Course: 2024-03 – Ireland and Northern Ireland Genealogical Research, PT II

Coordinator: David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS


Overall Course Objective: Participants will acquire a solid foundation for their Irish research, whether just beginning, or they’ve been working at their Irish ancestry for some time. This class covers various Irish records from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Online resources as well as all the major Irish record repositories are covered in this in-depth look into the source materials available to identify and link your Irish families.

Irish Genealogical Research Part II extends the opportunity to learn about Irish genealogical research techniques and record sources. While it builds on Part I, you do not have to have attended Part I to participate in this course – you may take Part I when it is offered again another year. This course covers everything from ways to solve your Irish immigration problem to digging deeper into Irish church, land, property, census, and occupation records.

Other Instructors: Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA
Student Prerequisites: None


  • Grenham, John – Tracing Your Irish Ancestors (5th Edition)
  • Roulston, William J. – Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors (2nd Edition)
  • Byrne, Joseph. Byrnes Dictionary of Irish Local History
  • Paton, Chris. Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd Edition)
  • Helferty, Seamus and Raymond Refaussé. A Directory of Irish Archives (5th edition)
Day Session Title Description Instructor
Monday 1 Irish Jurisdictions and Reference Works If you have tried all the sources of emigration in the U.S. and Canada, there are some Irish records you can try. This session will discuss Irish records that have been found to give links to North America. Sayre
2 Irish Immigration–Ireland Sources If you have tried all the sources of emigration in the U.S. and Canada, there are some Irish records you can try. This session will discuss Irish records that have been found to give links to North America. Rencher
3 Mining the Destination Data Using all the data available to determine the number of touch points needed to identify your emigrant ancestor using an Irish example successfully. Comparative analysis yields clues that may not be identifiable in any other manner. Sayre
4 Irish Church Records – Church of Ireland, Catholic, and Presbyterian This session combines information about the time period, content, and record availability of records for the three major religions in Ireland – Catholic, Church of Ireland, and Presbyterian. There were numerous other religions in Ireland, making up about one percent of the population: Jewish, Baptist, Methodist, Universalist, and Quakers, among others. Rencher
Tuesday 5 Irish Census and Census Substitutes This session explains the scope of what records survived and focuses on what can be done to mitigate the loss rather than focusing on the loss itself. This will broaden the researcher’s perspective of what constitutes a census record and how the various name lists can be used to leverage their maximum potential. Rencher
6 Interpreting and Evaluating Name Lists This session illustrates how to use and draw the most information out of name lists as substitute censuses. When someone says, “The name is there, but it doesn’t tell me anything,” this session is especially for them! Examples used are for both Ireland and the United States. Rencher
7 Irish Newspaper Research and Methodology Newspapers compensate for numerous record losses and deficiencies in records. They can overcome the lack of births, marriages, and deaths in other records and can frequently solve migration problems, military service, and accidents impacting the lives of our ancestors. Rencher
8 Introduction to Irish Maps for Genealogists Maps are an integral part of every genealogical research problem. This session outlines the strategies for research and the map resources available for Ireland, both online and in print. Sayre
Wednesday 9 Introduction to Irish Land Records This session outlines the Irish land law pre-12th century to the separation of the Irish Free State in 1921. The timeline covers the plantation schemes, the relevant Irish land statutes, the Irish Land Commission, and the records of the Quit Rent Office. It will also lay out the difference of the Land Registry versus the Registry of Deeds and the Landed Estates Court. Rencher
10 Ireland Registry of Deeds and the Land Registry Offices The establishment of the Registry of Deeds of Ireland in 1708 changed the face of land research in Ireland. Ireland benefits from the consistency of a central volunteer registry of land instruments from the 18th century and the post-1922 establishment of the Land Registry Offices in Dublin and Belfast. Rencher
11 Occupations in Ireland Occupation records are an integral part of telling the story of every family history. This session highlights numerous record sources for various Irish occupations. For urban areas, there are records for the various guilds dating back to the seventeenth century. Sayre
12 Irish Miners Across America In a land rich with natural resources, miners were needed from every quadrant. The Irish were drawn to these jobs—learn how to find them in both the United States and Ireland. Rencher
Thursday 13 Valuation and Tithe Records The Valuation and Tithe records can be used as the fundamental basis for reconstructing neighborhoods in cities and rural areas. This session outlines the tools, strategies, and resources needed to trace your ancestors’ land in Ireland. Sayre
14 Reconstructing the Neighborhood – Rural Workshop This workshop combines a number of resources that pull together the pieces to construct a research strategy to piece together Irish families living in rural neighborhoods. This will be a hands-on workshop with rural documents provided. Rencher
15 Reconstructing the Neighborhood – Urban Workshop Urban research differs from rural research, and this session will illuminate the differences and help those reconstructing their families in urban areas. This will be a hands-on workshop with urban documents provided. Rencher
16 Major Websites for Irish Genealogical Research The Internet has created an explosion in Irish genealogy. More relevant materials are being added each day. This session introduces the participant to the host of established Internet sites and some of the newest sites that are becoming bedrock sources for conducting research in Ireland. Rencher
Friday 17 Research Strategies for Irish Archives Learn the techniques for conducting successful research in the archives and libraries of Ireland. Plan your research prior to your visit, conduct online research into the various catalogs, and help guides for the major Irish repositories. Sayre
18 Strategies for Irish Research With the massive emigration of much of the Irish Catholic population during the famine of the 19th century, research can be problematic. Learn the techniques to identifying your ancestral homeland and extend the research into the records of Ireland. Every research problem needs a strategy for solution. In this session, learn the strategies and how to apply them to solve Irish research problems in the sometimes record-scarce 16th to 20th centuries. Rencher