Irish Genealogy

Genealogy is the study and tracing of family pedigrees. This involves collecting the names of relatives, both living and deceased, and establishing the relationships between them based on primary, secondary and/or circumstantial evidence or documentation, thus building up a cohesive family tree. Genealogy is sometimes also referred to as family history, although these terms may be used distinctly: the former being the basic study of who is related to whom; the latter involving more “fleshing out” of the life and family histories of the individuals involved.

One way to find the family lineage is with the use of the genealogical method. It is a well-established ethnographic technique. The early ethnographers developed symbols that covered the issue of kinship, descent, and marriage. Studying one’s genealogy is important in terms of social organization, especially where people live and work with their kin everyday. It plays a very important role in understanding the current social relations and reconstructing the history. Marriage is also looked at because it is important in creating alliances amongst tribes, clans and villages.

In this article, the terms genealogist, researcher, and family historian refer to every participant, from the inexperienced hobbyist to the professional.

Humans have always been interested in where they came from and their family history (genealogy.) The Bible is replete with genealogies of biblical personalities. Many cultures passed their genealogies orally through the ages. The nobility of Europe kept detailed genealogies. The current Queen of Denmark claims to be able to trace her linage back to King Gorm who lived around 800 CE. The Chinese out do all other cultures in genealogy. Chinese genealogy records, Jia Pu in Chinese, have been kept since at least 1500 BCE.

Today genealogy is popular hobby among people of all walks of life. Some claim it is the second most popular use of the Internet. Almost every European country and every State in the U.S. has a genealogical society.

If you are just beginning to research your genealogy here are some basic records that are important.

Vital Records: These are probably the most important records to genealogy research. They include birth records, christening records, marriage records, and death certificates and records. After family records it’s a good idea to start your genealogy research looking for vital records.

Irish Census Records: Irish Census records can lead you to other types of records. Generally Irish census records list families living as groups giving ages and place or residence. They can help you narrow down what localities you might want to search for vital family records.

Emigration and Immigration Records: These records can give you clues to where your origin of your ancestors. Often they list country and town from which the person immigrated.

Other useful records in helping trace your genealogy are military records, land records, probate records, court records, commercial records, and cemetery records.

Author: Jake Paterson, visit