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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree July 2019 > Find your Irish family records online

Find your Irish family records online

Many family history enthusiasts fear Irish research is too difficult because of the destruction of records during Ireland’s Civil War in 1922. In fact, the exciting upsurge in digital projects in recent years has made the task easier and enjoyable for those with roots in the Emerald Isle. Chris Paton takes us on a tour of the key records and websites that are transforming the island’s genealogical landscape


An Irish couple collecting turf or perhaps seaweed in County Antrim in the late 19th or early 20th century


When I started my family history research in late 1999, there was very little available online for Ireland. With a busy day job in the media, and with ancestry divided between Scotland and Ireland, I concentrated on researching my Scottish side from the comfort of home, in the rare moments when I had time off work for good behaviour. By the start of the second decade of the 21st century, however, key records were finally becoming accessible online, allowing me to connect X to Y and back to Z, to help finally to build up the Irish lines of my family tree. So much had become available that in 2013, Pen and Sword published my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, documenting this substantial new online environment.

The new world, online

Six years on, there has been something of a continuing revolution within the Irish online world, prompting me to revisit my book for a second edition (to be published in August 2019). There have been many heroes within the recent online revolution, such as Eneclann (, Findmypast (, Ancestry (, the Irish Family History Foundation (, the Ulster Historical Foundation ( and FamilySearch (, as well as some truly outstanding efforts from our archival repositories and national agencies. These include the Irish Government, the National Archives of Ireland (, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (, the General Register Office for Northern Ireland ( and the Dublin-based Military Archives (

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About Family Tree

We're all busy in today's 24/7 world - but we've got solutions to help you make the most of that precious time and take your family history to the next level... 1. Discover how to transform your approach to your ancestral research in our 20-minute read by professional genealogist Susie Douglas. 2. Make that dream of writing up your family history a reality with our simple strategy for writing up your family history in #1,000words". 3. And never overlook the value of those core vital records. This issue we're exploring 500 years of marriage records and showing you how to use them on your family quest. Plus more than 25 websites to transform your Irish genealogy, memories of the moon landings in this 50th anniversary year, and so much more... Enjoy!