Searching for your Irish roots is becoming an increasingly popular pastime, with more and more resources becoming available for individuals interested in exploring their ancestry. See below for a sample of some of the centres across Ireland that provide services for those seeking to research their family history.
Main Street, Longford, Longford
The Longford County Museum is located in Main Street, Longford and is open to the public during the summer months. Among its many interesting displays are collections of domestic, historic and agricultural interest, also archival and General Sean MacEoin material. It also provides a genealogical service.
County Sligo Heritage and Genealogy Centre
Aras Reddan, Temple Street, Sligo
The County Sligo Heritage and Genealogy Centre offers a full service to enquirers whose ancestors hailed from County Sligo.
The main records include:
Roman Catholic – earliest commenced in 1762
Church of Ireland (Anglican/Episcopalian) earliest also date from 1762
Records of Presbyterian congregations start 1840
Methodist records start in 1840
Other major sources include:
The 1901 Census
Griffith’s Valuation records from the middle of the 19th Century
Tithe Applotment Books for the first quarter of the last century
The Elphin Diocesan Census of 1749
In all a total of 400,000 records relating to the county have been computerised at the Centre and the computerising of records continues.
Genealogy Centres in Cork
County Cork is divided into three areas for the purposes of genealogical research:
North and East Cork which is catered for by the Mallow Heritage Centre, 27/28 Bank Place
Cork City for which the Cork Ancestral Project c/o The County Library, Farranlea Road, Cork, will provide a service in the future;
West Cork area for which no service is currently available.
Dublin Genealogy Services
Dublin City and County is divided into three areas for genealogical research purposes under the Irish Genealogical Project. So far only two are offering services:
The Fingal Heritage Group is designated by the Irish Family History Foundation as the official centre for genealogical research for the northern part of the county.
The Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Heritage Society offer a partial service for enquiriers seeking information on their ancestors from south county Dublin.
The West Galway Family History Society
Research Unit, Venture Centre
Liosbaun Estate, Tuam Road, Galway
This centre offers a full service to enquirers. Church records available for the Galway west area include Roman Catholic records commencing between 1789 and 1872 (depending on the parish), Church of Ireland records starting between 1808 and 1841, and Presbyterian Church records commencing in 1833. Other records include civil records from their inception to 1922, electors lists, detailed parish and townland maps, and parochial censuses.
The centre has built up an extensive collection of local family history publications and has access to over a million records.
Ulster Historical Foundation
12 College Square
East Belfast, BT1 6DD
The Ulster Historical Foundation is designated by the Irish Family History Foundation to provide a genealogical research service for the counties of Antrim and Down (including the City of Belfast) in Northern Ireland.
In addition to having access to civil records of birth, death and marriages, valuation and tithe records the Ulster Historical Foundation has computerised church records including Roman Catholic records from 1798 on, Church of Ireland records commencing in 1637, and Presbyterian records from 1675 and
Non-Subscribing Presbyterian records from 1757.
Church Street, Strokestown, Roscommon
The Roscommon Heritage and Genealogical Centre offers a family research service to people with County Roscommon roots. There is a permanent display dealing with Roscommon surnames, around which a series of historical and heritage exhibitions are held each season.
The Church of Ireland church, in which the centre is housed, contains an octagonal nave, a unique architectural feature of its period in Ireland.The centre is open to deal with genealogy all year round, but there is no exhibition except for the season as stated.
Bishop Street, Derry, Derry
This centre houses a heritage library an oral history and reference library and as part of the Irish Genealogical Project a comprehensive genealogical database has been established here to allow for high speed computer searches of family history and ancestoral family trees. The database holds 600 000 entries at present increasing at a rate of 2 000 per week. A permanent exhibition is on display here with free slide shows on request