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Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center

Irish Guide

How to Begin

The essential tasks of the researcher tracing Irish ancestry are to identify, from American sources, the immigrant ancestor's approximate date of birth or marriage in Ireland, and the precise place of origin (usually a parish or townland). This guide briefly describes the resources available in the Genealogy Department for your Irish genealogical research.

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Using the Department Catalogs

There are several ways of identifying books on Ireland and the Irish in the online catalog at . You can look under "Ireland" followed by the name of a record type, or under "Irish in..." followed by the name of a place. In addition, you can look under a subject or record type followed by "Ireland." Of course, you can always look under the name of a specific Irish locality, or directly under a book's author or title, if known. Also, be sure to check the subject cross references given. Dial-up access is also available at (260) 489-7087.

Do not overlook important Irish sources available only on microfiche or microfilm! Be sure to check the microtext catalog drawer labeled "Ireland" for a list of holdings.

The references listed by record type in the balance of this guide provide only a sampling of the resources available in our growing collection. If you have any questions during your visit, please ask a librarian for assistance.

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Research Guides

New Irish genealogical research guides of varying quality are published almost annually. Those listed here are among the most useful. Most contain important bibliographies. Individual research guides for some counties are also available.

Begley, Donal F., ed. Irish Genealogy: A Record Finder. Dublin: Heraldic Artists Ltd., 1981.

/Gc 929 Ir4/

Falley, Margaret Dickson. Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestral Research. 2 vols. 1962, Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1984. /Gc 929 F19i/

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. 2nd ed. Dublin: Gill and MacMillan Ltd., 1992. /Gc 929 G862t/ published in 1999. /Gc 929 G862taa/

MacLysaght, Edward. Bibliography of Irish Family History. 2nd ed. Blackrock. Co. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. /Gc 016.929 M22b/

Maxwell, Ian. Tracing Your Ancestors in Northern Ireland: A Guide to Ancestry Research in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Edinburgh: The Stationery Office, 1997. /Gc 941.6 M451t/

Mitchell, Brian. A Guide to Irish Churches and Graveyards. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1990. /Gc 941.5 G935/

___________. A Guide to Irish Parish Registers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1988. /Gc 941.5 M69g/

Nolan, William. Tracing the Past: Sources for Local Studies in the Republic of Ireland. Dublin: Geography Publications, 1982. /Gc 941.5 N711t/

Ryan, James G. Irish Church Records: Their History, Availability and Use in Family and Local History Research. 2nd ed. Glenageary, Ireland: Flyleaf Press, 2001. /Gc 941.5 Ir43a/

___________. Irish Records: Sources for Family & Local History. Rev. ed. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 1997. /Gc 941.5 R95i/

___________. Sources for Irish Family History: A Listing of Books and Articles on the History of Irish Families. Glenageary, Ireland: Flyleaf Press, 2001. /Gc 941.5 R95s/

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Gazetteers & Maps

Irish place-names, when found in American records, are often misspelled. The following sources are useful in properly identifying the place of origin, and locating the relevant record-keeping jurisdictions to which it belongs.

Gardner, David E., Derek Harland, and Frank Smith. Genealogical Atlas of Ireland. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1964. /Gc 941.5003 G17g/

General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes, and Baronies of Ireland. 1861, Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1986. /Gc 941.5003 G28/

Goblet, Y. M. A Topographical Index of the Parishes and Townlands of Ireland in Sir William Petty's Mss. Barony Maps (c. 1655-9). Dublin: Stationery Office, 1932. /Gc 941.5003 G53t/

Handran, George B. Townlands in Poor Law Unions: A Reprint of Poor Law Union Pamphlets of the General Registrar's Office. Salem, MA: Higginson Book Co., 1997. /Gc 941.5 H192t/

Irish County Maps Showing the Locations of Churches in Ulster Province, Leinster Province, Connaught Province, Munster Province. Research Papers Series A, Nos. 54-57. Salt Lake City: Genealogical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1976-77. /Gc 929 G283re no. 53-58/

Lewis, Samuel. A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. 2 vols. 1837, Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1984. /Gc 941.5003 L58t/

Mitchell, Brian. A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland. 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2002. /Gc 941.5 M69n/

Ordnance Survey Maps of Ireland. Scale 6 inches to 1 statute mile. 1830s-1840s, Ottawa: National Archives of Canada. 1989? /microfiche /

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Passenger Lists & Emigration Records

Passenger arrival lists and Irish emigration records provide important information about your immigrant ancestor’s departure and arrival dates, traveling companions, and occasionally a specific place of origin. Besides the relevant microfilmed lists, check the published sources named here, most of which do supply the place of origin. Don't overlook The Search for Missing Friends series on "missing" immigrants throughout the U.S. and Canada.

