Discover how to trace your family history and write up your family's story

Course aim

This course is designed to get people started on researching and writing their family history.

Names, dates and places are the bones, family history is the flesh on those bones.

Course audience

This course is for people of all ages who have an interest in:

  • researching the history of their family
  • putting together their family tree
  • writing their family history.

Course content

The content covers:

  • the major sources of Irish Genealogy information
  • how best to access this information.

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Course details

Bring a laptop or tablet

You must bring a laptop or tablet that can access the internet. You will have many opportunities during the course to visit online archives to retrieve family records and documents.

Digital materials

We will give you digital copies of material we use during the course.

You need to be able to use a computer

Before attending the course, you should have a general working knowledge of using computers.

IT skills refresher

If you feel you would benefit from a brief overview or refresher of the IT skills you will need for this course, we offer an optional 30-minute session. You can attend this before the start of Day 1 of the genealogy course itself.

The course is designed for people from beginner to intermediate level.

Getting started

The major sources of information for Irish genealogy.

Find the information

How to:
• go about researching your family history
• use information about your family history
• find online resources.

Going back in time

How to work back from dependable sources to historical records. This allows you to use known information to find unknown.

How to store your material safely

How to store and save things like your family records and photos.

Add context

Add historical context to your family history.

Course sessions

Day One

Optional session on It skills (30 minutes)

We offer a 30-minute overview of the IT skills you will need to do this course. This includes:

  • Microsoft Word – file management – working with files and folders
  • internet – searching and working with multiple tabs
  • taking screenshots
  • photographing
  • scanning
  • saving images.

Some knowledge of Facebook would also be useful.

Introduction and overview of day

  • Schedule for the day
  • managing your data – hard copy and digital
  • using forms
  • being consistent about the way you collect information
  • family tree websites
  • genealogy websites.

Census data

History of Irish censuses. We will also do practical searches using the 1901 and 1911 online census.

Griffith’s Valuation

The day will include a history of Griffith’s Valuation and Ordnance survey maps. We will look at:

  • Griffith’s Valuation data
  • the ordnance survey maps used in Griffith’s Valuation
  • how to cross-reference Griffith and available census records.

Tithe Applotment Books

This covers:

  • the history of Tithe Applotment Books
  • finding and understanding information from these books
  • how to do an online search for information in the Tithe Applotment Books.

Records – Irish

This includes:

  • civil records and church records
  • births, marriages, deaths
  • graveyards – using them as a source of information
  • using Roots Ireland and to find BMD records

Emigration and records abroad

We will look at how to use passenger lists to get information. We will also cover how to use records from abroad, for example:

  • USA census
  • UK census
  • military records
  • Australian records – using mainly sites like Family Search, Ancestry, My Heritage, Find My Past.

Day two

Overview of the most important centres of information and what they hold

  • NLI – National Library of Ireland
  • NAI – National Archives of Ireland
  • Valuations Office
  • Registry of Deeds.

British Parliamentary Papers 

  • What are these papers?
  • Where can they be found?
  • How can I use them?

Land Records 

  • Landed Estate records
  • Encumbered Estate Records
  • Land Commission records.

CSORP Records

In this part of the course we look at the Chief Secretary of Ireland’s Office Registered Papers.

  • What kind of areas and subjects these papers cover.
  • How and where to access these records.

We will do practical work where those taking part can actively perform searches of CSORP Records.

School records

  • Where to access these records
  • what information is in the records.

Folklore records 

We will look at the Schools Folklore collection and:

  • what is contained in the collection
  • how to access the collection.

Overview of other available sources 

  • Street directories
  • newspapers
  • diaries
  • location of these sources
  • digital links to these sources, where available.

Photographs and maps 

  • Information contained in photographs
  • extracting information from maps
  • how to use photographs and maps in your family history story.

Putting it all together 

  • Writing your story
  • format
  • style.

We will also look at the possible chapter headings, and work on deciding the headings for each story. We will look at how to structure your story or enter your information into a family tree programme.

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Learn more

Discover how to trace your family history and write up the story.

Contact our course-booking team to find out more about the Genealogy course: • dates • prices • locations.