I started to get serious recently about building out my own family tree. I never really thought it was something I should put together in a hurry, but now that I’ve started getting into it a little I’m finding that the information is a little harder to track down than I had initially thought. I always figured that because I grew up in Ireland, and have most of my relatives living within a 20 mile radius of each other, that this information would be easy enough to get my hands on, but maybe it won’t be.
I have managed to build out the family tree on my maternal side with some decent success. I have one surviving grandparent on that side. My Grandad Billy will be 96 this May 🙂 Luckily for me, even at this ripe old age, his mind is great, so I am able to glean info from him. A few phonecalls back to Ireland today, to him and my mother, have given me names, dates and places of births, places they lived, and more, for all but one direct relative, all the way back to my Great-Great Grandparents.
I don’t anticipate having as much success with my father’s side of the family. There are no living grandparents on that side, and it saddens me to think that a lot of this information might be lost, or at least very hard to track down.
There are 2 reasons I started to get this stuff together. Firstly, I’m taking a trip back home soon and I want to compile this information into a binder and give it to my siblings, parents and grandfather. The second reason is, my kids will grow up in the United States, so chances are high that future generations will at some point want to research this information. I figured writing down as much of it as I can find out now, will help them later on. Maybe my mind won’t be like my grandfather’s when I’m 96.
Two things I’ve been using in my research is my very own GotIreland family tree chart. Download it here. I’ve been using it as a worksheet to write down everything I can find out. Second, is the 1901 and 1911 census files you can download for free at http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/ It’s pretty cool to see the original census forms that my Great, and Great-Great Grandparents filled in.
I’ll have another update as I find out more info.
Thanks for reading 🙂
Read more about how to trace your Irish ancestors here.