Irish Genealogy

This guide contains a sample of The Newberry’s resources on this topic. To locate additional resources, please check our catalog or consult a reference librarian.

This research guide is also available as a PDF file.

The following subject headings may be helpful in searching the catalog

Ireland – Genealogy
Irish – [locality]
Irish Americans – [locality]

Guides

Begley, Donal F. (editor). Irish Genealogy: A Record Finder. Dublin: Heraldic Artists, 1981. Call No. Local History Ref CS483.I74 (2nd floor open shelf).

Falley, Margaret Dickson. Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestral Research: A Guide to the Genealogical Records, Methods and Sources in Ireland. Evanston, IL: Falley, 1962. Call No. Local History Ref CS483.F35 1962 (2nd floor open shelf). Long considered the bible of Irish genealogical research, this work is now to some extent outdated; however, the bibliographies in the second volume are still of great importance.

Glazier, Michael (ed.). The Encyclopedia of the Irish in America. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1999. Call No. Ref E184.I6 E53 1999 (3rd floor open shelf).

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993. Call No. Local History Ref CS483.G74 1993 (2nd floor open shelf).

Handbook on Irish Genealogy: How to Trace Your Ancestors and Relatives in Ireland. Dublin: Heraldic Artists Ltd., 1976. Call No. Local History Ref CS483.H47 1976 (2nd floor open shelf).

MacLysaght, Edward. Bibliography of Irish Family History. 2nd ed. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Call No. Z5313.I7 M32 1982.

McGuire, J I, and James Quinn. Dictionary of Irish Biography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Call # Ref CT862 .D53 2009 (3rd floor open shelf)

Raymond, Stuart A. Irish Family History on the Web: A Directory. Lancashire, England: Federation of Family History Societies, 2001. Call No. CS484.R39 2001.

Reid, Judith P. Family Ties in England, Scotland, Wales & Ireland: Sources for Genealogical Research. Washington: Library of Congress, 1998. Call No. Local History Ref Z5313.G69 R45 1998 (2nd floor open shelf).

Ryan, James G. Irish Records: Sources for Family and Local History. Rev. ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry, 1997. Call No. Local History Ref Z5313.I7 R83 1997 (2nd floor open shelf). Excellent county by county summaries. Bibliographies are especially important, as many citations fall after the publication of Falley’s work.

Yurdan, Marilyn. Irish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1990. Call No. Local History Ref CS483.Y87 1990 (2nd floor open shelf).

Gazetteers and Atlases

General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes, and Baronies of Ireland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1984 (reprint Dublin, 1861). Call No. Local History Ref DA979.G46 1984. (2nd floor open shelf). Helpful in the use of Griffith’s valuations and the Ordnance survey maps.

Lewis, Samuel. A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat, 1970 (reprint 1837). Call No. Local History Ref DA979.L48 1970 (2nd floor open shelf). Two volume gazetteer plus atlas volume.

Mitchell, Brian. A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Call No. Local History Ref G5781.M57 (2nd floor open shelf).

Ordnance Townland Survey of Ireland. Dublin, 1831- 1842. Call No. oversize Case G 1042 .367 (request from 4th floor Special Collections reading room - specify county). This is the most detailed set of maps of any European country in the nineteenth century. The scale is six inches to the mile and the Newberry is the only repository in North America with a complete set. A microfiche version is available from the General Reading Room (Call No. Microfiche 708 - again specify county). Reader printer copies can be made from this fiche set.

Surnames, Families, and Genealogies

Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 1988. Call No. Local History Ref CS2415.B45 1988 (2nd floor open shelf).

deBreffny, Brian. Bibliography of Irish Family History and Genealogy. Dublin: Golden Eagle Books, 1974. Call No. E 65 .116. Also consult the general reference works by Ryan and Falley. All three works include citations for periodical articles.

Grehan, Ida. The Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart Publishers, 1997. Call No. Local History Ref CS2415.G74 1997 (2nd floor open shelf).

O’Laughlin, Michael C. The Book of Irish Families Great and Small. 2nd ed. Kansas City, MO: Irish Genealogical Foundation, 1997. Call No. Local History Ref CS2415.O63 1997 (2nd floor open shelf).

MacLysaght. Edward. A Guide to Irish Surnames. Baltimore: Genealogical Book Co., 1964. Call No. Local History Ref CS2415.M23 1964 (2nd floor open shelf).

MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families: Their Names, Arms and Origins. 4th edition. Dublin: Irish Academica Press, 1985. Call No. Local History Ref CS2415.M235 1985 (2nd floor open shelf).

MacLysaght, Edward. More Irish Families. Portland, OR: Irish Academic Press, 1996. Call No. Local History Ref CS2415.M238 1996 (2nd floor open shelf).

