Tracing Irish roots has become a passion for many. It can be a challenge for genealogy novices, and even experienced searchers are always reminded that those who lived in desperate poverty in Ireland couldn’t take pains to record family histories. But even the slimmest leads can turn into real treasures, if you’re persistent—and lucky. Here are some websites to get started.
The site to begin your Irish and UK research, with research help, basic information, resource listings and more.
Irish Genealogical Society International
At 2,300 members, this Twin Cities group is the largest of its type in the United States. Records are incredibly comprehensive and volunteer researchers are good sounding boards who point you in right direction.
FamilySearch Ireland Research Wiki
Get lots of research guidance and find out what records FamilySearch may have from your ancestor’s area.
Find downloads, records and links to other Irish genealogy sites on this RootsWeb-hosted page.
National Archives of Ireland
This site includes list of genealogical centers in Ireland, national school rolls, prison records and archival links. Click Research Your Family Tree for genealogy guides. Online records and exhibits are under Digital Resources.
Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland
Click members for a directory of researchers you can hire in Ireland.
The Irish Times
Access articles back to 1859 with a subscription.
This site covers Irish surnames, the diaspora, family crests and more. It also has lots of tips for beginner researchers.
Here, you can search records online (view them for a fee), hire a researcher, get tips and more.
Center for Irish Studies
This internationally renowned organization at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., explores Irish culture via educational programs, research, publications and support of the arts in Ireland. Click Irish Roots at UST for information on its Celtic heritage collection.