Category : Genealogy Articles

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The Irish and the Scottish Connection

Dr Irene O’Brien of Glasgow City Archives will give three presentations on the Irish who went to Scotland in the last two hundred years and will provide a rich sources of information to help trace Irish migrations

The three presentations are:

Discover your ancestors in Glasgow and Scotland
Introduction to resources to trace your Irish ancestors in Glasgow and Scotland. Will look at ScotlandsPeople records with particular focus on the Irish and to Glasgow City Archives and its sources to help trace Irish migration.

Poor Law Records in Glasgow City Archives
The talk will look at Glasgow City Archives stand-out poor law records for Glasgow and west of Scotland from 1845 to 1930. Large numbers of Irish applied for poor relief and the applications are rich with essential genealogical data and with details of the lives of applicants.

Church Records in Glasgow City Archives and Beyond
The City Archives holds records across many denominations, including Presbyterian and Episcopalian and many other denominations. The talk will cover these and Catholic records (held by their own archives)

Back to our Past 2020

AncestryDNA – Basic Principles for Family History; Combining DNA & Traditional Research Methods

Presented By: Eamon Healy

Synopsis of talk – AncestryDNA is a fantastic tool that can help take your family history research to new levels, but it can be daunting initially. Before you dive in, it helps to have a good understanding of what the test is, what it will provide you with and how to integrate DNA results with your family tree and other sources. In this session, Eamon Healy from Ancestry ProGenealogists will cover these key areas and more.

Bio – Eamon Healy has been part of Ancestry ProGenealogists since 2016. Although working as a professional genealogist for a number of years before he joined Ancestry, he began to use DNA results in his everyday research from this point forward. He is excited to share the basic methodologies and explain the features of AncestryDNA. A Galway native, in his free time he also teaches introduction classes to Irish Genealogy in Crumlin College of Further Education and is currently a Research Masters student in NUI Maynooth.

wolfhound new

Tracing your Irish ancestors in Australian records

Presented by: Debra Carter


Synopsis:  The Irish did not immigrate to Australia in large groups or during specific time periods. They immigrated individually or a few family groups at a time from as early as 1788 as convicts and throughout the 19th century, as assisted or unassisted passengers. This presentation will explore tracing your ancestor’s journeys and settlement using available Ancestry® records including the convict collection, passenger lists, government and police gazettes, civil registration and church records, wills and probate and occupational records.


Bio: Debra Carter is a Research Team Manager with AncestryProGenealogists, specialising in researching Australian immigrants from the UK and other relevant migratory countries. She has been a professional genealogist for over 10 years, and is a full member of AGRA (Association of Genealogists and Researchers of Archives). She holds the Oxford, Advanced Diploma in Local History and the Society of Australian Genealogists, Certificate in Genealogical Research and is a member of APG and the Guild of One Name Studies (Fleeson and McSpedden, both Irish in origin).


Don’t know where to start on your family history?

Follow  this  step-by-step guide from Backtoourpast

Military collections from WW1 and other major conflicts are available

With billions of records online at Findmypast, researching your family tree may at first seem a little daunting. Follow these easy steps to help you get started.

  1. Where To Start
  • Write down what you already know about your ancestors – just the facts, not the rumours!
  • Ask your family, especially the older members.
  • Search the attic. Check old photographs, letters or documents and other heirlooms for clues to the past
  • Sign up for a free subscription on the Findmypast stand at Back To Our Past, with access to millions of Irish records that date back as far as the 1600s.
  1. Build Your Family Tree
  • Start building a family tree at Findmypast. It’s free to use and totally secure.
  • Put the initial information you have acquired into your tree and begin to grow from there.
  • Add any extra information that you find along the way to each family member’s profile.
  1. Birth, Marriage and Death Records
  • When you’ve found an ancestor on Findmypast, use the information in the index to order their birth, marriage or death certificate from the General Register’s Office.
  • Certificates provide lots of extra detail, such as parents’ names, occupations and address.
  1. Censuses and Substitutes

Discover your family in our surviving census records as well as excellent substitutes including the exclusive Landed Estate Court Rentals, and the indispensable Griffiths’ Valuation.

  1. Newspaper Reports
  • Findmypast have scanned millions of pages of historical local Irish newspapers, dating from the 1700s to the early twentieth century.
  • Search for your ancestors within their pages to discover what life was like and add more detail to what you know about your family history.
  • Newspapers reported both local and national news, inquests, obituaries, scandals and criminal trials.
  1. Broaden Your Search
  • Explore Findmypast’s other collections – there are billions of records to search!
  • You could learn about your ancestor’s time in the army, at sea or even in prison.
  • Find living relatives and discover other overseas ancestors with collections available from all around the world.


Recent additions to Findmypast

Here are some of the fascinating Irish collections that joined Findmypast in recent months that you can access for free with your complimentary 1 month subscription:

Dublin Workhouses Admission & Discharge Registers 1840-1919

Exclusively online at Findmypast, these rich registers record nearly 80 years the poorest people in Dublin as they seek refuge in the workhouses. Most Dublin families will find a connection amongst these 3 million records.

Ireland National School Registers

Discover your ancestors’ school days in these detailed school registers from all over the country

Irish Newspapers

Titles that have joined the collection recently include Carlow Post, Downpatrick Recorder and The Evening Freeman. There are now over 80 titles and millions of articles to explore in the archive.

