This is a guide to researching your family history on the web for people of Irish descent. The guide is intended to assist people work their way through the Internet labyrinth, identifying some of the most useful websites for conducting Irish family history and guiding them through these sites.
What is Available?
There are many web resources available for a person of Irish descent who is researching his or her family history. Records from official sources, such as government departments, and church and state institutions, are the most useful when trying to build a family tree.
Some websites make the resource directly searchable while other sites provide a guide to what is available at a particular centre, requiring the person to attend at that centre to conduct the research. Of the websites considered in this guide, at least three require a trip to Dublin to view the resources there, but these websites may save you a trip by telling you what is available before you go.
All but two of the websites listed in this module are free resources. The two subscription sites are
These sites require payment by credit card and this is done online.
Three important resources are not available, in their entirety, on the web. These are the Tithe Applotment Books, Trade Directories and the Census Records for 1901 and 1911. They are available on the web for some counties. In order to present as complete a guide as possible, the location (physical not virtual) of these resources is given.
Guide to Manual
This manual concentrates on only web resources and in particular web resources that are searchable. The searchable website is a great boon to family history research. There is a very useful guide to researching your family history available at http://www.nli.ie/pdfs/famil1.pdf which does not restrict itself to web resources.
Some resources are not available on the web at this stage but are mentioned in this manual to save the reader a fruitless search for an online equivalent of a resource that does not exist.