Roots Ireland
St. Patrick's Day has again risen its head and tipped its hat but many of us searching our Irish roots still long for clearer details of our ancestor's origins. It is ironic that a culture aspired and loved by so many, has genealogical records that are difficult to reach. The Dublin fires in the 1920's, a result of the Civil War, destroyed many records precious to the genealogist. But with the old saying: "what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger," the struggle of the search may bring a pot-o-gold at the end.

This year's celebration of St. Patrick's Day spurned my genealogical spark, curious to find tidbits of new and recently released records. Scanning my own Irish Records Page, I was pleased to find that the site Irish Genealogy has added church records for Dublin City, Carlow, Cork and Kerry. Also, they seem to have a good searchable database for Roman Catholic records of County Monaghan.

I am enthralled with the Free Irish Gene Books website. Mr. Peter J. Clarke has compiled digital books of Irish family surnames, making it easy for a researcher of Irish families to locate all on one website. Mr. Clarke wisely spotlights an "Irish e-book of the month" along with almanacs, directories and journals.

The Roots Ireland site (Family History Foundation), is growing with the largest records database in Ireland. The not-for-profit organization has free searchable census, marriage, death, baptismal, passenger lists and Griffiths Valuation Records; at a cost of five Euros per record for purchase. And I am impressed with the Public Record of Northern Ireland website. They, also, have free searchable records for Freeholder Records, street directories, Ulster Covenant, along with a general name search engine.

I continue to struggle with my search for my Irish ancestors. Though I have a world of information on their lives in the States; none have surfaced in Ireland. But that will not stop my search.

Perhaps the best tool is the census records of your Irish ancestors within America. I found mine living within an Irish community in Michigan. One by one, I am looking at details of my ancestor's neighbors. Searching their records will one day lead me to my ancestor's county of origin, I am certain of it.

Though the search is often tiresome and tedious, my desire continues. The flame is sparked every time I notice a hint. And then I continue on...digging for that ultimate pot-o-gold: my Irish ancestor's origins.

keep searching for answers,



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