Researching your Irish ancestors
The Internet has completely changed the search for your ancestors. However the amount of information available can be overwhelming and considerable knowledge may be needed to make sense of the results. Location is the key which is often missing.
Moving down from the County, to the Parish, to the smallest division of the townland will bring results. Another is the timeframe; apart from the Established Church of Ireland, few written records go back more than 200 years.
Full official registration of births, marriages and deaths only started in 1864. These are available; however the Established Church was required to place its earlier records with the Government. When the building, known as The Four Courts, housing these and other unique records was destroyed in 1922 much was lost forever.
Census records are available on line for 1901 and 1911. Use has to be made of substitutes such as Tithe and Griffith’s Valuation records which only gives the Head of the household. Literacy rates were low and emigration was like a death, the person never to be heard of again. Only the well off could afford headstones to mark their passing, and even these have faded away.
But this is too negative; there is much pleasure in the hunt and the prize may be within your grasp!
See links page for information on useful web links for Tyrone.
Tyrone is split between the Dioceses of Derry, Armagh and Clogher. Most Church records are in PRONI in Belfast. Armagh Roman Catholic records are earlier than the two others, starting in 1820 for some Parishes.
- 1600s Information on Plantation Undertakers and Muster Rolls
- 1664 – 1666 Hearth Money Rolls
- 1700s List of names in various Parishes
- 1796 Spinning wheel (Flax Growers ) List
- 1830s Tithe lists
- 1860s Griffiths Valuation
- 1901 and 1911 Census online
- 1912 Signatures of Ulster Covenant
- Estate records have been deposited in PRONI
- Gravestone inscriptions have been transcribed for many old graveyards.
- Local groups have published studies of their area.
- Directories, many available online at PRONI, cover County Tyrone.