Church Of Ireland Parish Record Search Forms

Church of Ireland ancestors? Uncover more details about them in these unique records which were used to prove age when the Old Age Pension was introduced in 1909


Irish Army Census 1922

If you had a relative in the newly-formed Free State Army in 1922, explore these records to find out where they were during this military census.


Glasnevin Museum – 1.5 million stories to tell

The striking, ancient fir trees at Glasnevin, looking  towards the award-winning museum

As winners of Tripadvisor’s Traveller’s choice award in 2013, and listed as one of Dublin’s top 3 attractions, Glasnevin Museum proudly tells the story of modern Ireland through interactive exhibitions and engaging cemetery tours and delivered by personable, well informed guides affording visitors a heightened sense of understanding, and a deeper appreciation of its never forgotten residents.

Known locally as “The Dead Centre of Dublin”- Ireland’s largest Cemetery where the social, political and historical timeline of this great city is carved in stone. Irish icons like Collins, de Valera, Parnell, ‘Big Jim’ Larkin, Countess Markievicz, Brendan Behan and Luke Kelly rest peacefully in this original 1830’s Victorian garden cemetery. Linked via gateway to the Botanic Gardens and voted number 1 attraction in Dublin (2013, Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award), there are over 17,000 plants and 200 acres of beautiful parkland to enjoy. Key to Glasnevin’s success is the popularity of the tour guides whose enthusiasm is compelling. With one and a half million stories buried in Glasnevin there’s no shortage of tales to tell.

Learn about the harsh realities of life in Dublin, eavesdrop on the stories of former gravediggers, touch the casket of Daniel O’Connell, or simply ponder the fascinating lives of those who walked these streets before us.

Construction is underway to rebuild the winding wooden staircase that once ran up the centre the 168ft O’Connell tower monument in Glasnevin cemetery the tallest of its kind in Ireland. Visitors to the top will witness spectacular views of Dublin.
There are over 1.5 million people buried in Glasnevin Cemetery. Delving into this rich resource Glasnevin captivates the curious through special events, tours, re-enactments, orations, lectures, festivals, commemorations, exhibitions, poetry readings, bringing legend to life in dramatic fashion.

A visit to Glasnevin is a must for anyone interested in the rich cultural texture of Dublin.

Celebrating history, heritage and culture, join this intriguing journey through Ireland’s past.


Did you know?

  • There are over 1.5 million people buried in Glasnevin’s Victorian Garden Cemetery
  • The Daniel O’Connell round Tower monument is the tallest of its kind in Ireland
  • A guided tour of the cemetery includes a visit to Daniel O’Connell’s crypt
  • Glasnevin is home to the largest collection of Celtic crosses in the world
  • Glasnevin won the 2013 Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Award and is consistently listed in the top three of best attractions in Dublin
  • A pedestrian gateway between the world famous National Botanic Gardens and the Cemetery is open making it the second largest green space in Dublin with over 200 acres of mature parkland, and home to the largest collection of protected structures in the State.
  • City Sightseeing Bus tours now provide a hop on hop off bus service from the city centre.
  • Guided tours all year with additional summer times, re-enactments, and special events – see website
  • A genealogy voucher worth €5.00 with every ticket. Search your family tree, all records online.
  • Private and public tours available daily, special interest and educational groups welcome. Catering for ad hoc groups, private & public tours and serving breakfast, lunch & snacks throughout the day.
  • Shop and café – Browse the terrific collection of Irish crafts, jewellery, mementos, historical books, and other interesting gift items in the museum shop.


Address: Glasnevin Cemetery, Finglas Road, Dublin 11

Tel:   353 1-8826550





Open daily with two tours per day plus additional tours at 1 pm June – Sept & flexible times for pre-booked groups

Booking contact: Carolyn Kelly

Sales Manager: Ann Kilcoyne

Average Tour time: 1 hour

Guided Tours: Max 40 – 50, Languages: English, Irish, French, German.

A range of tailor made tours available

Car and coach Parking: On site and street parking available

Public Transport: Bus no’s 40 & 140 from O’Connell St direct to door.

Hop-on-Hop-off Dublin City Sightseeing bus (blue route) from city centre/Guinness Storehouse

-SatNav: Latitude/Longitude : 53.36981,-6.277098

-Opening Times: Open 7 days:

Mon – Fri 10am to 5pm

Sat/Sun/Bank Holiday: 11am to 5pm

Tour times: 11.30, & 2.30 all year with extra 1pm tour, June – Sept)

Re-enactments daily at 2pm, April – Oct.

Tours include visit to Daniel O’Connell’s Crypt.


-Admission Rates (Includes guided tour, museum entrance, and €5.00 genealogy voucher)

Adults: €12.00

Children: €8.00

Senior/Students: €8.00

Family (2+2): €25.00
The Tower Café: Serves lunches and snacks throughout the day.


Museum Shop: There is a shop located at the entrance to the museum offering a wide range of Irish history books & literature, arts, crafts and gifts.
Parking details: There is on street and private parking within the grounds of the Cemetery

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, flickr, instagram, youtube.

Free Wifi in seated café area.


A Beginners Guide to Using DNA in Family History

Margaret Jordan advises

When you hit the proverbial ‘brick wall’ in family history research, DNA testing can come to the rescue in many cases and it can help to solve mysteries. It can also uncover new mysteries such as non-paternity events (NPE).

