Irish Genealogy Talks

Irish Genealogy Talks Offered

Groups and societies may be interested in talks on a range of genealogy and family history related subjects with a focus on research within Irish archives and record sets.   Irish Genealogy Talks are listed below, but if there is a subject that you are interested in that is not listed here, just get in touch with your idea.

Note that each of the list of topics in the Exploring Your Roots Genealogy Course can be delivered as stand-alone talks.   

​Talks can be delivered face-to-face or using the online platform of your choice.

Cost – available on application. 

An Introduction to Irish Family History Research Talk

Irish ancestry research has the reputation of being tricky, but this talk will cover how you can get started with your Irish ancestral research. We will dispel the myths about which records were destroyed in 1922, which records are available and best of all which are free.


This will give you a good grounding to making a start on finding your Irish ancestors.

Getting Started with Irish Genealogy Research Talk by Roots Revealed
Irish Surnames and Naming Traditions Talk by Roots Revealed

My Ancestors were Irish - or Were They? The origins of Irish Surnames and building Your Tree using Irish Naming Patterns.

The webinar examines the history and origins of Irish surnames – native Irish, Scottish, English, Welsh, Huguenot, Viking, Gallowglass and Jewish.

If you don’t know where in Ireland your ancestors originated, we’ll include tips to help you to narrow down the location.

First names often followed a traditional naming pattern and this can help to build your family tree. We’ll use case studies using traditional naming patterns to show how this worked.

There are some naming traditions that were used in particular by the Ulster Scots that again can help to expand your family tree and we’ll also cover the Latin names sometimes used in Roman Catholic records.

Using Irish Newspapers and Other Printed Material

Newspapers are a great source of information about our ancestors, but how do we know what Irish newspapers are available and how can we access them?

This webinar will include finding aids for newspapers to track down our Irish ancestors including the major repositories where they may be found.

We’ll also cover a range of printed journals, gazetteers and street directories where you may find your Irish ancestors recorded.

Irish Newspapers Talk by Roots Revealed
Irish Land Administrative Units Talk by Roots Revealed

Townlands, Parishes and Baronies - Understanding Land Administrative Units in Ireland

The townland, often with different and inconsistent spellings, is unique to Ireland and is a key feature of helping to tie down where your Irish ancestor came from. To confuse matters there are often townlands of the same name in different parts of the country, sometimes even in the same county. How do you know you have the right one and what does the name mean?

There are civil parishes and ecclesiastical parishes, both Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic. What’s the difference and how do you know how to identify them and pinpoint their location?

Different record sets used different land administrative divisions that include Townlands, Parishes, Baronies, Poor Law Unions and District Electoral Divisions. Understanding these administrative divisions is essential for your Irish ancestor research.

Getting the Most out of the Irish Census

The National Census were undertaken in Ireland every ten years from 1821 although many only have fragments remaining. The webinar will examine what remains for those years where only fragments exist and look at examples that help to build a family tree, along with the differences in the information gathered.

We’ll examine the different type of returns for the Census of 1901 and 1911, such as for lunatic asylums, army barracks and prisons and examples of each of these will be shown. These records can be difficult to pin down and we will cover practical tips to help you find them.

The different census forms provided interesting additional background information about the type of home and outbuildings a householder had and help to build a picture of their lives.

Tips on search techniques will help to ensure you can find your ancestor and we’ll look at why you might struggle to find them or their place of residence in the census.

Making the Most of the Irish Census Talk by Roots Revealed
Irish Wills and Testamentary Records Talk by Roots Revealed

Using Irish Wills and Testamentary Records

Wills and Testamentary Records are a rich source of genealogical information that can help to build our family trees and also give us a glimpse of the character of the people named in the records.

Although many records were destroyed in 1922, there are still remaining records and this webinar we will examine where to find Irish wills, transcripts and abstracts that will help to build your family tree.

Finding Your Ancestors in Irish Land Valuation Records

The Tithe records, the Townland Valuation and Griffith’s Primary Valuation records are used as Census substitutes for 19th century Ireland. Griffith’s Valuation was also updated on a regular basis up to the 1930’s and we’ll look at those records too.

This webinar will cover the key elements of each record, teasing out valuable information, along with where you can access these records.

We’ll include search tips and techniques and use a case study to trace a family home from the early 19th century up to the present day, including how to pinpoint your ancestors house on a map and discover if it is still standing today.

Irish Land Valuation Records Talk by Roots Revealed
The Irish Workhouse Talk by Roots Revealed

The Irish Workhouse and Finding Your Poor Irish Ancestors

The Irish Workhouse was a hated and feared institution and following the partition of Ireland in 1921 the newly formed Free State closed them down although they remained in existence in Northern Ireland until the 1940’s. Following the introduction of the Poor Law in Ireland in 1838, workhouses were built throughout Ireland and then in 1845, the Great Famine struck.

We will look at the brutal regime in the workhouses and why going into them was a last resort. Eventually outdoor relief, building works and emigration schemes were introduced to reduce the burden on the overcrowded workhouses.

Of course, the workhouses had to be staffed by masters, nurses, porters, cooks, etc and they were managed by Boards of Guardians.

The webinar will cover the range of records that were produced by the workhouses and they cover inmates and staff.

We will also cover the Poverty Relief Loans that were in existence in the 19th century. They name both the lender and the guarantor and often provide additional information about the fate of the lender.

Who Were the Scots-Irish?

Known in their homeland as Ulster-Scots, these mainly Lowland Scots left their homeland and settled in Ulster during the Plantation, sometimes staying only for a few generations and then many made their way to the New World.

Why did these Scots come to Ulster and why did they then subsequently leave? What were the push and pull factors? Why did Presbyterian ministers have such sway over these people?

We will look at the perils they faced on their transatlantic journey and what they found when they arrived in the new world.

We will examine the range of records and sources where you may find your Ulster-Scots ancestors and that can tell you more about this pioneering ethnic group that produced a number of US Presidents and millions of descendants worldwide today.

Who Were the Ulster Scots Talk
Registry of Deeds Talk by Roots Revealed
Registry of Deeds - size of archive

Unearthing the Treasures in the Registry of Deeds

The Irish Registry of Deeds based in Dublin has been in existence since 1708 and manages the legal registration of property. Less well known is that it is also a repository for genealogical treasures such as wills, property leases and marriage agreements. People named in these records include the principal parties and also wider family members and witnesses. It is also possible to find records by location.

These records are available as microfilms on the Family Search website although they are not indexed there.

This webinar will cover different methods of searching within and accessing these valuable and under-used records.

Irish Land Commission Records

The records of the Irish Land Commission are a greatly underused record set. Although the records for the Republic of Ireland are not accessible by the public, the records for Northern Ireland are freely available at PRONI.

In this talk, we cover the background to the greatest land reform seen in Great Britain and Ireland, the types of records that were generated by the Irish Land Commission and how to track down records of interest in PRONI.

Many of the records are not fully indexed and so cannot be found on a search of PRONI’S catalogue. However in this talk, we will look at how you can discover records within this archive, many of which date back to the 18th century, with some even earlier records. 

Talk on Irish Land Commission - contents
Documents from Land Commission records held
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