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To help you reconnect and discover more about your Irish family history, we bring you a selection of insights to cover every stage of your quest in response to your most frequently asked questions. 

Commonly Asked Genealogy Questions


FAQ #1  Where do I begin researching my Irish ancestry?

When you have little more to go on than an Irish surname or a vague record, here's how to begin the reconnection process:

​See also

FAQ #2  How do I find where my ancestors came from in Ireland?

Navigating Irish records can be confusing, especially from a distance. IrelandXO is here to bridge the gap, connecting you to local volunteers with on-the-ground knowledge. To get the most out of this service see:

We also offer some excellent blog guides to help you find your way:

    FAQ #3  What are the best genealogy sites for Ireland?

    See also


    FAQ #4  How do I find my ancestor in Irish records?

    Spelling variations can be a huge hurdle in Irish name searches, as can nicknames and aliases. These unique insights on names will prove invaluable as you go. 

    FAQ #5  Where can I research Irish births, deaths & marriages online?

    Before you get started, know that prior to 1864, church records are virtually the only direct source of vital records in Ireland.   

    FAQ #6  What Census records are available for Ireland?

    Sadly most of Ireland's earlier census records were destroyed in the Public Records Office fire of 1922. Here we include the earliest surviving Census Records for Ireland and their substitutes: 


    FAQ #7  What Irish records can I search for free?

    Ireland has become a world leader in the provision of online genealogical records and a large majority of the most important Irish record transcripts are FREE to access.

    FAQ #8  How do I research Ancestors who left before the Great Famine?

    FAQ #9  Can Irish naming patterns help me get back a generation?


    FAQ #10 I can't find my ancestor's name... help?

    Search entire message board

    FAQ #11  I've hit a brick wall in my research what can I do?

    Our local volunteers may have the answer. Post your query to our IrelandXO Message Board.

    You can also share what you know about your ancestor to our roll-call to make them discoverable by other and local volunteers:

    FAQ #12  How do I find my Irish ancestors for free?

    1. Browse our Irish Ancestor Database, and

    2. Share what you know so far about your Irish ancestor here...

    Add your Ancestor

    We hope you have found the information we have shared helpful. While you are here, we have a small favour to ask. Ireland Reaching Out is a non-profit organisation that relies on public funding and donations to ensure a completely free family history advisory service to anyone of Irish heritage who needs help connecting with their Irish place of origin. If you would like to support our mission, please click on the donate button and make a contribution. Any amount, big or small, is appreciated and makes a difference. 

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