It is important to understand the basics before embarking on genetic testing for family history so that you know what it can and cannot do []. There are three main types of testing used in family history research: mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), autosomal DNA (atDNA) and y-chromosome DNA (yDNA).

We all have mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) which is passed down by a mother to all her children. However, males do not pass on their mtDNA to their children, so the value of mtDNA testing is in tracing back along a maternal line (your mother, her mother and so on). Unfortunately, mtDNA doesn’t generally follow a surname as women traditionally changed their surname on marriage.

Autosomal DNA (atDNA) can be inherited from any line. Therefore, it can find matches in any branch of your family tree but it works better when two people share a recent ancestor.

Only men have y-chromosome DNA (yDNA) which is passed down from father to son. yDNA mutates very infrequently, and therefore it can be used to trace a biological paternal line. The most significant benefit of using yDNA in genealogical research is that the surname is generally co-inherited with the yDNA.

As yDNA is currently the most useful and universally used DNA tool in family history research I will focus on this.

The diagram shows how yDNA is passed down from father to son.

dna diagram1

There are many reasons for considering yDNA testing. You may be in the New World and trying to trace your paternal ancestry back to your Irish origins or living in Ireland and looking for descendants of relatives who left Ireland in Famine times. You may be trying to establish a connection with a particular family line or you may be researching your surname in general.

DNA testing can be as simple as a mouth swab, done at home and the sample mailed back to the testing company. The first thing is to decide what you hope to achieve and which family surname you want to research. Then you need to select a male with that paternally inherited surname and choose a testing company.

Family Tree DNA [] which is based in Texas, USA is the testing company with which I am most familiar. Each surname study at Family Tree DNA is managed by voluntary administrators who help participants with understanding their results. For example, the O’Shea yDNA Project [], which I have been involved with since it started in 2003, was set up to study the O’Shea Surname using yDNA. Participants generally start with a 37 marker test and upgrade to 67 markers if required. If no suitable Irish surname yDNA project is available for your particular surname at Family Tree DNA, the Ireland yDNA Project [] acts as an umbrella project for all men with Irish ancestry on their paternal line.

When the decisions have been made and the kit ordered, the mouth swab is done a few hours after eating and the sample returned to the testing company. Then all you have to do is wait patiently. After a few weeks, the yDNA results will be sent to you by email. The results comprise a set of numbers (y-haplotype) relating to the number of short tandem repeats (STRs) on each marker tested, on the y-chromosome. Then the excitement of seeing with whom you match begins. The testing company lists the names of your close matches along with their email addresses. The statistics involved in analysis of yDNA results can provide two people with an estimate to how far back their common ancestor might be. However, yDNA testing cannot tell you what is the exact relationship between two people.

Making contact with people you match across the globe can be exciting. You can compare notes to try to find your common ancestor. People who match each other often share photos and may meet up. This forges links between the Irish Diaspora and those still living in their native homeland. People talk euphemistically about a ‘non-paternity event’ (NPE) when yDNA results are not as expected. On the other hand, some people have questions regarding adoption in their family and yDNA testing can help them find their biological surname.

For the enthusiast, testing SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) can provide further information on the migration of your ancestors, over thousands of years. The National Genographic Project [], started by Spenser Wells in 2005, studies this migration of people from Africa about 60,000 years ago to all areas of the globe.

In conclusion, DNA testing can be exciting and surprising. Finding genetic cousins can open up new lines of communications across continents. Adding the genetic genealogy tool to your family history research armoury adds an exciting dimension and can produce some interesting twists.

[Margaret Jordan is a Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, and is joint co-ordinator of the Ireland yDNA Project.]


Tracing your Northern Irish Ancestors: A Three-step Guide

by Brian Mitchell, Derry Genealogy



There are 289 parishes in Northern Ireland (i.e. Counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone). You can identify the civil parishes of Northern Ireland, and their associated townlands, at by selecting county of interest on the map. To gain insight into the economic and social landscape of 19th century Ireland you can consult A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, published in 1837, by Samuel Lewis. Arranged in alphabetical order by parishes, towns and villages this book can be viewed online at An excellent starting point for surname research is the ‘Surname Search’ option at where you can explore the location, frequency and history of Irish surnames.


Research Steps

 Step 1 – Search 1901 and 1911 Census Returns

 Although census enumerations were carried out every decade from 1821, the earliest surviving complete return for Ireland is that of 1901. The census enumerations of 1901 and 1911, arranged by townland in rural areas and by street in urban areas, can be searched, for free, at These returns will list the names, ages and place of birth of all members in a household.


Step 2 – Search for births, marriages and deaths

 Civil registration of births, deaths and Roman Catholic marriages in Ireland began on 1st January 1864 while non-Catholic marriages were subject to registration from 1st April 1845. Prior to the commencement of civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in Ireland, family history researchers usually rely on baptismal, marriage and burial registers kept by churches. With civil registration of births and deaths commencing in 1864, and with the patchy survival of church records prior to 1820, gravestone inscriptions can be a vital source for family historians.

Northern Irish Civil Records of births 1864-1915, marriages 1882-1921 and deaths 1891-1921 can now be searched and viewed at On searching index, which returns name, event type, year and name of Superintendent Registrar’s District, a pdf of the full register page in which that birth, marriage or death certificate appears can be downloaded by selecting ‘image’. Images of pre-1882 marriages and pre-1891 deaths will follow later.

