Family Research Advice & Tips
It all started when...
1. If your ancestors were Protestant, there is every chance of discovering a family line going back potentially 300 years (more if you are really lucky). This is due to the Post Reformation rulers in Ireland being Protestant and predominantly their history is recorded.
2. If your ancestors were Catholic, you will count yourself lucky if you can discover an ancestor going back to the start of the 1800s.
Throughout the 1700s, due to the Penal Laws, very few Catholic Irish records were kept. What made things worse was the numerous Census records taken in Ireland during the 1800s were destroyed where they were stored, in the Four Courts, when the Government forces shelled the Anti-Treaty Republicans inside, and much of the records were lost. Other civil records, removed when the British left Ireland, went up in flames where they were stored at the old Pinewood Studios in London.
So what we have left is patchy, and in some cases it’s a matter of interpreting data, as much as discovering finds – putting pieces of a puzzle together.
One tip I would highly recommend is getting your, if male, (and the eldest male in your line) DNA analysed. I have done so and it has proven itself by matching up with previously unknown relatives in the USA. As it happens, they had information I didn’t have, and vice versa.
You will find with Family Research that you will get a burst of energy, find new information and let it lie for a while, before coming back to it again. You can get a lot of information for free, however, some sites charge and there are occasions where you need to bite the bullet and pay for access.
My thoughts on what I would like to achieve is that to get as much information recorded as possible – data, photos, stories etc, centrally. From there, I want all families in the overall tree to have a copy, so that the research will live on. Another idea is to create a database of photos from as many members of the tree as possible, but that is a much bigger task !