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This guide was last updated in 2009

Commercial sites
There are several commercial sites for the Irish researcher, including,, the Origins Network (, and They all have strengths and weaknesses, and you should spend time exploring their datasets and coverage before subscribing.

Free sites
You can familiarise yourself with important sources without having to pay. The 1901 census for Leitrim and Roscommon is available at, also covering parts of Mayo, Sligo, Wexford, Westmeath and Galway.

Record archives
Find Irish street directories at and You can search transcripts of BMD announcements in Belfast newspapers at
, which also contains extracts from the Registers of Deceased Seamen, mainly related to Northern Ireland, and almost 25,000 names of Presbyterian Church in Ireland members who fought in WWI.

County Down records
County Down researchers are well catered-for by Raymond Kelly’s, which holds original and transcribed sources relating to the areas of Newcastle, Banbridge, Dromara, Dromore, Kilkeel, Mourne and Rathfriland.

The National Library of Ireland’s genealogical holdings include Catholic Parish Registers and Tithe Applotment Books. The website ( is very smartly designed and has a particularly good links section. The oldest library in Belfast, the Linen Hall, also houses genealogical material, including the Blackwood Pedigrees (a collection of over 1,000 manuscript family trees), plus many parish registers. To find out more visit, and click ‘Genealogy & Heraldry’, under the ‘Collections’ tab.

The Registry of Deeds holds more than five million memorials (summaries of deeds) from 1708 to the present day. To find out more visit

Genealogical societies
Many societies cover the whole Isle, such as the Irish Genealogical Research Society (, the Irish Ancestral Research Association (, the Irish Family History Society (, the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (, the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland (, the Irish Railway Records Society ( and the Genealogical Society of Ireland (

Family history societies
The Irish Family History Foundation (IFHF) at is the co-ordinating body of a number of genealogical research centres and provides links to locally focused sites (for example, this one for Armagh). The IFHF has computerised almost 40 million Irish ancestral records, primarily parish material, but you have to pay to access some of the data. If you need professional help why not try

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