A pathway in Rahoon Cemetery in Galway City

Our goal is to try to identify the townland, parish and county where your ancestors lived - we are not a professional genealogical service but our volunteers are here to offer advice and guidance when they can.

When drafting your message we ask that you consider the following:

(1) Please provide specifics (names and dates when known) with your message. For example, “I’m looking for Burkes in Co. Galway” is too general and makes it difficult for our volunteers to pinpoint the information you need. A more specific message would be: “My great-grandmother Mary Burke was born in 1882. She left for the USA c.1902. Her parents were Thomas and Catherine Burke (maiden name Hynes). Mary had a number of siblings including Thomas, Catherine, William and James. I believe she was from the Loughrea area”. You may not know as much as this, but do tell us what you can.

(2) The message should indicate what sources you have already researched. Do you have the baptismal and/or civil birth record? Parent’s marriage record? Did you search the Griffiths Valuation, 1901 and 1911 Censuses. Have you searched Roots Ireland or reviewed the parish register on the National Library of Ireland site?

(3) Do you know the Religious denomination of the family.This is important to our volunteers who review the messages

(4) Full civil registration for births, marriages and deaths in Ireland started in 1864 with one exception. Registration of non-Catholic marriages started in 1845. Prior to 1864, church records where they exist, are the only sources for births and marriages. Keep in mind that very few churches have records back to the 1700s and the records for many churches may not begin until the 1840s or later

(5) You should include where your ancestor emigrated to (USA, Canada, Australia, etc.) and whether they married. If they married, names of their children in age order (if known) is important. Additional information about your ancestor’s life in the new country is usually not needed unless it would provide a clue where they lived in Ireland

(6) Do you have a family tree or other info that you can provide a link to?

(7) We try to respond to all messages. If you posted a week ago and received a reply include that background with your new message.

We like to be sure you have seen our reply. So, if you post a message and receive a response, please acknowledge it - a simple "thank you" is sufficient unless you have questions with the response you received. 

Below is some practical on how to post and reply to messages on the Ireland XO Message board

Ireland XO Message Board User Guide

Updated September 2017

1 How to search the Message Board

The Ireland XO Message Board (MB) contains more than 30,000 family history posts!  So, before you post a new message it is always a good idea to search for you family name to see what previous queries have been asked and answered.

1.1 You can search the entire archives by going to the main Ireland XO MB here and inserting your key search terms – perhaps a family name or a townland.

How to search the archives using your key search terms

1.2 Your search results can be filtered by County or Parish by using the two filter options at the top of the MB.

How to filter your search results by County or Parish

2 Posting a message on the Ireland XO Message Board

The Ireland XO MB contains posts from over 2500 different individual message boards.  These are made up from County Message Boards (32) and one Message Board for every Civil Parish in Ireland.

When you are on the main Ireland XO MB, you are seeing the sum of these individual message boards, as well as those posts created by people who do not know where in Ireland their ancestors hail from.

2.1 Log in to your Ireland XO Account

Click here to log in to your Ireland XO account

2.2 Choose your Message Board

If you are unsure of what County or Parish your question relates to, post a message in the main Ireland XO Community here. Simply scroll down the screen until you come to Message Board and then click on “browse all messages”.

How to Add Message

You can also choose to post in a County or Parish by selecting your County or Parish by using the filters on the main Ireland XO Community page.

How to post in a County or Parish

Another way to choose your County or Parish message board is to go the main Ireland XO MB and then to filter by your County or Parish by using the filter options at the top of the page

How to choose your County or Parish in the main Ireland XO MB

2.3 Join the Parish or County Community

Every Ireland XO member is automatically joined to the Ireland XO Community.  You can post a message directly onto the main Ireland XO MB once you are logged in.

As every County and Parish on Ireland XO is an individual community, before you can post a message in these boards you must “join” that community.  Even though you are logged in as member, you still must join each community you wish to post in.

To join any Ireland XO Community simply click on the green “Join” button at the top of the Community’s main page.

How to join any Ireland XO community

2.4 Create a new message

Now that you are joined to the Community where you want to post a message, go to their message board by scrolling down the Community main page and clicking “All from this Parish/County”.

How to Add Message in the Community you joined

This will bring you to the Message board of that community

Remember to make sure you are joined to that Community! (see 2.3 above)

To create a message click ‘New Message’.  This button should appear at the top and the bottom of the screen.

How to create a message

Enter a title:

How to enter Title for your message

Enter the details of your query in the “body” – try to provide as much information as possible, including dates and full names and refer to any research you have already done, so that our volunteers can best advise you.

How to enter the details of your query

There are limited options for formating your text. You can also copy and paste any content from your own word documents by using the ctrl+c (copy) and Ctrl+v (paste) instructions.

To check your spelling, select your text and click on the ABC icon:

How to check your spelling

To upload a photo or document click ‘Add new file’, which is located underneath the main body box. Locate the image/document on your computer and then select ‘Upload’.

How to update a photo or document

If you wish to post your message straight away, click ‘Post’ at the bottom of the frame

How to post your message immediately

Alternatively, if you would like to add something more and post it later, click ’Save as Draft’. All drafts are kept in the ‘My Message Board Posts’ and ‘My Message Board Replies’ Section on the right hand side of your My Account page

How to access all drafts that you have created

3 Post a reply to a message already on the board

Any member can reply to a post that they see on an Ireland XO message board.

You will need to ensure that you are logged into your Ireland XO account, and that you are joined to the community where the original message is (see 2.3 above).

When you are logged in, and joined to the Community the post appears in, you can scroll down to the bottom of the message and you will find the box to post a reply in:

How to post a reply

Upload documents and save as draft or post just as you would do if you were creating a new message (see 2.4 above).

4 Publish a new post or a reply that was previously saved as a draft

To post a message that you previously saved as a draft, click on one of these options (depending on whether it was a new message or a reply to someone else’s message). Here you will see all the messages you have created, including those that were saved as drafts. To post a draft, tick the box to the left of the draft and then select ‘post’ from the Actions dropdown list.

How to post a message that was saved as a draft

You can also choose to edit your draft before posting it by clicking on the ‘edit’ button to the right of the screen:

Your message is now live on the XO Message Board and people who are members of that same Community will be sent a notification to let them know a new post has been created.

5 Get updates on new posts or replies in a message board

If you are interested in following a particular conversation, click on the ‘Receive Updates’ button at the top of a message.  You will be notified by email whenever a person posts a new reply.

How to receive updates

If you are interested in hearing about every post and reply that happens in a particular Ireland XO Community (Parish or County) you must firstly Join that Community (see 2.3 above), and secondly make sure you have turned on your notifications in your account settings.

To turn on your notification in your account settings, go to ‘My Account’. This button will always be at the top right of your screen when you are logged in.

How to access you account and change its settings

Click on the ‘Edit’ option at the top left of your Account profile

How to edit your account

Scroll to the bottom of the page and ‘tick’ the box to receive updates when a new message or reply is posted in the Communities you have joined.

How to receive updates from the Communities you have joined

Remember to click ‘Save’ once you have made any changes.

For any queries regarding how to use the message board that aren’t covered here, please send an email to info@IrelandXO.com and we will do our best to help you as quickly as possible.

To download this userguide as a PDF please click on the icon below :