Irish the world over
Embark on a wonderful voyage of self-discovery by uncovering your Irish ancestors and visiting the land they left behind.
Ireland may be a small country, but with over 200,000 Scots Irish settlers leaving the North of Ireland during the 18th Century, and mass emigration following the Great Famine of 1845, the Irish have put down roots all over the world. Over 60 million people worldwide now claim Irish ancestry. Quite something, considering the total Irish population of today is just 5.6 million.
Getting to your roots
If you’ve always been curious about your Irish ancestors, about why they left Ireland, about what kind of life they lived here, and about whether you have any remaining relations left in Ireland, then there is a wide range of help you find out.
You will need to begin your journey of discovery by gathering as much basic information as possible on your ancestor, such as:
- Name of ancestor who left Ireland
- Approximate date of birth
- County and parish of origin in Ireland
- Religious denomination
- Names of ancestor's parents
- Name of ancestor's spouse, date and place of marriage
Irish genealogical sources
In general, Irish genealogical sources fall into four main categories which are mainly held in Dublin and Belfast, these are as follows:
- Civil records of Birth, Marriage and Death
- Church records of Baptism and Marriage
- Land/Property Valuation Records
- Census Returns
Scots Irish Ancestry
During the Plantation of Ulster in the 17th Century, land confiscated from the native Irish was divided among Scottish and English planters who were encouraged to settle there as part of King James 1st’s Plantation project.
Throughout the 18th Century, faced with high rents, low wages and religious oppression, the Scots Irish, or Ulster Scots as they are also known, emigrated from Ulster and went in particularly high numbers to colonial America.
The impact made by the Scots Irish immigrants upon their new homeland was great, with no less than 14 of the US Presidents of Scots Irish descent, as were many of the signatories on the American Declaration of Independence.
So take a step in your ancestor’s shoes and retrace the footsteps of your Scots/Irish ancestors – you won't be disappointed and you never know who you might meet!
What else to explore
Most common surnames in Ireland and Irish Clans
Search over 3million records for free
Valuable Irish national heritage information from The National Archives of Ireland
Family research at the National Library of Ireland