Friday, 17 May 2013

Research Tips

General Tips for Research   just to get started -

  • Start backwards e.g. search 1911 Census, then 1901, and then Griffiths Valuation (circa 1850's)
  • Try to write down the "stories" you have heard from your own parent/elders, it will help fill some "blanks" in your family tree.
  • You need to know Townlands, Parishes, etc while doing the search, it is easier when a family have always lived in the same townland.
  • Headstones are a very good research, though many Old Irish Graveyards may be overgrown.   Nevertheless, it is worthwhile trying to see if there is a Cemetery in the townland your Ancestors came from.
Some Other  Research Facilities

National Library
Many records before 1850's were destroyed in the various buildings during the Rising, but some Parish Records remain and can be viewed in the National Library.  Personally this requires great patience as some are almost illegible and books are not in good condition. You would need to spend a day here as you have to research records on Microfilm.

Cancelled Valuations
 The staff in the Cancelled Valuation Offices are extremely helpful.  Here you can look up the townland, and see how the "plot" has changed ownership over the years since circa mid 1800's, either passing from Father to Son/wife or to another landowner. 

 GRO - General Registrations Records
The cheapest way to do research here is to spend a day.  There is a daily search fee where you can browse all books.  Otherwise you pay a fee for 5 consecutive years (books).  A separate fee then is paid for each Certificate you order and a minimum of 5 certs per day.  You can place an order for others. 
It is "touch and go", I have ordered quite a few Certificates but unfortunately these were not useful to me, if it is a common name e.g. Michael Joyce it can be very risky.

National Archives
Lots of records here, including the most interesting was the Wills Index. You may be pleasantly suprised to find some wills of your families here.