- 14 day free trial available
Ancestry is the largest genealogy website in the world with a huge database. It does have significant Irish records but not as big or as comprehensive as FindMyPast. Many records are available for free elsewhere, but it does have some exclusive records. A full list of Irish record collections can be found here.
My Heritage is a growing database site and has some Irish records. Again, many of the sets (like the 1901 and 1911 census records) are free elsewhere. A full list of the Irish records they hold can be found here.
John Grenham/Irish Ancestors
This site aims to be a single reference point for Irish genealogy records. It contains information about surname distribution in Ireland as well as parish and poor law maps and where record sets can be found. Some of the site is free to access, but much of it needs a subscription which can be bought for a day, a month or a year.
John Grenham is also the author of a key reference book on Irish genealogy.
Click here to see it on Amazon
Roots Ireland is a pay site belonging to the Irish Family History Foundation. They have transcriptions from the registers of Catholic and other churches in most of the counties of Ireland. Before you commit to a subscription, you should check what records they have for your county and to make sure the records are not available for free elsewhere (see the other sources mentioned above).
PRONI is the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and is the official archive for the province. It holds records of the 6 counties that remained in the United Kingdom after the Republic of Ireland gained independence in 1922. The following online records are held:
- Freeholder records
- Londonderry Corporation Records
- Historical Maps
- Street Directories
- Ulster Covenant
- Valuation Revision Books
- Will calendars
More information about these databases can be found here.
All other records held by PRONI have to be physically accessed in Belfast. You can view PRONI’s e-catalogue here to search their collection.
GRONI is the General Register Office Northern Ireland and you use it to access historic civil birth, marriage and death records. It works like Scotland’s People for Scotland where you buy credits then use the credits to pay for images of the records.
Civil registration began in Ireland in 1845 (including the North) with non Catholic marriages and for all births, marriages and deaths from 1864, so civil records only exist from these dates. You can only access online birth records over 100 years old, marriage records over 75 years old and death records over 50 years old. For more recent records you will need to apply online for a copy of the certificate.
Important Note: You only need to use GRONI for records from 1922. You can access Northern Ireland BMD records for free before this date from Irishgenealogy.ie (see above).
Irish Genealogy Toolkit
This site, run by genealogist Claire Santry, is full of useful information, tips, links and tools for Irish research. Claire also writes the Irish Genealogy News blog which is a must read for anyone researching their Irish roots. Last year she also published The Family Tree Irish Research Guide which is the most up to date book on Irish genealogy and I highly recommend it, especially if your ancestors were immigrants to North America.
Click here to see it on Amazon
This site, compiled by Dr Jane Lyons, has over 70,000 free Irish gravestone records with coverage of all 32 counties. There are also other records including directories and a Roman Catholic parish index as of 1836.
Here you will find birth, marriage and death extracts transcribed from historical Irish newspapers.
Ask About Ireland
Often used as a census substitute, the Griffith’s Valuation was a survey of property in Ireland published between 1847 and 1864. Transcriptions of the valuations can be found on this free site.
There are lots of useful free information on this website including historic maps, a Townland database and directories.
More useful Irish genealogical information can be found on this free site including cemetery transcriptions, directories and maps.
Ulster Ancestry undertakes genealogical research, but they also have some free pages containing Northern Irish genealogy records. Sets include passenger lists, directories and headstone transcriptions.
Find A Grave
This international site has cemetery records from Ireland, so is worth checking.
Newspapers contain valuable genealogical information including birth, marriage and death notices, obituaries and court records. These can be very valuable for Irish research as so many other records have been lost. There are several newspaper database sites that have Irish titles (most of them need a subscription to access). These include:
These links plus many more are now on the new Irish Genealogy Links page.
Please leave a comment below if there are other sites you think I should add to the page.