Module One: Getting Started
In this module you will prepare to start your research in Ireland. You will review what you already know, check American resources, and be introduced to the basics of Irish genealogical research.
are hungry to uncover the buried secrets of their
heritage. Most of us live far from the homes that our
ancestors - even our parents - established. Many of us
don't know much about our grandparents, let alone our
great-grandparents. The freedom of mobility in our
society takes its toll in that many of us feel
rootless and yearn for a sense of family. As you begin
to understand who your forebears are, you begin to
understand who you are." (Westin, Jeane Eddy; Finding
Your Roots; Ballantine Books, New York, 1977)
Starting with What You Know -
Principles of Genealogical Research
of the best U.S. resources for genealogy include:
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the
largest family history library in the world in Salt Lake
City. There are also branches of the library around the
world where genealogical records can be viewed. Familysearch.org
is a free online service that allows you to search for
your ancestors in a variety of records, including family
trees, census records, and a variety of vital records.
Enter the name of one of you ancestors and see what you
Ancestry.com: The federal
census is available on ancestry.com. You
can request a 14-day trial of ancestry.com, and see if
you can locate one of your ancestors.
most recent federal census available is the 1940 census.
The censuses go back in time, ten years apart, until
Assignment Three: Now let's start on your own research.
Assignment Four: Record takers were often creative in how they spelled names. For the surnames you are searching, make a list of all the possible ways you could spell the name. Chances are good that you will see all of these name variations before you are done.
For example, my own Irish name
of Carey has been spelled Cary, Carrey,
Kerry, Ceary, Keary, Carrie, Carie, and O'Ciardha.
Keep your spelling list with
your research documents.