Researching an Irish family is usually no small undertaking. Therefore, the first strategy is diligence and to keep looking. The fire of 1922 has in fact terminated millions of records that would save genealogists a lot of headache. Researchers also have to use a different methodology for Irish Ancestors because surnames existed all over the country by the 18th and 19th centuries. Irish ancestors with common surnames can be among the most difficult to pinpoint. The second strategy is to trace your ancestor’s steps backwards, making sure you have enough specifics before researching in Irish Records. Whether it be the US, England, Australia, etc., consult the records of the ancestors’ adopted home. I find myself very intrigued by Irish-American families and larger networks as I dig deeper into records. I have listed some observations and personal strategies.
– Choose your Jurisdiction with which you will be researching the surname. It could be a particularly city, county, state, etc.
– Be thorough and exhaustive. Create an excel document and be prepared to enter a lot of data. Table headers should include essential information, including citations.
-In addition to the United States Federal Population Census, I find city directories particularly useful because they run yearly. Among the useful information provided by city directories are address, occupation, and indicating if a person removed and if so, where.
– Try collecting different types of data from a particular source, i.e. If I am looking for Owen O’Neill who arrived 1852, I would search passenger manifests for Owen O’Neill and record all persons named Owen O’Neill that arrived in a 10 year range (1847-57), but I would also like to record all people with the last name O’Neill that arrived in the year 1852.
-Naturalization records are also important to consult. Recently, I took a more time consuming approach of using the index on microfilm and found several naturalizations that ancestry did not list when I first conducted an online search. In fact, one naturalization record that came to my attention in the microfilm could very possibly be the individual I was seeking out the whole time.
– Ancestry.com has digitized versions of all the collections mentioned, although in the city directories I have used, there are years missing.
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Copyright (c) 2015 Jake Fletcher