research, and on locating and using NLI collections such as Catholic parish registers, newspapers and city directories. It also gives information on little used sources such as records of former landed estates, as well as heraldic records. Where possible we have included links to relevant free websites, and handy tips to help you get the most from your research.
We’d really love to hear your views on the booklet, and any tips you might have for fledgling family history researchers. If you’ve discovered a really useful free website that helped you, chances are it could help someone else too, so please let us know by commenting below and then we can add it to our Genealogy Links webpage…