Whether you’re new to researching your Irish ancestors, or have a good grasp of the records available, the new Irish Genealogical Research Society (IRGS) website at www.irishancestors.ie has information to help.
For instance, ‘Start Your Research’ has guides and links for the census, civil and parish records, while the ‘Members Area’ has more detailed information and subjects under ‘Expert Tips’. IGRS members also provide a look-up service for fellow members, in which they’ll check publications that they hold in their private collections for relevant information, and there is wider information about the library collection too. Some indexes and finding aids are ready to search online – such as the ‘Ancestry Files Series 1: Name Index’, while others are due to be uploaded shortly.
The new website is a work in progress, so look out for further developments. Steven Smyrl, Chairman of IGRS, explained: ‘Over the coming months, visitors to IrishAncestors.ie will see information appear about literally hundreds of thousands of our Irish ancestors.’ Some of this will be generally available, and some will be accessible to members only. The society holdings include a vast and diverse range, from church records, to deeds, wills, newspaper birth, marriage and death announcements, and 17th century herald’s visitations’ pedigrees. It also has information on family histories, migrants, merchants and farmers, and much more.
This year Ireland is celebrating ‘The Gathering’ – www.thegatheringireland.com – which aims to bring together Irish kin, however, distant from around the world and reunite them with the parishes of their forefathers. Whether you’re new to or experienced in researching your Irish ancestors, if the prospect of St Patrick’s Day – this coming weekend – has reminded you of your Irish heritage, the new IRGS site has resources to help.