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Whether you are new to Ireland Reaching Out or returning to research another Irish ancestor or point of origin, your County and/or Parish Message Board is where all the connection magic happens. Someone on the other side may hold the key to unravelling that mystery which had you caught in the traps before you could even get started.  

So... here are a few tips to help you get the most out of our Message Board so you can get your message noticed by the people who hold the missing piece to that genealogy jig-saw puzzle you've been labouring on.

1. Title: Who? When? Where?

Did you know that, in addition to responses from our local volunteers, your Message Board post has the potential to be discovered by anyone be searching for the same name or place? Our Message Board titles are searchable by keyword, so be sure to include a surname and placename (if known) in the title. 

Visiting: If posting about an intended visit* to Ireland in search of your ancestors, keywords such as "visiting" in the title are also helpful. 

If you have difficulty identifying the parish or place, don't worry, a local volunteer can point you in the right direction – just ask for help in the body of your message...

2. Body: 

To get the best response, it helps to begin with the following (where known):

(i) your ancestor's full name, year of birth, gender; religion; occupation while in Ireland

(ii) place of birth: county of birth and anything more specific on record (town, townland or parish)

(iii) if married in Ireland: name of spouse(s); rough year of marriage;

(iv) if had children born in Ireland: names of children and year of birth

(v) your ancestor's parents' names; especially mother's maiden surname if known

(vi) alternative spelling variations of surnames and given names/nicknames

(vii) link to your Ireland Reaching Out Ancestor Profile or public family tree.

QUICKEST: John Grenham's Wizard will collate most of the above work for you (so all you have to do is copy and paste).  

MOST EFFECTIVE: This approach automatically doubles your chances of discovery by someone searching for the same people. Create an Ancestor Profile first, then all you have to do is copy and paste the URL link into your message and simply get on with asking questions! 

Remember the content of the body of your message is discoverable by anyone searching the net for matching details

*If posting regarding research before a visit, remember the message board is a public platform (don't post personal contact details or your itinerary). To arrange a Meet & Greet with a local volunteer, email: directly. 

3. Upload a file:

Having difficulty deciphering the handwriting or spelling of a placename on an old record? You can upload an image here. 

3. Link a parish COUNTY to this Message Board Post

In an ideal world, we would all know our ancestral parish of origin, but if all you know is your ancestor's county of origin be sure to link it to your message. Why? So our local volunteers and members who search by county can spot your message immediately. 

5. Add another item COUNTY or PARISH

If you are researching a number of possible places of origin, there is no need to create a new/duplicate message for each parish or county. Simply click on the orange "Add another item" button and link to as many as you need. 

FAQ: What is a "parish"?

FAQ: How do I locate a Parish?

What's possible?

Check out some past Message Board Spark Joy Moments...

What next?

1. ADD ANCESTORS to our database

2. POST A QUERY to our Message Board Forum (adding your ancestor's URL as a reference)

3. DISCOVER MORE Tips & Insights

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