Have you looked in all the usual places for your Irish ancestors? It's time to try something different—like these six overlooked sources for tracing roots in Ireland.
The pipes are calling, as the old song goes, but you may be having a hard time following them to your ancestral origins. If the often-recommended records aren’t working for you or—as for most Irish censuses—are unavailable, try changing your tune and going after the less-used, but just as helpful, resources.
It used to be you had to go either to Ireland or the Family History Library (FHL)
in Salt Lake City to find records of your Irish forebears. The FHL is still the country’s best one-stop shopping mall for Irish records. It has the largest Irish records collection in America, with more than 11,500 microfilms and 3,000 microfiche, plus extensive map resources, handbooks, directories and more than 3,500 reference books and periodicals covering Irish history, genealogy, geography and more. If you can swing it, a trip to the FHL is worth it for no-wait access to all those records and the noncirculating printed material.
But nowadays, you can access even the following less-obvious sources via online collections of indexes and record images, or by renting microfilm at an FHL branch FamilySearch Center
. Start singing the words of the old tune, “Did your mother come from Ireland? ‘Cos there’s something in you Irish,” because we’re about to share online and offline resources for six often-overlooked paths that will lead you to your Irish roots.