Where Do I Start?
Just like with any family history project, begin with yourself. Make sure that you know everything you can find out from family members. Look at home sources for clues in certificates, family Bibles, obituary notices, diaries and similar sources. Tombstones are another good place to start for names, dates and places. Organize the information you find and record it on Family Group Sheets or with a genealogy software program.
Important Questions to Ask About Your Irish Ancestors
- Which parish or townland did they come from?
- Approximately when did they live there?
- What religion were my Irish ancestors? If Protestant, then what denomination?
- If my ancestors emigrated from Ireland, when did they do so?
- Were there any family members who remained behind in Ireland?
- What was my family's social status in Ireland?
As you ask these questions of family members, friends and relatives, please keep in mind that family stories and traditions may not always be correct. It is fairly common, for example, for a tombstone or family record to confuse the port of departure with the place of origin. Don't let that keep you from writing down everything you are told as clues - just remember that clues are all they are until they can be verified through other sources.
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