Irish Genealogy

Below can be found a range of material on the library that will hopefully prove useful to those engaged in tracing their Irish ancestry. Besides a selection of village, town and city directories, there are texts of several books on names that should prove useful in searching through Birth, Marriage and Death records and in pinpointing locations in which a particular family is most likely to be found.

Irish Pedigrees

Apart from some very useful history, including on the Cromwellian Settlement, the Plantation of Ulster, the arrival of the Huguenots and Palatines in Ireland, etc., John O’Hart’s Irish Pedigrees, or, the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation provides approximately 1000 family pedigrees, some of which include valuable information on births, marriages, deaths, and emigration.

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Special Report on Surnames in Ireland

Robert E. Matheson’s Special Report on Surnames in Ireland provides information on the distribution, derivation and ethnology of surnames found in Ireland towards the close of the 19th century. It includes an extensive list of surnames having five or more birth entries recorded by the registrars in 1890. The figures are broken down by province and, where applicable, the counties in which the surname was most prevalent are indicated.

Go to Special Report on Surnames in Ireland »

Varieties and Synonymes of Surnames and Christian Names in Ireland

In Varieties and Synonymes of Surnames and Christian Names in Ireland Robert Matheson explains the difficulties faced by registrars at the beginning of the 20th century. Language differences, customs and illiteracy, among other factors, often led to wide spelling variations and even alternative names being entered in the records. For example, the surname “Alexander” in parts of Ulster was spoken and written variously as “Elshner”, “McElshunder”, “McKelshenter”, to name but a few. The book provides an extensive list of surname variations so that if those researching their ancestors draw a blank from the records under a principal name then they have the option of trying under its known spelling variations as identified in this book.

Go to Varieties and Synonymes of Surnames and Christian Names in Ireland »

Town and City Directories

Bassett’s Irish County Directories records

Our genealogical publications

Essays on Irish Population and Ethnology

Thom’s County, City & Borough Directories

Other useful Irish genealogy sites