Starting Your Irish Family Tree Research

Setting out on your journey to discover your Irish ancestors? Here are some tips from Genealogy Ireland experts for how you can find out more about your family tree…

Speak to your older relatives first
They will be an excellent source of information about the who’s, where’s and why’s of your family. Grannies, grandfathers, aunts and uncles will all have their own knowledge of different branches of your family tree. They will have letters, photos, newspaper clippings and other historical documents that they might want to share with you. If they do offer you these documents, make a note of who gave you what, and ensure you return them in the same condition.

Use your documents and others to prompt conversations
If you have a particular photo or one relative gives you an artefact, you can use this as a discussion prompt for talks with other relatives. They might be able to add detail to your existing knowledge. You might also want to consider recording conversations. There will probably be one family member who has already started the process of compiling the family tree, and you might find they are very keen to share information and the materials they have. You could also take photos of the materials they own and that way you’ll have a copy yourself.

Check out graveyards
Why not ask where your ancestors are buried, and then visit the cemeteries? You might find burial records or engraved headstones that give you further information about your family members.

Scan photos, documents and newspaper cuttings
If you scan in your materials, you’ll have a great record of your family’s history for years to come. This can be kept in the cloud and shared with other family members and, in time, your descendants. It’s also a great way of preserving fragile materials, such as old photographs and newspapers.

Irish names versus English names
People often used the Irish version of their name for informal use, and the English for official purposes so this can sometimes create a discrepancy in records. Check for both names in all files to see if they refer to the same person. Diminutive name forms are also worth checking out.

Use software to plot your family tree
Software can give you an easy, efficient way to plot out your family tree, and it helps you keep all the information you have in order. There are plenty of different options. Check out reviews to find the product that suits your needs and budget.

Good luck with discovering more about your family tree, and remember, the Genealogy Ireland experts at Finders Ireland can help with family tree verification too! Find out more here