You can also search and view ‘historic’ civil records of births, marriages and deaths for Northern Ireland at GRONI Online, by purchasing credits, of births (over 100 years old), marriages (over 75 years old) and deaths (over 50 years old) on the website of the General Register Office of Northern Ireland at

RootsIreland, at, is a good starting point for searching church registers of baptisms, marriages and burials as this website is the largest online source of Northern Irish church register transcripts. You can either search across all counties or search a particular county. For example, Derry Genealogy, at, has transcribed and computerised the early baptismal and marriage registers of 97 churches (38 Roman Catholic, 24 Church of Ireland and 35 Presbyterian) and gravestone inscriptions from 117 graveyards.

As the search facility on this website is very flexible it means that you should be able to determine if any entries of interest to your family history are held on this database. For example, if you are searching for the baptism/birth of a child you can narrow the search down by year, range of years, names of parents and by parish of baptism/district of birth. Marriage searches can be filtered by year, range of years, name of spouse, names of parents and parish/district of marriage.

It must be stated, however, that a failure to find relevant birth/marriage entries in this database doesn’t mean that the events you are looking for didn’t happen in Ireland. It simply means that they are not recorded in the database; for example, they may be recorded in a record source which doesn’t survive for the time period of interest or in a source that has not been computerised.

Microfilm copy of church registers can be examined, at no charge, in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast. Their Guide To Church Records, which can be accessed on their website ( by selecting ‘Guides to PRONI records’ lists, in alphabetical order by civil parish, church registers of all denominations for most parishes in Ulster and their commencement dates, together with their microfilm reference details.


Step 3 – Search Census Substitutes

Quite often the only realistic strategy in tracing ancestors beyond church registers (which are the building blocks of family history) is to examine surviving census returns and census substitutes, often compiled by civil parish, for any references to a surname or given name of interest. There are a number of census substitutes – such as 1630 Muster Roll, 1663 Hearth Money Rolls, 1740 Protestant Householders Lists, 1766 Religious Census, 1796 Flax Growers Lists, early-19th century Tithe Books and mid-19th century Griffith’s Valuation – which can be searched to confirm the presence of the family name.

The problem with these sources is that they name heads of household only; hence they provide insufficient information to confirm the nature of linkages between named people in these sources. Census substitutes, however, are very useful in confirming the presence of a family name in a particular townland and/or parish, and in providing some insight into the frequency and distribution of surnames.

You can examine the mid-19th century Griffith’s Valuation at You can search, for free, a number of 18th century census substitutes for Northern Ireland, such as indexes to pre-1858 wills, 1740 Protestant Householders Lists and Religious Census of 1766, by selecting the ‘Name Search’ option in ‘Search archives online’ section of the website of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland at At  you can also search, free of charge, by surname, the Flax Growers Lists of 1796, the Protestant Householders Lists of 1740, the Hearth Money Rolls of the 1660s and early-17th century Muster Rolls for Northern Ireland. Although such sources will confirm the presence of a surname of interest they will not confirm if there is a connection between people with the same surname!



An Post Witness History Museum

One of the inter-active features of the visitor attraction

An Post’s €7 million GPO Witness History visitor attraction commemorates the events of 1916. The attraction is an interactive visitor facility bringing history to life though technology, video, sound and authentic artefacts.

The centrepiece of the visitor attraction is an immersive semi-circular audiovisual space which puts visitors right inside the GPO during the five days in which it was both the military command centre, and the seat of the Provisional Irish Government.

 Features of the attractions include:

The Rising Immersive Audiovisual Space

  • An immersive semicircular audiovisual space puts visitors right inside the GPO during the Rising
  • Digital recreation of Dublin as it was in 1916: Immersive street level experience and ‘God’s Eye’ strategic overview of events
  • Feel the full terror of the devastating British artillery bombardment Family Orientated Educational Activities
  • Hands-on activity area
  • Dressed set of the GPO
  • Print proclamations and bulletins
  • Learn morse code
  • Send messages across a barricaded street via a pulley
  • Sort letters and monitor phonecalls
  • Compose newspaper reports

A Contested Legacy

  • Chart the problematic relationship between the two sides of the divide in the 100 years hence.
  • Selection of the art music and literature inspired by, or created in reaction to, the 1916 Rising.
  • Touch screen allows visitors to debate the relevance of the ideals of the 1916 Proclamation.
  • Visitors encouraged to reflect on their own vision for the next hundred years of the Irish Republic.

Advance tickets booking system

In preparation for the €7 million Centre’s opening in March, a booking system enabling people to book advance tickets is at

The booking system allows visitors to secure their tickets well in advance, affording Irish and international tourists alike the opportunity to schedule this immersive and entertaining cultural experience amongst the wide range of delights that Dublin has to offer visitors of all ages and interests. provides details on the visitor centre – one of the Government’s key 2016 commemoration projects – the exhibits, an outline of the role the GPO had to play in the 1916 Rising as well as a broader history of the GPO itself.


