Proud owners of Irish roots around the globe dream of walking in their ancestor’s footsteps and finding their ancestral home in Ireland. Here some experts give top tips on finding out exactly where in Ireland your people lived.

So you are planning a trip to Ireland and would love to visit the home town lands of your Irish ancestors.

We can tell you from our personal journeys to Ireland that “walking in the footsteps” of your ancestors can be a very emotional and humbling experience. It will elicit emotions that will tug at your heartstrings as you discover why your Irish ancestors left such a beautiful country to begin building a new life in the United States, Canada, Australia, or other corners of the world.

Records and DNA

It is no secret that in the last decade more and more genealogy records have become available online for both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This release of new records has been accompanied by an enormous increase in the number of people submitting DNA samples in an effort to connect with long-lost cousins. As a result, there has been a surge in the number of people traveling to Ireland in an effort to find where their Irish ancestors lived.

Hitting a Brick Wall

Unfortunately, pinpointing exactly where one’s Irish ancestors lived can be a real challenge which often leads to the proverbial brick wall where the chase seems to hit a dead end.

The primary reason for this is the nearly complete loss of census records in Ireland. With only fragments surviving, the Irish censuses taken in 1821, 1831, 1841 and 1851 went up in flames when the Public Records Office was destroyed by fire on June 30, 1922, during the Irish Civil War.

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