Research your family roots online

With so many people now fascinated with tracing their family roots, Derry Genealogist and regular ‘Journal’ contributor Brian Mitchell has outlined the four biggest online databases for the curious family historian.

Irish genealogy has been totally transformed in the past couple of years with the availability of online databases of important Irish record sources such as 1901 and 1911 census; mid-19th century Griffith’s Valuation; indexes to Irish civil birth, marriage and death registers; and last, but not least, the very significant county databases of church and civil records built up over the last three decades. Thus, Irish family researchers can be guided to the internet and how to use these online databases.

1. - Search, for free, the 1901 and 1911 census returns, which includes images of original documents, for all counties in Ireland. These returns, arranged by townland and parish in rural areas and street and town in urban areas, detail, for every person, their name, age, religion, education, occupation, marital status, and county or city of birth, or country (if born outside Ireland).

2. - Search, for free, the mid-19th century Griffith’s Valuation for all Irish counties, which includes images of original documents and maps, by Family Name and Place Name. Griffith’s Valuation was a survey carried out for every parish in Ireland between 1848 and 1864, detailing every rateable head of household and occupier of land in Ireland by townland or street address.

3. - Search, for free, the indexes (21 million entries) to Irish civil birth, marriage and death registers by clicking on ‘Europe’ or ‘All Record Collections’ and then selecting from country list, which is in alphabetical order, ‘Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes, 1845-1958’. In Ireland, all births, marriages and deaths were subject to civil registration from 1864 (1845 for non-Catholic marriages).

4. - Search, for free, the indexes to 18 million births, marriages and deaths extracted from civil and church registers for 27 of Ireland’s 32 counties, with option to purchase, on a pay-per-view basis, any selected record.

For more information, see: