There is an estimated global Irish diaspora of over 70 million people. Are you one of them? Do you want to find out more about your forefathers and forge a deeper connection with Ireland and the Irish people?
This section is where you will find lots of information on finding out more about your Irish heritage.
In addition to the several million church records available online, there are national repositories of material, as well as local heritage and genealogy centres around Ireland.
National repositories include the National Library, the National Archives, and the many public libraries around the country. Irish Genealogy and Roots Ireland are also dedicated websites to help you begin tracing your roots.
Alternatively, there are a number of exciting community-led genealogy projects taking place across the island of Ireland – many of which have developed additional electronic sources.
The Ireland Reaching Out project (Ireland XO) enables parish communities across Ireland to identify and connect with their diaspora, strengthening their community network worldwide. It involves training local volunteers on how to seek out their Diaspora abroad (reverse genealogy), and also trains people locally to “Meet & Greet” returning Diaspora to their locality.
This national award-winning programming enables Irish Diaspora around the world to return to see where their family home once stood, family graves, the land connected to their families, perhaps even a living relative! The programme allows Diaspora searching their roots to reach out to a parish to which they believe they may be connected. The Ireland XO programme is now rolling out to every parish community in Ireland.
Eachtra’s Historic Graves Initiative is a community-based heritage project which digitally records and publishes historic graveyard surveys and stories. Visitors from Ireland and further afield can freely access its growing database of multimedia records and oral histories.
The Irish Ancestry Research Centre (IARC) provides research, education and training in History of Family and Irish Ancestry under the auspices of the University of Limerick. IARC was established in 2011 and is a not-for-profit organisation.
The Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland accredits genealogists in Ireland. Members are based all over Ireland and provide advice and support to individuals tracing their roots and local groups who want to offer support to visitors interested in tracing their ancestry.
Once you’ve traced your roots – whether you’ve done it on your own or with a little help – you can apply for a Certificate of Irish Heritage. The certificate is issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is a beautiful way to acknowledge your Irish ancestry and honour your descendants. Anyone of Irish descent who was born abroad can order a certificate by visiting Certificate of Irish Heritage
If you want to go a step further and believe that you are entitled to an Irish passport, please visit www.ireland.co.nz
We thank ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’ (www.thegatheringireland.com ) for the information provided on this page.