Matheson, Robert E. Special Report on Surnames in Ireland [Together With] Varieties and Synonyms of Surnames and Christian Names in Ireland. (reprint) Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1975. Call No. Local History Ref CS2415.M3 (2nd floor open shelf). Originally published 1901, 1909. Tables indicate prevalence or scarcity of surnames in Irish provinces and counties. Surname variations provided in second half of book.

Churches

Irish Catholic Directory. Call No. Local History Ref BX1503.A3 I6 (2nd floor open shelf). The Newberry’s edition (1987) is somewhat dated, but can still assist in determining the existence and location of present day parishes.

A Guide to Irish Parish Registers. Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. Call No. Local History Ref CD1118.5.A2 M57 1988 (2nd floor open shelf). Covers Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland and Presbyterian registers as well as miscellaneous Nonconformist, primarily Quaker and Methodist.

Mitchell, Brian. A Guide to Irish Churches and Graveyards. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1990. Call No. Local History Ref DA985.G84 1990 (2nd floor open shelf).

Ryan, James G. Irish Church Records: Their History, Availability, and Use in Family and Local History Research. Dublin: Flyleaf Press, 1992. Call No. Local History Ref CS496.C56 I75 1992 (2nd floor open shelf).

Immigration

DeGrazia, Laura Murphy and Diane Fitzpatrick Haberstroh (comp). Irish Relatives and Friends: From “Information Wanted” Ads in the Irish-American, 1850-1871. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2001. Call No. E184.I6 D44 2001.

Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743: A Transcription of the Report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced Emigration to America. (reprint) Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Call No. E184.I6 E45 1992.

Glazier, Ira and Michael Tepper. The Famine Immigrants: Lists of Irish Immigrants Arriving at the Port of New York, 1846-1851. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983-1985. 5 volumes. Call No. Local History Ref E184.I6 F25 1983 (2nd floor open shelf).

Harris, Ruth M. and Donald M. Jacobs. The Search for Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1989-. Call No. Local History Ref F73.9.I6 S43 1989 (2nd floor open shelf). v. 1-8, covers 1831-1920.

Irish Passenger Lists, 1803-1806: Lists of Passengers Sailing From Ireland to America, Extracted from the Hardwicke Papers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1995. Call No. Local History Ref E184.I6 I687 (2nd floor open shelf).

McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants From Ireland to America. 1735-1743: A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced Emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1992. Call No. E184.I6 E45 1992.

Mitchell, Brian. Irish Passenger Lists 1847-1871: Lists of Passengers Sailing From Londonderry to America on Ships of the J. & J. Cooke Line and the McCorkell Line. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. Call No. Local History Ref E184.I6 I75 (2nd floor open shelf).

Schlegel, Donald M. Passengers from Ireland: Lists of Passengers Arriving at American Ports Between 1811 and 1817 Transcribed from The Shamrock or Hibernian Chronicle. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1980. Call No. E184.I6 S34.

Census

Masterson, Josephine. Ireland: 1841/1851 Census Abstracts (Northern Ireland). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Call No. CS448.A1 M37 1999.

Masterson, Josephine. County Cork, Ireland: A Collection of 1851 Census Records. Baltimore: Clearfield Co., 1994. Call No. CS497.C7 M37 1994.

Masterson, Josephine. Ireland: 1841/1851 Census Abstracts (Republic of Ireland). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Call No. CS497.A1 M37 1999.

Griffith’s Valuations and the Irish Ordnance Survey

Griffith, Richard (compiler). General Valuation and Rateable Property in Ireland. 1862 Edition. Call No. Microfiche 326. Obtain at second floor reference post and ask to see the instruction sheets for using this source. Lists all lessors and lessees at the time of survey. Assessments were conducted between 1848 and 1864, depending on the county. Ordnance Survey references are a special bonus. Note: the Valuation of the City of Dublin form a separate title. Call No. Microfiche 824.

Day, Angelique and Patrick McWilliams (editors). Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland. Belfast: Queen’s University of Belfast, 1990-. Call No. DA990.U46 O85. Multi-volume set. The Memoirs were written as descriptions to accompany the Ordnance Survey maps. The program began in Ulster in the 1830s, but was abandoned before the southern part of the country could be attempted. Contents will vary, the organization geared to the civil parishes within a county. The researcher will find descriptions of individual townlands, topography, industry, emigration, and matters of antiquarian interest, among the most frequently ecountered contents. Consult the online catalog for volume contents.

Griffith’s Valuation of the City of Dublin. Call No. Microfiche 824. Not included in the larger set.

Morris, Andrew J. Full Name Index to Householders for Griffith’s Primary Valuation, County Mayo. Call No. Microfiche 326 Index Mayo. Full Name Index to Householders for Griffith’s Primary Valuation, County Wicklow . Call No. Mirofiche 326 Index Wicklow. In both instances a considerable improvement over the double tiered surname only indexing found in the larger set.

