Researching genealogical records is a fascinating process but can become daunting and time-consuming. Thankfully, researchers nowadays have access to a tremendous range of online resources that reduce the need to physically visit places like registry offices or churches or pour over micro-fiche records in libraries.

Below is a list of online resources that I have found particularly useful in my own research.

Irish Genealogy

This site was set up by the Irish Government to facilitate genealogical research in Ireland. Access is free and you can download original images of the registers. 

Civil records available online include: 

Note that up to 1921, records are for all of Ireland; after 1921, they are Southern Ireland only. Records are not complete; for example, I have found records for most of the Harron side of my tree but a lot missing on the French side. This might be due to a lot of civil records being destroyed during the Irish War of Independence and Civil War, 1919-1922.

There are also some Church records but I did not find these useful in my research as they are limited to Carlow, Cork & Ross, Dublin and Kerry.

The level of information is so detailed and analysed that it can take a bit of time to fully appreciate the site. To help beginners, I have prepared a short YouTube tutorial covering the main features

General Register Office (Northern Ireland)

This is more or less the Northern Ireland equivalent of the Irish Genealogy site detailed above but it is a lot less user friendly.

The records on this site are:

The records up to 1921 are identical to those on the Irish Genealogy site. As that site is so much more user-friendly and free of charge, I use it for all records up to 1921 and only use this Northern Ireland site from 1922 forward.

Irish Townlands

This site lists townlands throughout Ireland and is searchable starting at county level down to townland level. When a townland is clicked, a page is opened with a resizable map, information about the townland and links to surrounding townlands.

Townlands are often known locally by variations on their name and, in official registrars, are sometimes recorded as how the registrar knows the name or their best guess at spelling it. For example, there is a townland outside Dunamanagh recorded on some birth records as Killena but the official name is Killenagh. This site helps to track down locations like that.

It is worth noting that the town and townland of Donemana itself are a great example of variations in names and spellings with four different versions of the name: Donemana, Dunamanagh, Donemanagh and Dunnamanagh

DerryCity Cemetery Records Project

This resource has been particularly useful to me as many of my maternal relatives are buried here. It is a voluntary project carried out in association with the Tower Museum where 40 volunteers helped to transcribe and verify over 45,000 entries from the Cemetery’s Burial Registers from records began in 1853 up to 1961. The records detail not only the names of those buried in the cemetery, but also their age, their place of birth and who their parents were, amongst other valuable genealogical information. Most importantly for those trying to trace their ancestry, they also give the location of the grave within the large cemetery site.

The burial records are not entirely reliable in regard to things like age at death or place of birth as information like this is based on declaration by whoever has supplied the details to the cemetery, there is no validation carried out. Nevertheless, they can be very useful where there is no alternative source for the information.

There are also occasional errors in transcription; the Tower Museum welcomes appropriate corrections - email

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