Tracing Your AncestorsIrish CitizenshipRecord Searches

Scope for Research

Time Periods, Locations, Family Circumstances

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There are many historical sources which could help with the research of your ancestors. These sources, when used together, can build a vivid picture of the family history. 

The scope for research can depend on a number of factors including:

How far back in time the start point is – Generally the further back in time we go the smaller the pool of sources is likely to become. For example the civil registration system for births, deaths and Roman Catholic marriages was only introduced to Ireland in 1864 though Church records can in many cases provide a substitute source of information on vital events in much earlier periods.

Where the family resided – sources can differ greatly even at a local level. Church registers for example, (which, as mentioned, are a very important source for early periods) were kept on a parish-by-parish basis and there is much variation in terms of start date or registers and survival of material.

The circumstances of the family – unsurprisingly the record trail tends to go further in the case of wealthy families with significant property holding. However tenant farming families, tradespeople etc. can often appear in quite early sources also (such as for example records of estate management). New technologies are also offering increasing opportunities of linking to sources which would, previously, have been impractical to search manually (on a speculative basis) and can have a more inclusive reach.

The aim is to piece together and analyse the evidence from the different sources to arrive at strong conclusions on the true course of the history of the family. Get more information on:

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