DeGrazia, Laura Murphy and Diane Fitzpatrick Haberstroh. Irish Relatives and Friends: From "Information Wanted" Ads in the Irish-American, 1850-1871. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001. /Gc 974.7 D364ir/

Elliott, Bruce S., ed. The McCabe List: Early Irish in the Ottawa Valley. Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 1991. /Gc 971 M12m/

Ellis, Eilish. Emigrants From Ireland, 1847-1852: State-Aided Emigration Schemes from Crown Estates in Ireland. 1960, Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983. /Gc 929.11 EL59e/

Filby, P. William, ed. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1981. /Gc 929.11 F47p, Gc 929.11 F47pa, 929.11 F47pab/


Glazier, Ira A., ed. The Famine Immigrants: Lists of Irish Immigrants Arriving at the Port of New York, 1846-1851. 7 vols. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983-86. /Gc 929.121 F21/

Harris, Ruth-Ann M., et al., eds. The Search for Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot 1831-1920. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1989-1999. 8 volumes. /Gc 974.402 B65sea/

McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America, 1735-1743. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1992. /929.121 Em4/

Mitchell, Brian. Irish Emigration Lists 1833-1839: Lists of Emigrants Extracted from the Ordnance Survey Memoirs for Counties Londonderry and Antrim. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1989. /Gc 929.121 M69i/

____________. Irish Passenger Lists, 1803-1806: Lists of Passengers Sailing From Ireland to America: Extracted from the Hardwicke Papers. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1995. /Gc 941.5 M69i/

____________. Irish Passenger Lists 1847-1871: Lists of Passengers Sailing from Londonderry to America on Ships of the J.J. Cooke Line and the McCorkell Line. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. /Gc 929.121 Ir4/

Schlegel, Donald M. Passengers From Ireland: Lists of Passengers Arriving at American Ports Between 1811 and 1817, Transcribed from The Shamrock or Hibernian Chronicle. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1980. /Gc 929.121 Sch36p/

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Censuses & Census Substitutes

All-Ireland Heritage. Full name indices to Griffith’s Valuation records for each county as well as the cities of Belfast and Dublin were published between 1986-1998. These are listed in the microtext catalog under Ireland. /microfiche/

The Civil Survey, A.D. 1654-1656. 10 vols. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1931-61. /Gc 941.50004 Ir4c/ Grtffith's Primary Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland, 1848-1864. Dublin: Irish Microforms, Ltd., 1978. /microfiche/

Meehan, Linda K. The 1901 Irish Census Index. Fort McMurray, Alta.: Largy Books, 1994-96. 2 vols. /Gc 941.5 M47n and microfiche/ Volume1 covers County Fermanagh & Volume 2 covers County Tyrone.

19th Century Irish Census Fragments. 1821, 1831, 1841, 1851. /microfilm/

Pender, Seamus, ed. Census of Ireland, circa 1659, with Supplementary Material from the Poll Money Ordinances. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1939 /Gc 941.50004 Ir2c/

Reilly, James R. Richard Griffith and His Valuations of Ireland. Baltimore, MD: Clearfield Company, 2000. /Gc 941.5 R273r/

Return of Owners of Land of One Acre and Upwards in the Several Counties, Counties of Cities, and Counties of Towns in Ireland. Dublin: Alexander Thorm, 1876. /Gc 941.50004 Ir2L oversize/

Surname Index for the 1796 Spinning Wheel Premium Entitlement Lists of Ireland. Vienna, VA: All- Ireland Heritage, Inc., 1986. /microfiche/ Tithe Applotment Books. /microfilm/

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Vital Records

Casey, Albert Eugene. O'Kief, Coshe Mang, Slieve Laugher and Upper Blackwater in Ireland. 15 vols. Birmingham, AL: Amite and Knocknagree Historical Fund, 1959-1971. /Gc 941.95 C26o/

Clarke, Richard S.J., ed. Gravestone Inscriptions, County Antrim. Belfast: Ulster Historical Foundation, 1977-95. 3 vols. /Gc 941.6101 An89/

_______________. Gravestone Inscriptions, County Down. Belfast: Ulster Historical Foundation, 1966-98. 21 vols. /Gc 941.6501 C55g and C55gaj/

_______________. Gravestone Inscriptions, Belfast. Belfast: Ulster Historical Foundation, 1982-91. 4 vols. /Gc 941.6102 B428c/

Farrar, Henry. Irish Marriages: Being an index to the marriages in Walker's Hibernian Magazine 1771 to 1812, with an appendix from the notes of Sir Arthur Vicars...of the Births, Marriages, and Deaths in the Anthologia Hibernica, 1793 and 1794. 1897. Reprint 2 vols. in 1, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1972. /Gc 941.50004 F24i/

Folliott, Rosemary. Biographical Notices (Primarily Relating to Counties Cork and Kerry) Collected from Newspapers. 1756-1827, with a few references, 1749-1755. Dublin: The Author, 1969. /microfiche/

_________. Index to Biographical Notices in the Newspapers of Limerick, Ennis, Clonmel, and Waterford, 1758-1821. Fethard, Co. Tipperary: The Author. 1985. /microfiche/

