Tracing Your Irish Roots

There are 35 million people in the United States who embrace Irish ancestry. New services like 23andMe and Ancestry.com have made finding out about your genetic heritage quite popular. You don’t need to use one of these expensive businesses to research your Irish heritage. According to the website, Ireland.com, there are increasing numbers of resources available, both online and from official organizations, to assist you in finding out about your Irish ancestry. These include:

  1. The National Archives, which offers a free, short, personal consultation with professional genealogists.
  2. The General Register Office registers all civil birth, adoption, death, marriage and civil partnerships in the Republic of Ireland. You can get copies of records at its Dublin office or online.
  3. The National Library has a free walk-in advisory service, varied workshops and talks. It also has microfilm copies of most surviving Roman Catholic parish registers.
  4. The Ireland Family History on Facebook page has regular Q & A sessions with genealogy experts.
  5. County Genealogy Centers in many of Ireland’s counties work with volunteers, local historical societies, local clergy and authorities, government agencies and libraries to build a database of genealogical records.
  6. IrishGenealogy.ie is run by the Irish government and brings together church and civil records in one online, searchable and free archive.
  7. Other sources are
    • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
    • Ulster Historical Foundation
    • Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, and Military Archives
    • The Yarmouth Town Library has a Genealogy Club, which meets on the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm at the South Yarmouth Library. Some meetings feature guest speakers, and others are hands-on work sessions. For more information, contact Jane Cain, Library Director.
    • Cape Cod Genealogy Club at http://www.capecodgenealogy.org/
      or visit their office at the Dennis Public Library.