Irish Research 201: Using Irish Genealogical Records

This course is designed for researchers who want to dig deeper to find their Irish roots. You’ll learn about resources and techniques unique to research in Ireland, and find out what tools are available to build an effective research plan using Irish genealogical records. These four lessons, designed to allow you to collaborate with other students, will help you flesh out much more about your ancestors’ lives prior to leaving the Emerald Isle.

Praise For This Course: 

I’ve taken several courses through Family Tree University, but Irish Research 201 has definitely been my best investment. The interactive format makes you feel like you are sitting in a classroom with a teacher and other students. You share your research with the entire class. Not only do you get feedback from the teacher, but the other students give suggestions on new websites to try or an alternative research strategy. The interactive nature provides a wealth of experience to draw from. Using a website recommended during a collaborative lesson, not only did I break down my 12 year old town name brick wall, I also found baptismal certificates for my great-great grandmothers and her brothers! This class has been the best genealogical investment I’ve made in 12 years! Thank you Sharon for an amazing class!  
–Helen Julson

I’ve been researching my family’s history for over 20 years, including my Irish roots. Along the way, I’ve read several books on how to conduct Irish genealogical research. However, nothing compared with the course materials and interactive nature of the Irish Research 201 course at Family Tree University. Over the course of 30 days I made more discoveries regarding my ancestors’ lives in Ireland than I had in the previous 20 years. Although not everyone will make such discoveries, all who take the Irish Research 201 course will walk away with a richer understanding of Irish culture and the history of Ireland, as well as the many records available to researchers. I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in learning more about your Irish ancestors.

–Blaine Bettinger

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack’s Irish Research 201 class was great! It was very helpful and interesting with lots of great sources and information. She was very responsive and interactive with the class and provided the individual help we might need – lots of great ideas and guidance. The interaction with the classmates was also very helpful.
–Tamara Noe


$99.99 ($89.99 for VIP)

Course Length:

4 Weeks


Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

Start Date:

View upcoming course schedule for dates.


  • How to place your ancestors within the context of Ireland’s history and civil infrastructure to create a genealogical research plan
  • How to use three key record groups—censuses, civil registrations, and church records—to find out more about your ancestors
  • How to use land records—including Griffith’s Valuation, a key resource in Irish research—to determine exactly where your ancestors lived
  • Which Irish research techniques and tools are critical to your success in finding out more about your ancestors’ lives
  • Please Note: This course covers Irish records from the Famine Period forward, and does not cover Scotch-Irish ancestry


  • Anyone with Irish ancestry
  • Librarians and volunteers wishing to assist patrons researching Irish roots
  • Researchers who want to improve their skills in using Irish records




Lesson 1: Historical Background

  • Getting Started
  • An Overview of Irish History
    • Irish History from the Beginning
    • Ancient Ireland and the Celts
    • Christianity Comes to Ireland
    • The Arrival of the Vikings and the Normans
    • England Returns to Power
    • Cromwell’s Destruction of Ireland
    • Pre-Famine Ireland
    • The Union of Ireland and Britain
    • The Great Famine
    • The Post-Famine Years
    • Easter Rising of 1916
    • Northern Ireland
    • The Irish Civil War and the Republic of Ireland

Lesson 2: Irish Sources I

  • Repositories in Ireland
  • Online Irish Genealogy Websites
  • Irish Administrative Divisions and Place Names
  • Irish Given Names and Surnames
  • Irish Censuses and Census Substitutes
    • Surviving Portions of the 1841 and 1851 Censuses
    • 1796 Spinning Wheel Premium Entitlement Lists
  • Civil Registration

Lesson 3: Irish Sources II

  • Tithe Applotment Composition Books and Tithe Defaulters List
  • Griffith’s Primary Valuation
  • Other Manuscript Books in Conjunction with Griffith’s
  • Valuation Revision and Cancelled Land Books
  • Griffith’s Valuation Ordnance Survey Maps
    • Finding Your Ancestor’s Lot on the Griffith’s O.S. Maps

Lesson 4: Irish Sources III

  • Church Records
  • Cemetery Records and Tombstone Inscriptions
  • National School Records
  • Land and Estate Records
    • Registry of Deeds
    • Freeholders’ Records
    • Land Commission
    • Estate Records
  • Wills and Administrations
  • Learning More
  • Visiting Ireland
  • Heritage Museums

4 thoughts on “Irish Research 201: Using Irish Genealogical Records

  1. Hi,
    So I have never taken a course with you folks. Are they online courses, or is there a syllabus sent in the mail? Is there a mandatory time to start and to finish? I am sure the infor is on the website, but I am sorry to say that at this point, I have not looked around enough.\thanks

  2. Carol—All of the courses are online. The syllabus for this course is above, and it’s also available as part of the course materials that students access throughout the four-week course. This course starts on 10 October and runs through 6 November, so that would be the timeframe in which you’d need to complete the work (but if that doesn’t work for you, don’t worry—we’ll offer the course again in the future). Students complete one lesson per week for four weeks.

    Hope that helps!

    Kerry Scott
    Online Community Editor
    Family Tree Magazine/Family Tree University

  3. Anthony–Correct, these courses are online classes. The majority run about 4 weeks long, and include weekly lessons, readings, quizzes and exercises, as well as an expert instructor toward whom you can direct questions or comments. I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

    Tyler Moss
    Family Tree University