International Genealogical Index. Salt Lake City: Genealogical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. /microfiche & CD/

Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead. Dublin: The Association, 1888-1916. 13 vols. /Gc 941.5004 As7j/

Schlegel, Donald M. Irish Genealogical Abstracts from the Londonderry Journal, 1772-1784. Baltimore, MD: Clearfield Company, 1990. /Gc 941.5 Sch3i/

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Clare, Rev. Wallace. ed. Irish Genealogical Guides: A Guide to Copies & Abstracts of Irish Wills. n.p.: Sharman & Co., 1930. /Gc 941.50004 C54i/

Eustace, P. Beryl, ed. Registry Deeds, Dublin, Abstracts of Wills, 1708-1832. 3 v. Dublin: Stationery Off., 1954, 1956, 1984. /Gc 941.50004 Ir24r/

_________. and Goodbody, Olive C., eds. Quaker Records, Dublin, Abstracts of Wills. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1957. /Gc 941.8302 D814i/

Phillimore, W.P.W., and Gertrude Thrift, eds. Indexes to Irish Wills. 5 vols. London: Phillimore and Co., 1909-20. /Gc 941.50004 P54i/

Reports of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records in Ireland. /Gc 941.50004 Ir216p/ #26 Index to Diocese of Dublin Wills to 1800. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1895. #30 Index to Diocese of Dublin Wills 1800-1858. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1899.

Vicars, Sir Arthur, ed. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland, 1536-1810. Dublin: E. Ponsonby, 1897. /Gc 941.5009 Ar727v/

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Family Names & Heraldry

In addition to providing general historical background, the sources listed below can help narrow the geographic area of your search for an uncommon surname, if an exact place of origin in Ireland is unknown. Check the department's catalogs under the name of the family you are researching for previously compiled genealogies on individual Irish families.

Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 1988. /Gc 941.6 B41b/

Burke's Irish Family Records. 5th ed. London: Burke's Peerage Limited, 1976. /Gc 929.7205 B912gen/

MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families: Their Names, Arms and Origins. 4th ed. rev. and enl. Blackrock, Co. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1985. /Gc 929.121 M22it 1985/

__________.More Irish Families. Rev. & enl. ed. Blackrock, Co. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. /Gc 929.121 M22ir 1982/

__________.The Surnames of Ireland. 6th ed. Blackrock. Co. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1985. /Gc 929.4 M22s 1985/

Matheson, Sir Robert E. Special Report on Surnames in Ireland [together with] Varieties and Synonymes of Surnames and Christian Names in Ireland. 1909 & 1901, Reprint 2 vols. in 1, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1968. /Gc 929.4 M42s/

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The department houses an excellent collection of more than 240 Irish local history and genealogy

periodical titles. Check the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) under the name of the Irish family or locality you are researching for citations to relevant articles. For additional references check this item:

Hayes, Richard J. Sources for the History of Irish Civilization: articles in periodicals. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1970. 9 vols. /microfiche/

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Audio Cassettes

Audio cassettes of Irish lecture subjects at national genealogical conferences can be checked out at the Genealogy Reference Desk by any patron. Check with a librarian if you want to know more about these and other Irish tapes. Some examples follow.

Gorey, Paul. Sources for Tracing Irish Roman Catholic Families. /Tape #639/

Rencher, David. Ireland Census and Census Substitutes. /Tape #465/

Whelan. Kevin. Irish Life, 1750-1850: The Context of Emigration. /Tape #1124/

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Other Sources

The indexing of parish registers at the Heritage Centers in each Irish county provides new hope to those who cannot identify an immigrant's specific place of origin. Search services vary from center to center, but the current Directory of Parish Registers Indexed in Ireland, listed below, describes the progress made in each county. Check the other items listed for additional contacts and research sources. Good luck!

Directory of Parish Registers Indexed in Ireland. 4th ed. Naas, Co. Kildare: Irish Family History Society. 2000. /Gc 941.5 D622 2000/ Check the most recent edition.

Family History Library Catalog.

Greene, John C. The Belfast Newsletter Index, 1737-1800. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI, Inc., 1996. /microfiche/

Hayes, Richard J. Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilization, 11 vols. Boston: G.K. Hall. 1965. 1st supplement. 1965-1975, 3 vols. 1979. /microfiche/

Helferty, Seamus and Raymond Refausse, ed. Directory of Irish Archives. 3rd ed. Dublin: Four Courts Press, Ltd., 1999. /Gc 941.7 D62b/

Irish Roman Catholic Parish Registers in the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City, UT: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1992. /Gc 941.50004 Ir44r/

Irish Telephone Directories 1991-1992. /Gc 941.5 Ir18e/

List of parish registers on microfilm in the National Library of Ireland. Dublin, Ireland: National Library of Ireland, 2001. /Gc 941.5 L696/ A list of Roman Catholic registers posted on the National Library of Ireland website,, on 14 November 2001.

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