For the past two weeks I have been in Ireland seeing the sights, enjoying the craic and doing some research on my great grandmother’s family. Genealogical research in Ireland can be difficult due to record loss during the Irish Civil war in 1922 when the Public Records Office exploded and burned after being bombarded. Although many wills, census records and parish registers were destroyed, there were a large number of records that survived because they weren’t housed in the office but in the counties and parishes throughout the country.
If you happen to be in Ireland, a great place to start is the magnificent National Library of Ireland in Dublin, and that is where I went first. The NLI offers the free Genealogy Advisory Service, which is a great help to get yourself oriented and there is no appointment necessary. I was looking for a specific book, Infanticide in the Irish Crown Files at Assizes, 1883-1900 by Elaine Farrell, and I already knew it was in their collection and as soon as I filled out a request card they were able to retrieve the monograph for me to peruse at my leisure in their soaring, domed reading room (see picture). The library allows photography so I was able to take pictures with my phone of what I needed. I didn’t do anymore research at the NLI because the Irish Catholic Parish records had been recently digitized and placed online, so I already knew where to look next in County Roscommon.