O’Flanagan, Michael. Letters Containing Information Relative to the Antiquities of the County of _____. Different call numbers for each county. Check card or online catalog under author for complete listing. Referred to as the “Ordnance Survey Letters.” These consist of field reports from the surveyors, who were requested to discover all the variant names, antiquities, and local lore of each area they surveyed. Distinguish from the Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland (above).

Manuscript Finding Aids

Belfast. Public Record Office. Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Stationer’s Office, 1924-1959. Call No. F 42 .63.

Dublin. Public Record Office. Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records in Ireland. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1869-1930. Call No. F 42 .437.

Hayes, Richard J. Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilisation. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1965-1979. Total of 23 volumes. Call No. Ref Z2041.D85 (3rd floor open shelf). Index volumes divided into those listing persons, subjects, places, and dates.

Periodicals (General)

The All-Ireland Family Heritage. 1984-1985. Call No. folio DA900.A44.

Analecta Hibernica. 1930-. Call No. F 42 .445.

Familia. (Ulster Genealogy and History Guild.) 1985 (vol.2)-. Call No. folio CS440.U48.

Irish Ancestor. 1969-1986. Call No. CS480.I7.

Irish Genealogist. 1937-. Call No. CS480.I74.

Journal of the American Irish Historical Society. 1898- 1941. Call No. F 8395 .03.

Starting years for publication are provided for some of the more established journals. The reader will find citations to many of these periodicals in both O’Falley’s and Ryan’s reference works on Irish genealogy.

Published Irish Probate Sources

Consult James Ryan’s Irish Records: Sources for Family History (Rev. ed., Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997), Call No. Local History Ref Z5313.I7 R83 1997 (2nd floor open shelf). A chapter is devoted to each county with a section on wills and administrations. For Cork and Kerry, consult the abstracts found in Casey’s O’Kief, Coshe Mang … Call No. Local History Ref CS497.M8 C3 (2nd floor open shelf) – see Miscellany section for a discussion of this source.

Dublin. Public Record Office. The Fifty-Sixth Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records and Keeper of the State Papers in Ireland. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1931. Call No. F 42 .437 (volume containing reports for 1918-1930). Appendix lists wills which survived the 1922 P.R.O. fire, although probably should not be considered a definitive source.

Eustace, P. Beryl and Eilish Ellis. Registry of Deeds Dublin: Abstracts of Wills. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1954-1984. Call No. K 49 .276. 3 volumes covering wills 1708-1832. Nice abstracts, though only covering approximately 1,500 wills deposited with the Registry in connection with land transfer.

Phillimore, W.P.W. and Gertrude Thrift. Indexes to Irish Wills. London: Phillimore, 1909. Call No. K 49 .44. 5 volumes. Provides year of probate and residence. These volumes index the wills of the consistorial courts, i.e. those of the individual dioceses of the Church of Ireland. Many of the records themselves were lost in the 1922 Irish P.R.O. fire.

Vicars, Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland, 1536-1810. Dublin: Edwd. Ponsonby, 1897. Call No. K 49 .94. Provides year of probate, residence, sometimes occupation. Wills were proven in the prerogative court in those instances when a testator had property worth more than oe5 in a diocese other than that of residence. Most of the records themselves were lost in the 1922 Irish P.R.O. fire.

Miscellaneous

Casey, Albert M. O’Kief, Coshe Mang, Slieve Lougher, and Upper Blackwater in Ireland. Birmingham, Alabama: Knocknagree Historical Fund, 1952-1971. 15 volumes. Indexing by volume. Call No. Local History Ref CS497.M8 C3 (2nd floor open shelf). The focus of this work is on the Cork-Kerry border area; however, there is much source material for both counties in general. Materials reproduced include will and administration abstracts, marriage records, city directories, obituary abstracts, cemetery readings, and vital records.

Clarke, R.S.J. Gravestone Inscriptions, County Down. Belfast: Ulster-Scot Historical Society, 1966-. Call No E 69 .365. Very extensive gravestone transcription project.

Farrar, Henry. Irish Marriages Being an Index to the Marriages in Walker’s Hibernian Magazine 1771 to 1812. (reprint) Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1972. Call No. A 51 .395 in 47 volumes. The Newberry is one of the few North American libraries holding Walker’s Hibernian Magazine.

From Paddy to Studs: Irish American Communities in the Turn of the Century Era, 1880-1920. Ed. Timothy J. Meagher. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1986. Call No. E184.I6 F76 1986. Includes chapters on Irish communities in Massachusetts, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and San Francisco.

Jones, Henry Z. (Jr.) The Palatine Families of Ireland. 2nd edition. Camden, ME: Picton, 1990. Call No. CS496.P3 J6 1990.

Family History Library Films. Explore the FHL Catalog at https://familysearch.org/. Search by place to see what types of records may be available through the Family History Library’s microform loan program. Ask at the 2nd floor reference desk for details.