Ireland’s genealogy project archives

Compiled by Christina Hunt

Altruism is the foundation on which today’s world of genealogy is built. Family history societies around the world were creating databases to share information freely before the Internet was heard of. The volunteer spirit is still alive, and there are great outlets for those wishing to contribute. Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives (IGPA) is a prime example. Christina Hunt, the IGPA manager, tells its story.
With some 40,000 transcribed and searchable headstone photos and many thousands of transcriptions from church registers, court, military, land and will records, obituary columns and other miscellaneous resources, Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives (IGPA) has come a long way in just five years.
The ‘archives’ evolved as a natural supplement to Ireland Genealogy Projects, our long-standing collection of ‘county’ websites, each of which provides in-depth advice on researching family history at the county level. Each county contains links, research addresses and photos, and some have a selection of transcriptions. IGP was led by the late Don Kelly for more than a decade.
Our ‘County’ webmasters and our archives ‘File Managers’ are all volunteers. At the county level I started out as webmaster for Co. Longford and Co. Tipperary. In the past, I put all kinds of transcriptions in my county projects. Since starting the IGP Archives, my main focus has been on the creation of a wellorganised repository. I think of it like a filing cabinet with the Counties as headings, and then the Subjects under each county.
In the IGP Archives, sharing is very much our ethos. Our view is that a lot of people have a lot of information in their possession. We want the IGPA to be a place where people, whether their families remained in Ireland or emigrated, can share publicly what they have with other family historians.
There are the usual categories that you would expect – birth, marriage and death records, cemeteries and newspapers – but we also have subjects that feature more heavily in Irish research such as Census Substitutes and Constabulary records.
All our records are submitted by family historians from around the globe, and apart from photos, they are presented in plain text which saves space and loading time. With technology changing so rapidly, we also hope plain text will be around for a long time. Text files are easier to copy and paste, which is useful when you want to save a record to your computer or into a genealogy programme or an email. We like to think that we are not just sharing, but helping to preserve information collected by avid Irish genealogists.
Spreadsheets have always served as a useful tool for pulling data out of a document such as a set of baptisms or marriages. Genealogists have already been doing this as they research their families. We convert it to plain text in columns, and upload it to the Archives.
For people who want to share, but have not already transcribed their documents, we have Submission Forms by Genrecords <>. These forms were created by David Crosby for use in the USGenWeb Archives. The forms create a text file for us which speeds up the process.
Headstones are a growing category in IGPA and can be a treasure trove in Ireland, providing names of parents and/or siblings. Considering the lack of records in other areas, they can be a little genealogy set in stone.
While the rest of IGPA is text-based, the headstones section is image-based. We use a free programme called Picassa (a Google product), which can take a whole folder of photos and create a webpage from it, complete with a thumbnail of each photo.

Obama's German roots

Locating Persons in the United States

It is difficult to trace someone in the United States when their whereabouts are completely unknown, as there are no central records of names and addresses available to the public. For those trying to locate former colleagues, friends or relations the following information may be of assistance. When writing to an agency or organization listed below, you should provide as much information as possible about the person you seek. At least the full name, date and place of birth should be given. For military personnel, the rank, serial number and branch of service should be specified.  NB: IMPORTANT NOTICE – It is NOT possible to trace the whereabouts of persons through U.S. Immigration channels. Records of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service are protected by the Privacy Act and cannot be divulged to third parties.


We hope that success results from your efforts. Unfortunately, The Embassy is unable to initiate a search for an ancestor, missing person or person whose location may be unknown.  However, the following may be of use in your research:




Present day immigration records are stored at the Embassy for a limited period of time.  However, the following address may also be of use to you in your research:


American Family Immigration History Centre

Ellis Island Foundation Inc.

Attn: History Centre

17 Battery Place #210

NY 10004-3507

Phone: (001) 212 561 4588


Immigration and Naturalization Service

423 1st St NW,

Washington D.C. 20536

Tel: (001) 202 633-4316 / 4330 / 4354


The Director of Freedom of Information Staff

Bureau of Public Affairs

Department Of State

Washington D.C. 20520


United States National Archives & Records Administration

8601 Adelphi Road,

College Park,

MD 20740-6001





Records of Birth, Death, Marriage and Divorce can be ordered over the internet on  If you do not have internet access you must write to the relevant office in the state of Birth, Death, Marriage or Divorce.  Unfortunately there is no central

Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages to whom you can direct inquiries, however the American Citizen Services Unit, the Consular Section, the American Embassy, 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Phone: (01) 237-5809/5810, would be happy to supply you with addresses of the relevant offices when you are in a position to identify the state or states.  For your information, it is often extremely difficult to locate a specific record of a birth, death or marriage without exact information as to the names of the parties involved, the date of the event and the place in which it took place, etc.




In the United States there are Family History Centers, which are usually located within Latter-day Saint churches. There are over 2,400 of these Family History Centers worldwide. Here you can find, or obtain, census returns, wills, church records, etc. from most parts of the world. In addition, you can consult the International Genealogical Index (I.G.I) and the Ancestral File. The I.G.I. is a worldwide index of approximately 187 million names of deceased persons. This index does not contain records of living persons. The Ancestral File contains genealogical data on millions of individuals from many countries, including information on names, places and places of birth, marriage and death. Please note that most of the information on the File concerns deceased persons. The File also contains names and addresses of persons who have submitted information, and this information is updated periodically.  The family history Library may be contacted at the following address, at which a full list of all Family History Centers and their telephone numbers worldwide can be obtained, is located at the following address:


The Family History Library

35 North West Temple Street

Salt Lake City

Utah 84150

Tel: 801-240-2331


Passport Services Research and Liaison Branch

Room 500,

111 9th Street NW

Washington DC 2054-1705

Phone: (001) 202 955 0447




In the 1950’s and 1960’s a number of Irish children were placed for adoption in the United States.  Those wishing to trace records of such children may wish to contact both the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, and the U.S. based Adoptees’ Search organization for assistance in locating passport and other records of these children:


Irish Department of Foreign Affairs

80 St. Stephen’s Green

Dublin 2

Tel: +353-1-4780822



Irish Children Adopted Overseas continued…


The Irish-Born Adoptees’ Search                                    Adoptees’ Liberty Movement

C/o Catherine O’Dea                                                        PO Box 85

18460 Bishop Lane                                                          Denville,

Strongsville, OH 44136                                                   NJ 07834

U.S.A                                                                              Email:

Tel: (001) 216 238-1004                                        




The following organizations may be able to assist in cases of sufficiently compelling humanitarian need and where the missing person is a close relative:


Adoptees’ Liberty Movement Association

P.O. Box 727

Radio City Station

New York, NY 10101


Tel: 001-212-581-1568



International Social Services

New York, NY 10016

Tel: 001-212-532-6350


The Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs will attempt to forward correspondence to missing persons, but only when a considerable monetary or strong humanitarian consideration is involved. You should send a letter intended for the missing person, along with a brief letter of explanation to the appropriate agency. The letter to be forwarded should contain nothing of value and be in a plain, unsealed, unstamped envelope bearing only the person’s name and social security/military serial number. If this number is not known, you should include any other identifying information, such as full name, date and place of birth and parents’ names. The addresses are:


Social Security Administration Department of Veterans Affairs

300 North Green Street

Baltimore, MD 21201

810 Vermont Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20420


In the case of the Social Security Administration, a $3.00 fee applies in cases involving a monetary purpose. An International Money Order in dollars should be enclosed and made payable to the Social Security Administration. The SSA will be unable to report whether or not the letter is actually delivered.


Services of a U.S. Attorney

You may wish to retain a lawyer in the U.S. to help you.  The American Bar Association can assist you in locating attorneys within any given state.  Their website address is



How to find family / friends affected by natural disaster

The American Red Cross maintains a database to help you find family.

Contact the local American Red Cross chapter where you are staying for information. Do not contact the chapter in the disaster area.   Their website is


International Family Tracing Services, American Red Cross
2025 E Street NW, 2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20006


The following addresses may also be of use in obtaining assistance in locating a missing adult or child




Search Reports Inc/Central Registry of the Missing        Missing Person’s International

345 Boulevard                                                                 P.O. Box 46896

Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604                                        Los Angeles, CA 90046

Tel: 201 288-4445


National Cener for Missing Adults

PO Box 6389

Glendale, AZ 85312

Tel: 001-602-749-2000





Missing Children – Help Center                                       Missing Children of America

410 Ware Blvd                                                                 P.O. Box 670-949

Ste. 400                                                                            Chugiak, AK 99567

Tampa, FL 33619                                                            Tel: 907 248-7300

Tel: 001-800-872-5437


Adam Walsh Child Resource Center                               Child Find of America

3111 S. Dixie Highway                                                   P.O. Box 277

Ste. 244                                                                            New Paltz, NY 12561

West Palm Beach, FL 33405                                           Tel: 914 255-1848

Tel: 407 833-9080


Find the Children                                                             National Center for

11811 W. Olympic Blvd                                                  Exploited and Missing

Los Angeles, CA 90064                                                  Children






The Irish Consulates in the United States may also be in a position to assist you.





Embassy of Ireland

2234 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.

Washington D.C. 20008

Tel: 202 462-3939/462-3940/462-3941



Irish Consulate General                                     Jurisdiction over the

Ireland House                                                    following states:

345 Park Avenue                                               Connecticut, Delaware

17th Floor                                                          Florida, Georgia,

New York, NY 10154-0037                             Jersey, New York, North

Tel: 212 319-2525/319-2550                             Carolina, Maryland,

Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia,


Irish Consulate General                                     Jurisdiction over the

Chase Building                                                  following states: Maine,

535 Boylston Street                                           Massachusetts, New

Boston, MA 02116                                           Hampshire,

Tel: 617 267-9330/267-4470                             Rhode Island, Vermont



Irish Consulate General                                     Jurisdiction over the

400 North Michigan Avenue                             following state: Alabama,

Chicago, IL 60611                                             Arkansas, Illinois,

Tel: 312 337-1868                                             Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky,                          Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin


Irish Consulate General                                     Jurisdiction over the

44 Montgomery St., Suite 3830                        following states:

San Francisco, CA 94104                                 Alaska,

Tel: 415 392-4214                                             Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming


Honorary Consul of Ireland                              Jurisdiction over the

65 Broadview                                                    following states: Kansas,

St. Louis MI 63105                                           Missouri

Tel: 618 274-0886




Major Irish-American Newspaper in the United States


Irish Echo

309 5th Avenue Room 402

NY 10016-1266

Phone: (001) 212 686 1266





Written requests for assistance in locating information on military personnel currently serving may be sent to the appropriate office Listed below:


Air Force Worldwide Locator                                          Army Worldwide Locator

