There are a large number of people seeking information on their Irish roots. At times it seems as though nearly everyone living in the United States has an Irish ancestor in their family tree. Even those people with non-Irish sounding last names can have an ancestor who hailed from this country. Oftentimes the family name was changed when the person arrived at Ellis Island because the recorder couldn’t understand their accent. Others changed their name to Americanize it so that they would fit in better with others in the area.
The great potato famine caused a large number of people to leave Ireland during the 1800s, and many more escaped the following century. The potato famine caused a large number of crops in Ireland to die, leaving many people without food. These citizens had the option of leaving or staying and facing certain death. More people died during those years than at any other point in Ireland’s history. Some moved to other areas of Europe, but a large number of people headed west to America.
Comprehensive resources on Irish genealogy include:
- Irish Genealogical Society : a community of researchers dedicated to finding out more about Irish heritage and tracing the roots of Irish descendants.
- Irish Roots Café : genealogical resource with the information listed by county in Ireland.
- Ireland Roots : offers help for those compiling research into people from Ireland.
- Irish Genealogy : information on different surnames found in Ireland.
- Central Signposting Index : searchable database of people and names popular in Ireland.
- Guide to Irish Genealogy : offers useful tips for those tracing a family line that goes back to Ireland.
- Cyndi‘s List : contains information and tips on tracing Irish family histories.
- Irish Genealogy : compiles a helpful list of places where the Irish can trace their roots.
- Ireland Genealogy : contains information on cemetery listings, those who escaped Ireland and counties in the country.
- Irish Genealogy Resources : contains information on archives and other places where researchers can find information on past family members.
There are many places in the United States where people can seek information relating to their Irish ancestors. Wisconsin and Michigan are only two of the states with large-scale organizations devoted to Irish history. Individuals can also seek help in Salt Lake City at the genealogy library and from some resources using their home computer. This makes the process of finding and tracing the family tree much easier.