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An Lucht Siúil (Traveling Folk lit. the Walking People) or Travellers can refer to a variety of people who lived life on the road.

  • Irish Travellers aka Mincéir aka Pavee are a distinct Irish ethnic group with their own customs, language and traditions. Many live in the UK for all or part of the year. They are a recognised ethnic minority group.

Tracing your Irish Traveller family history can be extra challenging due to the lack of written records. However, there are clues you can look out for that can point to Irish Traveller ancestry, and a number of resources to help you discover more.

This resource is a work in progress; please feel free to add recommendations and suggestions to this thread.

Irish Traveller Ancestry Resources

Here is a list of useful resources to help you trace your Irish Traveller or Mincéir ancestors:


The Romany & Traveller Family History Society

Travellers Times | | Gypsy Genealogy

Special Collections: Liverpool | Leeds | Reading | Surrey | Sussex 

Population structure & History of Irish travellers

Irish Travellers are a separate cultural group that started migrating to Britain in the early 19th century and can be traced back to 12th century Ireland.  

Gene study reveals Irish Travellers' ancestry
Genetic research found that Irish Travellers are of Irish origin and have significant genetic makeup compared to their settled community. An estimated 40,000 Travellers (less than 1% of the population) are living in Ireland today. Although sometimes called gypsies, they have no genetic relation to Romani

Celtic Travellers DNA Project

The Celtic Travellers DNA project is for descendants and members and of Irish Travellers, Highland Scottish Travellers, Lowland Scottish Travellers, Fairground Travellers and other Non-Romani travelling families. However, Roma or mixed Traveller heritage are also welcome to join.

Census & BMD Records

Clues that can suggest Traveller ancestry include:

Occupations: tinker, tinman, tinsmith, whitesmith, dealer, pedlar, horse dealer, basket maker, peg maker, knife grinder/ sharpener, hawker, musician, and sometimes labourer.

Place of Birth: All the children in the family being born in different places is also a big clue. 

Residence: Unusual residences such as "tent on common"

Irish Gypsies and Irish Travellers are distinct ethnic groups often referred to in parish registers as 'Pavees' or 'Minceir'. 

IrelandXO Message Board

IrelandXO Traveller Timelines

Traveller Buildings & Places

Irish Traveller Photo Collections

Common Irish Traveller Family Names

Berry, Brown, Cash, Carmody, Carthy, Casey, Cassidy, Cawley, Clark, Collins, Connors, Conroy, Corcoran, Cunningham, 

Delaney, DohertyDonoghue/ O’Donoghue, Donovan, Doran, Dunne, Flynn, Gallagher, Green,

Hanafin/Hannifin, Hand, Hanley, Hanrahan, Harper, Hennessey, Joyce, Keating, Keenan, Kerrigan, Kiely, Lawrence, Lee, Lynch,

Maguire, Malone, Maloney, Maughan, Mongan, Moorehouse

McCarthy, MacDonald, McDonagh, MacDonnell, MacAleer, McCann, McDonnell, McGinley, McInerney, MacLoughlin, McRea

Nevin, Nolan, O’Donnell, O’Reilly/ Reilly, Power, Purcell, Price, Quinn, Stokes, Sweeney, Ward, Wall, Windrum.

Famous Irish Traveller Ancestors 


Monday 31st May 2021, 08:58AM

Message Board Replies

  • Very good resources.

    Thank you.


    Visit Castlebar

    Monday 31st May 2021, 11:17AM

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