AFPC/MSIMDL                                                             US Army ELREC

550 C Street W,                                                               Suite 508899 E. 56th Street

Randolph Air Force Base                                                Indianapolis, IN 46249-5301

TX 78150-4752





Locating Active Military Personnel continued…


Navy Worldwide Locator                                                Marine Corps Worldwide Locator

Bureau of Naval Personnel                                              Commandant of the Marine Corps

For family members: BUPRS                                          HQ, USMC, Code MMSB

Pers 324D, 2 Navy Annex                                              Washington, DC 20380-1775

Washington, DC 20370-3240

For non-family: BUPRS

02116, 2 Navy Annex

Washington, DC 20370-0216


Coast Guard Locator

G-MPC-S-3, U.S. Coast Guard

2100 2nd Street SW

Washington, DC 20593


The above locator offices may be able to provide a current address, and in some instances will attempt to forward correspondence to the individual’s military base/unit. Correspondence for the missing service member can be enclosed – together with a brief letter of explanation – to the appropriate service locator. The letter to be forwarded should contain nothing of value and be in a plain, unsealed, unstamped envelope bearing only the individual’s grade, full name, and, if possible, military serial number. Please ensure that your name and return address – including country – is clearly indicated on the top left hand corner of the envelopes, as required by the U.S. Postal Service. Please note that a nominal fee may be charged for this service.




All Official Military Personnel Files of discharged and deceased veterans are kept in the United States at the National Personnel Records Center (N.R.P.C.). Requests for information on former service members must be directed, in writing, to that agency. You should mark your letter for the attention of Mr. Charles Pellegrini and mark it “Do not open in the Mail Room”. A form requesting a record search will be mailed to you. When completing the form, you should provide the full name, including middle initials, details of military service, and the former service member’s serial (or social security) number, if known. Please note that certain restrictions imposed on the N.P.R.C. by the 1974 Privacy Act may make your search more difficult. These restrictions limit disclosure of data from U.S. government files to the individual themselves or to


Those who can provide clear evidence of direct kinship to the individual being sought. In the case of children trying to trace their fathers, the N.P.R.C. is required to provide only the last known town and state – i.e., not a full street address – if they believe the father to be still alive. Addresses on record are often those furnished by the service member at the time of discharge and may well be some years out-of-date. In all instances only written requests – signed and dated – on the appropriate forms will be accepted. The address of the N.P.R.C. is:


National Personnel Records Center

Attn: Mr. Charles Pellegrini, Military Personnel Records

9700 Page Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63132-5100






Locating Former Military Personnel continued…


U.S. citizens wishing to re-establish contact with, or information about, former service friends mainly use military publications and the magazines of veterans’ organizations. A brief notice placed therein reaches a wide audience and may well come to the attention of the individual themselves or a former member of the same unit. As well as individual veterans’ associations’ publications, letters are published in the following large-circulation newspapers and magazines:


Army/Navy/Air Force Times                                           American Legion Magazine

Locator Service’                                                               700 N Pennsylvania Street

6883 Commercial Drive                                                   P.O. Box 1055

Springfield                                                                       Indianapolis, IN 46206

VA 22159-0160


Air Force Magazine                                                         The Retired Officer Magazine

‘Bulletin Board’                                                               201 N Washington Ave

1501 Lee Highway                                                          Alexandria, VA 22314-2539

Arlington, VA 22209-1198


Letters written to the above publications should be brief and preferably typed. Do not send documents or photographs, and please ensure that your name and return address – including country – is clearly indicated.


Requests for information on former military personnel should be addressed to the National Personnel Records Center, Attn: Military Personnel Center, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132, U.S.A.  You should be aware the addressed on record with this office are usually those furnished by the service member at the time of discharge from the armed forces and they are rarely updated.  You may be required to provide adequate information concerning the service member and proof that your inquiry is made with the permission of the service man’s next of kin.


The publications listed have a wide readership and often feature letters and advertisements from individuals trying to locate former servicemen, their dependents or survivors:


The following associations may be of use in researching those who fought in the American Civil War:


The American Civil War Association, c/o Gary Griesmyer, P.O. Box 1865, Alexandria, VA 22313

The American Historical Association, 400 A. St., S.E., Washington D.C 20003


The Civil War Press Corps, 2724 Heriot Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28311

Civil War Round Table Associates, P.O. Box 7388, Little Rock, Ar 72217

The Civil War Society, 24 N. Buckmarsh St., P.O. Box 770, Berryville, VA 22611

Civil War Token Society, P.O. Box 330, Garnerville, NY 10923

Institute of Civil War Studies, c/o Alexander C. Niven, 141 N. Merranec, Ste. 12, Clayton, MO 63105


The following organizations all pertain to veterans of World War 1, and maybe able to help you in your search for persons involved in these conflicts. 


Veterans of Foreign wars of the U.S.A., VFW Memorial Building, 200 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington D.C. 20002

The American Historical Association, 400 A. St., S.E., Washington D.C. 20003


The following organizations all pertain to veterans of World War 1, and maybe able to help you in your search for persons involved in these conflicts. 


World War 1 Aeroplanes, 15 Crescent Road, Ploughkeepsie, NY 12601

World War 1 Overseas Flyers, 1037 N. Astor St., Milwaukee, WI 53202

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.A., VFW Memorial Building, 200 Maryland Avenue, N.E., Washington D.C. 20002

National Ladies Auxiliary to Veterans of World War 1 of the U.S.A., P.O. Box 2907, Bay st., St. Louis, MS 39521-2907

Veterans of World War 1 of U.S.A. 941 N. Capitol St., N.E., Room 1201-C, Washington D.C.

