Irish Research 101: Find Your Emerald Isle Origins

More than 30 million Americans claim Irish ancestry — that’s more than seven times the 4.2 million living in the Republic of Ireland today. If you’re among them, Irish Research 101 will help you trace your roots back to the Emerald Isle. In this course, you’ll use US records to determine who your Irish immigrant ancestors were and learn from where in Ireland they came.


$99.99 ($89.99 for VIP)

Course Length:

4 Weeks


Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

Start Date:

View upcoming course schedule for dates.


  • What US records can help you find your Irish roots
  • Irish immigrants’ routes to and within the United States
  • Strategies for tracking down Irish ancestors with common names
  • What Irish-American resources are available to researchers
  • Please Note: This course covers US records from 1850 forward. Scotch-Irish ancestry prior to 1850 is not covered.


  • Anyone with Irish ancestry
  • Librarians wishing to assist patrons researching Irish roots
  • Teachers looking to incorporate Irish-American history into their curricula


  • This course assumes you understand the basics principles of genealogy and have done some investigation into your family history. If you are a total beginner, take the Discover Your Family Tree course before enrolling in this class.
  • If you’ve already determined your ancestor’s ancestral village and want to dive into Irish records, take the Irish Research 201 class, which will begin this fall.


Lesson 1: Historical Background
A. Getting Started
I. Setting goals
B. Overview of Irish Immigration History
I. The Immigrant Experience
II. The Famine
III. Prejudice Against the Irish
C. Migration Patterns
D. Exercise

Lesson 2: US Sources
A. Oral History and Home Sources
B. Vital Records
C. Census Records
D. State Censuses
E. Cemeteries and Headstones
F. Church Records
G. Exercise

Lesson 3: Immigration and Naturalization
A. Customs Lists
B. Immigration Passenger Lists
C. Pitfalls of Searching Online
D. Using Microfilm
E. Naturalization Records
I. Pre-1906 Records
II. Post-1906 Records
F. Exercise

Lesson 4: More US Sources
A. Newspapers and Obituaries
B. Local and Family Histories
C. New York Emigrant Savings Bank Records
D. Wills and Probate
E. Military Records
F. Societies
G. Nuns, Priests and Brothers
H. Irish-American Genealogical Organizations
I. Tracing Family Forward and Sideways
J. Exercise

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