2017 July – Irish Genealogical Research

Irish Genealogical Research

Coordinator: David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS

Additional Instructors: Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS and Richard “Rick” G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Course Objective: Participants will acquire a solid foundation for their Irish research, whether just beginning, or they’ve been working at their Irish ancestry for some time. Hands-on class exercises and homework will enhance the learning experience with step-by-step instructions to take the course learning from theory to practice on the student’s own Irish research problems.

Held July 16-21, 2017, at La Roche College, Pittsburgh, PA. Registration Information.


8:15 AM       Welcome and Introductions

8:30 AM       Framing the Problem for Overseas Research  (David Rencher)
This session kicks off the GRIP Irish Research course to help the participant focus on identifying the specific objectives for successful overseas research in Ireland. Failure to focus the research often leads to discouraging results from the “trip of a lifetime.”

10:15 AM    Exhausting research in the destination location – the key to success (Rick Sayre)
Finding the place of origin often requires a careful examination of every clue found in the destination location of our immigrant ancestor. Using the example of Pittsburgh as the destination, we will discover how to collect all relevant data and then correlate and analyze the data to discover the place of origin.

1:00 PM       Irish Immigration – North America Sources  (David Rencher)
Have you adequately covered all of the sources for immigration in the records of the U.S. and Canada? This presentation will focus on records you may not have considered for locating the home of your Irish ancestor.

2:45 PM       Irish Emigration – Ireland Sources  (David Rencher)
Always work from the known to the unknown. With immigration research, once the sources in North America have been exhausted with no result, there are Irish sources that may yield the desired overseas connection to the place of nativity. This session explores those sources and strategies.

4:00 PM       Homework Assignment


8:00 AM       Homework Review and Q/A Session

8:30 AM       Estate, Land and Property Records  (David Rencher)
Prior to parish registers, estate, land and property records are the next best record to identify generational links and family information for land owners and tenants. A rich source of information for tracing the landed families of Ireland and in many instances, their tenants. Learn about the various major categories of deeds, including sales/conveyances, leases, mortgages, Bills of Discovery, Marriage Settlements and Wills in the registry. This session arms participants with the tools necessary to examine these invaluable records.

10:15 AM    Valuation and Tithe Records  (David Rencher)
An introduction to the various pre and post publication records of the Valuation Office, including the Field, House, Perambulation, Tenure, Quarto, Rent, Mill, Map, and Revision (Cancel) Books.

1:00 PM       Workshop – land records for country dwellers  (David Rencher)
A hands on experience using Valuation maps and Irish estate records to identify a specific piece of property where a case study tenant was living in the mid-1800’s.

2:45 PM       Workshop – land records for city dwellers (David Rencher)
A hands on experience using Valuation and city maps with a sample deed from the Registry of Deeds to identify a specific dwelling where a case study tenant was living in the 1700’s.


8:00 AM       Q/A Session – Lessons from Land Workshop

8:30 AM       Getting it all in Ireland (Rick Sayre)
A case study of mining all the available information in Ireland. Despite significant record loss, there exist an amazing amount of records including Griffith’s Valuation, freeholder records, estate records, and much more. You too can walk the land of your ancestors.

10:15 AM    Irish Websites for Genealogical Research (David Rencher)
In the last decade, numerous genealogical websites have emerged to assist the researcher in tracing their Irish ancestors. This session highlights the major resources available on the top 50 Irish websites.

1:00 PM       Irish Church Records and Analysis  (David Rencher)
Ireland’s three major religions, the Church of Ireland (State Church), the Catholic Church and the Presbyterian Church all have existing church records. In addition, there are a number of non-conformist religions, including Baptist, Methodists, Unitarian, Quaker, Jewish and others.

2:45 PM       Plantation and Settlement of Ulster (David Rencher)
This session outlines the events surrounding the plantation schemes and the settlement of Northern Ireland from the London Companies and the large landed Estates in Scotland. This session highlights the sources for tracing the Scots-Irish in Ireland and Scotland.

4:00 PM       Homework Assignment


8:00 AM       Homework Review and Q/A Session

8:30 AM       Ireland Census and Census Substitutes – Part I (1800 – 1911)  (David Rencher)
With the destruction of the Public Record Office, Ireland in 1922, the standard Irish census records and many of the census substitute sources commonly used are unavailable. This session identifies the sources that still exist for research.

10:15 AM    Ireland Census and Census Substitutes – Part II (1600 – 1800)  (David Rencher)
With the numerous sources available, this session is a continuation of the previous session with a focus on the 17th and 18th century record sources.

1:00 PM      Irish Genealogical Collections  (David Rencher)
Many noted genealogists and antiquarians made abstracts and transcripts of records in the Public Record Office, Dublin prior to its destruction and 700 years’ worth of Irish history and records. These collections can be a valuable resource in searching for Irish ancestors.

2:45 PM       Methodology for Reconstructing Lineages from Irish Record Fragments (Tom Jones)
Surviving Irish records, especially before the mid-1800s, rarely specify relationships. With persistence, organization, extensive research, and systematic analysis, however, researchers can use evidence─especially indirect evidence─in such records to reconstruct lineages.

4:00 PM       Homework Assignment


8:00 AM       Homework Review and Q/A Session

8:30 AM       Chasing the Poor and the Landless (David Rencher)
Defining the landless and alternate record sources is crucial for identifying the poorest of the poor. The records of the Irish poor are voluminous, but scattered throughout the country. This session helps you understand where and how to approach this particular type of problem.

10:15 AM    Preparing to go to Ireland (David Rencher)
This session concludes the course with a strategy for getting the most out of your “trip of a lifetime” by clearly setting the expectations of what you can achieve on your research trip. Ready, set, go!

11:30 AM    Certificates and Farewells before lunch