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Tracing Your Irish Family History_Tracing your East Anglian Ancestors 07/01/2013 15:17 Page ix

Preface • ix

banging your head against it, step back and perhaps try to walk around it. Where a record for a particular family may not have survived, it may well be found for a sibling. You may initially be dismayed to learn that your ancestor had fifteen siblings – but fifteen siblings may mean fifteen chances to solve a problem. Nowhere is it more important to research the entire family, and not just your direct line, than with Irish ancestry. A great deal of Irish-based research material is increasingly being made available online, thanks to the pioneering efforts of government bodies such as the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the National Archives of Ireland, commercial sites such as FindmyPast Ireland and Ancestry, and the zealous activities of bodies such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There is also a massive volunteer community within and beyond Ireland, with many wonderful projects being enthusiastically pursued, while local archives are increasingly adding to the pot also. The intention of this book is to offer information on many of the key repositories online that can help with your research, to provide tips on their usage, and where possible a few pointers on how to save on costs. I have looked at the whole of the island for resources affecting both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. From 1801 to 1921 the whole island was a constituent part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the British dimension will also be explored. As Ireland is smaller than Britain, the subject of my previous work, I have a bit more space in this edition to explore many of the sites under discussion. This is therefore not just a book listing websites, but hopefully a more fully fleshed-out work on how to carry out Irish research. Not everything can be done online, and some resources may never make it on to the internet. In the midst of writing this guide I happened to visit Carrick-on-Suir Heritage Centre in County Tipperary and was surprised to discover a series of pawn-shop books from 1864 to 1868 for the town in a locked glass cabinet, listing thousands of occurrences of the town’s poorest folk seeking a few pennies here and there for their most prized possessions. I was thankful to be given permission to examine them, and after many hours of study I found several new family members not heard of before, and much about those already discovered. The internet is most definitely not the be all and end all of your research, and the island of Ireland is full of nooks and crannies offering such golden genealogical gems – but be in no doubt, the internet will certainly help provide you with one heck of a starting point. As with my previous book, it is worth pointing out that the internet is a fast-moving river, and that occasionally sites do get washed up on the banks before making their way to a digital heaven. In some cases it is

Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet  

Ireland has probably experienced more tragedy when it comes to the preservation of resources for family historians than any other region of...

Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet  

Ireland has probably experienced more tragedy when it comes to the preservation of resources for family historians than any other region of...

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