Some Irish Genealogical Sources

Keeping in mind there are numerous places to look for information on the massive number of people who migrated from Ireland in the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries, it's no surprise there are many places to look for ways and means to research these individuals and families. In spite of detailed Irish census information from the mid-19th Century onwards, sometimes it's just impossible to find who you're looking for. In some cases, people just disappeared; in other instances, they deliberately tried to vanish, particularly if they were fleeing our British neighbours' police/army who still remain in dominance after nearly 900 years over six counties in the north. 

Some of the sites I have included below offer, in general, free or almost free services. Those that charge are noted. There are, of course, numerous fee-based genealogy sites out there ready to gobble up your money, but many seem to offer a lot less than their ads tend to indicate. Beware!

National Library of Ireland

National Archives of Ireland

National Archives of the United Stages

Irish (part government supported)


Irish Government Genealogy Site


Grenham's Irish Locator

Irish Parish Records -- Fee based

Ulster Historical Foundation -- Fee based

Cyndi's List -- Northern Ireland fee based

Here are some personal thoughts on DNA testing businesses that may be of value to you. I have personally used three of the major companies for researching my own DNA. This might seem odd, given that the bases for the testing would be working with the same base product. But, believe me, you'll can get get much different results with using more than one of these agencies. For instance, waiting for nine months for the test to be completed and results posted to you might be considered by some to be a bit irritating. This could be especially so, hypothetically,  if the company then blackballed you with specialty family groups it sponsors because you complained about the long wait for services.

Among those with which I have had personal experiences were, and Family Tree DNA.

Ancestry is by far the largest of the three I mentioned. Its basic services were reasonable in price and the results were provided speedily and efficiently. The company also offers detailed research services for a hefty fee. These services may or may not aid you in finding what or who you're looking for. As I said in the intro to this page, some people just can't be found. I say that from a experience. As a former investigative journalist who spent decades finding people and things that wanted to stay hidden, I can say the world and time can swallow some people beyond anyone's ability to find them. led to many of the same results promised and provided by Ancestry. I don't have as much experience with this company, but I am at least neutral in my comments on their services.

Family Tree DNA is a different story. I do NOT recommend using this firm's services and do not care to elaborate on why at this time.

One cautionary note I would add here is that you should not use DNA testing for anything if you would prefer not to be found. The scope of these tests is extremely broad and if you're hiding out -- for whatever reason -- you can be found through not only your own DNA results (that you might request remain private) but through other near and not-so-near relatives whose results are posted and made public. I won't say more.

Another cautionary note I'd add is that you might be inclined to hire a private detective agency or other professionals to aid you in your search. Not everyone offering investigative services is really equipped to deliver what they are offering. Many simply use a computer to do their searches and then charge you enormous sums for crap; the internet is but one source of information, and it's often misleading or just plain wrong. If you are not in a hurry for answers you can plug along and find what you're seeking with your own fingers just as easily as a stranger whose bills can be substantial. If you do intend to use a professional searcher of any kind, make certain what you are, and what you are not, seeking is spelled out clearly before any work is commissioned. You don't want to pay for a lot of information you already possess or that that is irrelevant and/or inaccurate. I say all this from a number of experiences others have shared with me -- afterwards.

Various Online DNA Research Assistance Products

Genealogy Research Information

Million Mile Secrets

Know Your DNA


All of the above links were operating as of 28.1.2020. If you find a broken one, an email to pobeire[at] would be appreciated.