The people of Ireland have always had a pride and passion for their land and traditions. Our new Irish records help you meet these people — your ancestors — and learn more about the places and eras that shaped them.
Not sure about exact dates and locations? Even a guess can help.
We're expanding our historical resources from Ireland with comprehensive records covering the critical periods prior to and following the Irish Potato Famine.
1848-1864 – UPDATED One of the most important surviving 19th century genealogical resources for Ireland, this collection of over 2.5 million records gives you a snapshot of ancestors who rented land or property throughout Ireland in the 1850s.
Tithe Applotment Books,
1823-1837 – UPDATED In 1823 a law was enacted requiring all land holders to pay a tax or "tithe" to the Church of Ireland, regardless of their religious affiliation. With details like tithe payer, acreage of their land and amount of their tithe, these records in effect provide a census of pre-famine Ireland.
Lawrence Collection of Photographs,
1870-1910 – NEW This collection of 20,000 images showcases the length and breadth of Ireland — Howth Head in the East to Achill Head in the West and from Malin Head in the North to Skibbereen the South — through the eyes of William Lawrence's photography studio in Dublin.
Ordnance Survey Maps,
1824-1846 – NEW Almost 2,000 incredibly detailed six-inch-to-the-mile maps of almost the whole of Ireland were produced before and during the Great Famine and take you practically to the spot where your ancestor lived and worked.
Connect your Irish ancestors to place maps and pictures. To make your search experience richer, we've connected some of our new and updated Irish records together. See connections
Learn more about the events that shaped this land and those who called it home — even when they had to leave it behind.
Follow these helpful tips to research your family back to 19th century Ireland.
Find your immigrant ancestor's hometown or county using U.S.-based naturalization records, death records and more. Search all records
Look for your Irish ancestors in our Irish records, including four new or improved collections from the 19th century.
Find out if anyone in your
family was born in Ireland.
Watch our free webinar,
Finding Your Irish Ancestors
— in America and Ireland.
Download our helpful
Irish Research Guide.
Follow the tips in our slideshow to trace your roots back to Ireland
Before embarking on your own family history journey in the old country, do a little research in the records your ancestors created after they arrived in America. Irish records can be tricky so the more you know about where your ancestor was from – right down to a county, hometown and parish – the better your results will be. Read on to learn more.
Check the Census
Since 1850, U.S. census records have included birthplaces for each individual in a household and for his or her parents, which will help you identify ancestors who immigrated. Start with the newest census records available and march back in time collecting information about your ancestor and other family members.
Gather Other Clues
While you’re searching for your immigrant ancestor, also pay attention to other immigration clues. For example, in this 1900 census record, you’ll also find the year of immigration. Plus the brother-in-law living with this family may be Joanna’s brother, which could mean you’ve found her maiden name. But research the name fully before making assumptions: Dennis Mulcahy may also be the husband of Thomas’s sister and not related by blood to Joanna at all.
Review Passenger Arrival Lists
Some later passenger arrival lists will point you to an Irish home. These excerpts from a 1922 arrival list offer both place of birth and a name and address of a next of kin in Ireland. You’ll find passenger lists in the Ancestry.com Immigration and Travel collection.
Note Other Passengers
Irish immigration to the U.S. peaked during the mid-19th century, when passenger lists were notoriously sparse. But you may still be able to discover information in one that can help you learn more. This 1850 passenger list for Cornelius Casey includes the names of family members who traveled to America with him. If Cornelius’s U. S. paper trail doesn’t mention his Irish home, records for these family members might.
There are plenty of U.S. records that can mention an Irish hometown. Included are naturalization records. While it wasn’t always a requirement that a hometown be given, an immigrant may have included it anyway.
Crossings and Passports
At times, it was more affordable for immigrants to travel through Canada before crossing into the U.S. And relatives who remained in Canada may have also crossed the border to visit your ancestor. Either scenario could mean there’s a border crossing with a mention of the Irish home. Check passports too: while they largely weren’t required until the 20th century for travel abroad, your ancestor may have applied for one. Both are found in the Ancestry.com Travel and Immigration collection.
Check Their Vitals
Marriage records may list detailed information about a bride and groom and birth records may also include the birthplaces of parents. Death records sometimes provide the place of birth for the deceased and other family members, too. Check them all for hometowns and other valuable family history information.
Read an Obituary
Obituaries vary widely so read each carefully and look for clues. If the Irish home isn’t mentioned in your ancestor’s obituary, check obituaries for his or her siblings and other relatives from the old country – theirs might.
Image courtesy of Ancestry.com member, Trevor Thomas, Baldock Family Tree
Branch Out with Your
Ancestry.com Family Tree
Now it’s time to see how connected you are. Search for your ancestor in other people’s family trees at Ancestry.com. You may find that someone else has made big discoveries on the same family line. Select the owner’s name for a quick way to send a private message.
Image courtesy of Ancestry.com member, Al Barby, Newton family tree
Search Across the Pond
Once you have the name of a likely head of household and a hometown, try searching records from Ireland. This search result from Ireland, Griffith’s Valuation, 1848-1864, at Ancestry.com provides the name of tenant and landowner and is searchable by either. Can’t find your ancestor? Try searching for other male relatives who may have owned property.
Links in your Griffith’s Valuation search results take you to maps and images of the area for a clearer view of where your family’s roots originated. Be sure to search all Irish collections at Ancestry.com, where you’ll find additional photos, marriage indexes, documents related to the Great Famine, tithe applotment books and more.