Ahead of our Official Launch Feenagh-Kilmeedy.com has linked up with IrelandXO.com, Ireland’s Reaching Out Geneolgy Programme.

The Ireland Reaching Out (IrelandXO) programme is based on a simple idea; instead of waiting for people of Irish descent to trace their roots, we go the other way. Working through voluntary effort at a townland, village and parish level in Ireland, we identify who left those areas, and trace them and their descendants worldwide.

The local Feenagh-Kilmeedy IrelandXO pages are run by a group of local volunteers, who where possible endeavour to answer any queries received.

Before posting queries to the site here is a guide to get your own research started…..

Church records/parish registers for Ireland

CHURCH OF IRELAND: Church of Ireland parish registers for the period up to 1870-are public records. Registers are available for about one third of the parishes, however many were destroyed in the Public Records Office in Dublin in 1922. Most are still held by the local clergy, although some are in the National Archives of Ireland and others are in the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin. A list of all surviving registers is available in the National Archives. http://ireland.anglican.org/about/42 and http://www.nationalarchives.ie/
The Anglican Record Project is has created an index to their records: http://ireland.anglican.org/cmsfiles/pdf/AboutUs/library/AngRecord/bunclodyunionindex.pdf

ROMAN CATHOLIC: Most Catholic records are held locally – One site which might be of use is – http://www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/ – where you can ‘browse’ an overview of available records per county. If you have any difficulty, you could try writing to the parish priest for possible assistance.

PRESBYTERIAN: Presbyterian registers are held in three main locations: in local custody, in the Public Records of Northern Ireland (PRONI) http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/family_history.htm and at the Presbyterian Historical Society http://www.presbyterianhistoryireland.com in Belfast. PRONI has microfilm copies of almost all registers in Northern Ireland and also lists of records held by the Presbyterian Historical Society. For the rest of Ireland, almost all records are in local custody. It can difficult to locate these as many congregations in the South have moved, amalgamated, or simply disappeared over the last sixty years.

General resources:

Failte Romhat has lots of other useful links you could try looking at ). www.failteromhat.com

British parliamentary papers on Ireland can be found at: http://eppi.dippam.ac.uk/documents/9824/eppi_pages/215093

The National Archives of Ireland http://www.nationalarchives.ie/genealogy1/genealogy-records/introduction/

The National Library of Ireland http://www.nli.ie/en/family-history-introduction.aspx

The National Archives UK – genealogy search: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/

The Public Records Office of Northern Ireland http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/family_history.htm

The US National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/

The National Archives Scotland- family history: http://www.nas.gov.uk/familyHistory/

The Library & Archives of Canada – http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/index-e.html

Irish Newspaper Archives: http://www.irishnewsarchive.com/1796:

Spinning Wheel Premium Entitlement Lists; This was part of a government scheme to encourage the linen trade, free spinning wheels or looms were granted to individuals planting a certain area of land with flax. The lists of those entitled to the awards, covering almost 60,000 individuals, were published in 1796, and record only the names of the individuals and the civil parish in which they lived. The majority, were in Ulster, but some names appear from every county except Dublin and Wicklow. A microfiche index to the lists is available in the Irish National Archives, and in PRONI.

SURNAME SEARCH You can check for information about the frequency of the name in the mid-19th century and any other variant spellings of the name here: http://www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/surname/

Griffith’s Valuation (1848-64) http://www.askaboutireland.ie/griffith-valuation/

Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) https://familysearch.org/

Republic of Ireland resources:

CIVIL REGISTRATION RECORDS Civil registration records are available from the General Register Office (GRO). These start from 1864. You can access the website here: http://www.groireland.ie/research.htm

VALUATIONS OFFICE Valuations office in Dublin (http://www.valoff.ie) will have a record of the land registry from 1855 to modern times. This will assist in seeing what happened to (name) and what happened to his land (as it usually passed on to a relation).