World War Tank Corps Association, 2245 Cypress Drive, Ft., Worth, TX 76133

Military Order of World Wars, 435 N. Lee St., Alexandria, VA 22314

National Association Rainbow Division Veterans, 16916 George Franklyn Drive, Independence, MO 64055

Order of Lafayette (World Wars), c/o Asa E. Phillips, Jr., 1 Post Office Square, Ste., 310, Boston, MA 02109

Retreads (World Wars), c/o Orville A. Rummel, 1504 Umpqua Place, Woodburn, OR 97071

30th Infantry Division Association (World Wars), 13645 Whippet Way, E., Delray Beach, FL 33484


The following organizations all pertain to veterans of World War II, and maybe able to help you in your search for persons involved in these conflicts. 


Veterans of Foreign wars of the U.S.A., VFW Memorial Building, 200 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington D.C. 20002

Allied Airborne Association, c/o Mark C. Lenze, 155 Cross Road, St. Mary’s, PA 15857

American Division Veterans Association, PO Box 1381, Boston, MA 02104

American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, c/o Capt. Elmer E. Long, Jr., PO Box 12052, New Bern, NC 28561-2050

American Merchant Marine Veterans,  1430 NE 54th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

Association of Free French in the U.S., c/o Dr. Rudolphe L. Coigney, 1200 5th Avenue, No 12A, NY, NY 10029

B-26 Marauder Historical Society, 14211 Chestfield Rd., Rockville, MD 20853

Bombardiers, 200 Van Buren St., No. 2109, Daphne, Al 36526

China-Burma-India Hump Pilots Association, P.O. Box 458, Poplar Bluss, MO 63901-0458

China-Burma-India Veterans Association, 5860 Amrap Dr., Parma Heights, OH 44130

Combat Merchant Mariners, 14 Castle Dr., Spring Valley, NY 10977

829th Signal Service Association, c/o A. Boehnlein, 29146 Sheridan St., Garden City, MI 48135

8th Air Force Historical Society, P.O. Box 7215, St. Paul, MN 55107

8th Armored Division Association, 66 N. Chicago St., Joliet, IL 60431

Flying Tigers of the 14th Air Force Association, PO Box 285, Selden, NY 11784

4th Marine Division Association, 2854 S., 44th St., Milwaukee, WI 53219

International B-24 Liberator Club, PO Box 15-2424, San Diego, CA 92195

94th Infantry Division, c/o Ross L. Jordan, 1415 Orion Rd., Batavia, IL 60510

99th Infantry Division Association, 1901 Roberta Lane, Champaign, IL 61821

North American Branch, (1940) Dunkirk Veterans Association, 214 Island in the Sun, 12100 Seminole Blvd., Largo, Fl 34648-2825

Pearl Harbour Survivors Association, National Adm. Office, Drawer 2598, Lancaster, CA 93539

PT Boats, INC, PO Box 38070, Germantown, TN 38183-0070

Second Air Division Association, PO Box 627, Ipswich, MA 01938

17th Airborne Division Association, 62 40 Acre Mountain Road, Danbury, CT 06811


The following organizations all pertain to veterans of World War II, and maybe able to help you in your search for persons involved in these conflicts. 


U.S. Merchant Marine Veterans of World War 11, SS Lane Victory, Berth 53, PO Box 629, San Pedro, CA 90733

United States Submarine Veterans of World War II, 862 Chatham Avenue, Elmhurst, IL 60126

Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, PO Box 11129, Arlington, VA 22210-2129

Military Order of the World Wars

435 N. Lee St., Alexandria, VA 22314

National Association Rainbow Division Veterans, 16916 George Franklyn Drive, Independence, MO 64055

Women World War Veterans, Morgan Hotel, 237 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016


The following organizations all pertain to veterans of Vietnam, and maybe able to help you in your search for persons involved in these conflicts. 


Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.A., VFW Memorial Building, 200 Maryland Avenue, NE, Washington D.C. 20002

America’s Victory Force, PO Box 2016, Learned, MS 39154

Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 2030 Clarendon Blvd., Ste. 412, Arlington, VA 22201

Gamewardens of Vietnam Association, PO Box 5523, Virginia Beach, VA 23455-0523

77th Artillery Association, PO Box 141, Booneville, MO 65223

Society of Vietnamese Rangers, PO Box 29965, Atlanta, GA 30359

Veterans of the Vietnam War, 760 Jumper Road, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702-8033

Vietnam Combat Veterans, 1267 Alma Ct., San Jose, CA 95112

Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, 7 W. 7th St., Ste. 1990, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Vietnam Veterans of America, 1224 M St., NW, Washington, DC 20005-5783

Vietnam Veterans Inst., PO Box 386, Timonium, MD 21093



Burial Places of Veterans


The Department of Memorial Affairs at the Veteran’s Administration administers cemeteries for veterans of American wars.  If the person whose place of burial you seek was in the armed forces, they may have a record of his burial.  You may contact the Department of Memorial Affairs at the following address:


The Department of Memorial Affairs

Veteran’s Administration

810 Vermont Avenue N.W.

Washington D.C. 20420

Tel: 202 393-4120