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Irish Ancestors on the Irish Times

    You may have found this site in the past…it was developed by John Grenham, the author of Tracing your Irish Ancestors.    John also developed a resource called Grenham's Irish Surnames, a CD resource available from Eneclann which allows you to put in names of two individuals (husband and maiden name of the wife) and find out the parishes where those two names overlap, based on the name frequency in Griffith's Valuation.  I have used (and recommended) this resource for years.  It is the only reason I run Windows on my Mac. When little is known about your ancestor's location, this resource, with hopefully at least one uncommon name, might be a way to narrow down the probable parishes from which a couple emigrated.  John offers this feature on the Irish Ancestors website, with excellent detail on the first name, but only provides county information on the intersection of two names.  To get the detail down to the parish level as you do on the CD you need to pay.  I'm not a fan of pay-per-view websites, so I've never spent much additional time on the site.  

   While I was in Ireland in October I had the opportunty to  lecture at  the Back To Our Past Conference in Dublin and attended a presentation John made on this website.  I was facinated by the wealth of information on the site and have spent some time since working through the features. There are multiple points at which you will be required to pay to see information, but there is quite a bit that is available for free, including an expert system, in the form of a Wizard.

   When you click on the Wizard, you are walked through a series of questions on what you know about your ancestor: their name, approximate year of birth, names of parents and siblings, locality, religion.  You fill in what you know and the wizard creates a narrative about your ancestor.  


This website DOES NOT provide specific records about your ancestor, but rather directs you to the types of records that might have information about your ancestor.  If, for example, your ancestor was born after 1864, it will suggest you check civil registration and you can click for more information about that source.  One of the most interesting parts of the report is the first paragraph which gives alternate names and spellings for your surname.  In the case of Daly, for example, it tells me that there are 19 variant spellings and lists them.

If you have a specific locality, you can view a list of potential local records.    In the report on local records it tells me that for Michael Daly in Kilvine, Mayo there are 15 census returns and substitutes…I don't get any additional information unless I purchase the report for €12.50 ($16.30).  I can, however, go to John's book, Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, 4th Ed. and read about Census returns and substitutes for County Mayo (or any other county).  

   This is only one part of the website and next week, I'll look at another.

   Happy Hunting!


© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2013