CENSUS RECORDS There is lots of useful information to be found in the 1901 and 1911 census records. You can find this here: http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/

Tithe Applotment Books (1823-38) http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarchives.ie/search/tab/home.jsp


Ellis Island: http://www.ellisisland.org/search/passSearch.asp

Castlegarden: http://www.castlegarden.org/

US National Archives/Immigration info: http://www.archives.gov/research/immigration/

The Boston Pilot; From October 1831 through October 1921, the Boston Pilot newspaper printed a “Missing Friends” column with advertisements from people looking for “lost” friends and relatives who had emigrated from Ireland to the United States. This extraordinary collection of 40,743 records is available here as a searchable online database, which contains a text record for each ad that appeared in the Pilot. http://infowanted.bc.edu/

The Irish in Argentina

The Immigration Museum in Buenos Aires run by the Department of the Interior has individual cards with the names of Irish immigrants stored in their archive. The Museo Nacional de la Inmigración (Avenida Antártida Argentina 1355; – is open 10 a.m.–5 p.m. weekdays, tel. 011/43170285, email: [email protected] for free or try: http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/accesible/?museo


Generally, more information was given at the port of arrival rather than the port of departure. The University of Woolongong has produced, on microfiche, a complete index and transcript of all information concerning immigrants of Irish origin recorded on ships’ passenger lists between 1848 and 1867. These are useful for finding out an exact place of origin as well as parents’ names. The Public Record Office of Victoria has good online databases of settlers at www.prov.vic.gov.au Otherwise, other records may be found in the Colonial Office Papers of the UK National Archives, class reference CO 201. This class contains a wide variety of records, including petitions for assisted passages, emigrants’ lists, records of emigrants on board ship, petitions from settlers for financial assistance and much more.


There are lots of books and documents available about the Irish emigration to NZ. There is a website you could look at: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/irish/2 for information about the Irish in New Zealand.


Transportation from Ireland for crimes committed in Ireland, lasted from 1791 to 1853, ending 15 years earlier than transportation from England. The records of the Chief Secretary’s Office, which had responsibility for the Penal system, are the major Irish source of information on transportees. Not all of the relevant records have survived, particularly for the period before 1836, but what does exist can provide a wealth of information. The records were formerly housed in the State Paper Office in Dublin Castle, which is now part of the National Archives of Ireland (NAI). The principal classes of relevant records are as follows:

Prisoners’ Petitions and Cases, 1788-1836: these consist of petitions to the Lord Lieutenant for commutation or remission of sentence, and record the crime, trial, sentence, place of origin and family circumstances.

State Prisoners’ Petitions: these specifically concern those arrested for participation in the 1798 rebellion, and record the same information as the main series of petitions.

Convict Reference Files, from 1836: these continue the earlier petitions series and can include a wide range of additional material.

Transportation Registers, from 1836: these record all the names of those sentenced to death or transportation, giving the name of the transport ship or the place of detention, are sometimes given as well.

Male Convict Register, 1842-1847: in addition to the information supplied by the Transportation Registers, this volume also gives physical descriptions of the convicts.

Register of Convicts on Convict Ships, 1851-1853: this gives the names, dates and counties of trial of those transported to Van Dieman’s land and Western Australia for the period covered.

Free Settlers’ Papers, 1828-1852: after serving a minimum of four years, male convicts had the right to request a free passage for their wife and family to join them. The Papers contain lists of those making such a request, along with transportation details and the names and addresses of the wives. A number of petitions from husbands and wives, and prisoners’ letters, are also included.

These records were microfilmed and a database was presented to the Australian government and can now be found in many State archives. The NAI retains copies and the database, in particular, can save a great deal of time and effort. www.nationalarchives.ie . Early convict arrivals records, making up some of the gaps in the NAI material, are also online at www.pcug.org.au/~ppmay/convicts.htm (Irish Convicts to Australia 1791-1815).

Excellent personnel records were kept from 1816. These can be found at the UK National Archives here: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ . There are microfilm copies at the National Archives of Ireland, The Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI). For each recruit it includes a brief service record, date of marriage and wife’s native county, and the name of the individual who recommended him. This is important to identify an exact place of origin, because the recommendations usually came from local clergymen or magistrates who knew the recruit personally. There is a book by Jim Herlihy called, The Royal Irish Constabulary: a complete alphabetical list of officers and men, 1816-1922, 1999. This supplies the Service Number needed to use the Registers quickly and easily. Also worth checking at the UK National Archives is PMG 48: ‘Pensions and allowances to officers, men and staff of the Royal Irish Constabulary and to their widows and children’. This dates from the 1870s and usually gives the address of the recipient. The Dublin Metropolitan Police Register is held by the Garda Archives at Dublin Castle, but is more readily available on microfilm at the National Archives of Ireland. It does not give marriage details but does supply a parish of origin. You can find information regarding the Garda here: http://www.policehistory.com/museum.html

Information on Irish Prison Registers 1790-1924: http://www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/irish-prison-registers.html

Irish Military Archives: http://www.militaryarchives.ie/

Image supplied by Marc McDermott, www.genealogyexplained.com , reproduced with thanks