"Though we cannot look into the eyes of our ancestors we can look through the windows of their past"
A common question asked is how far back I can trace Irish family roots, or indeed any roots. The honest answer is that until I have information from you, I don’t know. Every family is unique so when it comes to its history it's impossible to speculate as it has its own stories, and also leaves behind its own trail of footprints via records, Family Bible, Family lore, and also at times via newspaper notices and articles too.
The particular trail your family left behind will vary according to their economic background, what they did for a living, where they lived, their religious beliefs, and also by which records if any that have survived.
If you are interested in availing of my service then I believe it is in your best interest to allow me to carry out a prior Assessment, which is based on the information you provide about your ancestor in order to determine the next step in trying to unearth further possible information about him/her that may possibly be out there.
What sort of information do you need to provide?
While there are no guarantees new information can be unearthed on anyone's ancestor you should provide me with as much information as possible. Below is a guide to what you could provide that would help. I don't expect you to have information on them all, otherwise you wouldn't need to avail of my services, indeed you may only know one or two, however the more you do provide then the better chance there is of locating further information that may be out there. When it comes to searching the roots of your ancestor every piece of information provided is a possible key to unlocking further information. Also duplication of same costs both money and time so please do provide me with everything you do know so as to avoid any unnecessary costs.
If your ancestor had a middle name or a nickname (e.g. Minnie for Margaret, Molly for Mary or Packie for Patrick etc., etc.,) make sure you include these as well. If your ancestor was a married female, please provide her maiden name too if you know it.
Ancestor’s Date and Place of Birth
If you are not sure of an exact date, then it is ok to give a year, or even an approximate date but please do specify where you obtained the information if it is an exact date. Please also be as specific about the place of birth as you can as knowing not only the country but the county, townland, village or parish is really helpful and of course knowing a full address is even better. However, for most people researching their Irish roots it is locating the exact place of birth that is the 'Holy Grail' of their ancestral quest so don't be discouraged if you have no idea of where that is but please do say where you believe it might be, even if this belief was handed down via Family lore rather than Family Bible.
If your ancestor was Christian, please provide their religious denomination if you know it. Common Christian denominations in Ireland include Church of Ireland (Episcopalian), Methodist, Presbyterian, Quaker (Society of Friends), Roman Catholic and other Dissenters (please specify). If you found this information in an official source then please state what the source was. And if it is via Family lore then please state this.
If you know or only think you know the names of either one or both of your ancestor’s parents and/or siblings please include these here (if you know middle names, nicknames or maiden names these should be included). Also include any other relevant information, such as where they lived, what they did, when they were born, married or died. When it comes to tracing the roots of your ancestor then each person who touched his/her life can hold a possible key to unlocking further information as he/she may have been a witness to a marriage or baptism of another family member so further information may be on a record of any such event.
Ancestor’s Occupation in Ireland:
Please include how you know about it. If you know this for a fact (i.e. you located it in a document) please give the source. If you know this based on Family Bible or Family lore then please mention this too. If your ancestor emigrated from Ireland then mention what he/she did after arrival.
If your ancestor emigrated from Ireland to another country, please include information such as the date of emigration. If you have additional information such as where your ancestor emigrated from and where to, which family members moved with them and whether your ancestor moved elsewhere after that, please include this in ‘other relevant information’. Please explain where you found this information, whether it was from an official record, Family Bible, Family lore or from guesswork.
If your ancestor married (whether in Ireland or overseas), please enter the name of his/her spouse and include any middle names or nicknames they had. If spouse was a woman, and you know her maiden name, please also include that. If your ancestor married more than once, please enter details of each spouse, even if there was no offspring, as there may be relevant information contained in each marriage record. If you obtained any of your information from an official source, please let me know what it is e.g. marriage certificate, parish register. And if you got it from Family Bible or Family lore then please state this.
Date of Marriage:
Please provide date of the marriage (and where you got this information from). If you only have an approximate date then please state this.
Place of Marriage:
Please enter the place of marriage – the church, the parish or town/state and the county/country. Also please let me know where you got this information.
Please provide names and nicknames of any children your ancestor had, their dates of birth and place of birth if you know – providing as much relevant information as you can. Even if you can’t provide definite years of birth, knowing the order of their birth can help me prepare your assessment.
Ancestor’s Spouse’s Parents and Siblings
Please include names of your ancestor’s spouse’s parents - if you know them. Also include any other relevant information, such as where they lived, what they did, when they were born, married or died. If you know of any other children they had, please include this information here also. Again I must stress that every piece of information you have on your ancestor may well be the key to unlocking further information so please don't disgard any of it. Fresh eyes can see fresh leads when viewing any and all information.
Date and Place of Death of your Ancestor:
Please provide the date of death as accurately as possible. If you only know a year, or an approximate year then please state that this is approximate. If you know where your ancestor died, please give this information as fully as possible, i.e. a full address if you have it, otherwise a townland, town, village, parish, county, state or country.
OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION
In this section you should provide any other information about your ancestor that you know or think you know that is not provided elsewhere. This may include:
• Other information about the children of your Irish ancestor – for instance how many children there were in total and which child you are descended from.
• Family lore/stories e.g. ‘My family believes my ancestor originated from Co. Kerry’ or ‘My nan told me that my ancestor was involved in the American Civil War' or 'My father told me that my grandfather was involved in the Easter Rising of 1916'. Whatever family story has been handed down don't dismiss it as nothing more than a story as there may indeed be substance to it.
• Family memorabilia – Perhaps you have a piece of jewelery with an inscription on the back/inside but you aren't sure what it means or you have a mug with a picture of a place in Ireland but you don't know where or perhaps you have a copy of a deed that mentions an ancestor and some other folk with the same surname but you don’t know how they are related. All memorabilia that belonged to your ancestors can provide clues to who they were and where they came from. Many people hold on to things for their meaning and this meaning may well lead to a vital missing piece of the jigsaw of life of your ancestor.
• Guesstimates that you have developed e.g. ‘I looked at the 1901 census of Ireland and found a John O'Dwyer in the same place I think my great-grandfather of the same name was from, but I am not sure.’
Sources and Attachments:
Please provide details of the sources you have consulted in order to locate the information about your ancestor that is included in the below Assessment Form or via email to me at email@example.com
My having the aforementioned information eliminates my duplicating same should you commission me to research further. Subsequently should you have records you feel may be relevant to my researching your ancestor that you wish me to view then please scan and email them to me.
Research Aim & Objectives:
Please let me know if there is something in particular you want me to focus on – for instance maybe there is a particular family story you’d like me to try to verify.
Please include your name, your address, your telephone number and email address. I normally deal with clients via email as this allows a quicker response, so please let me know if you would prefer me to contact you by post.
How did you hear about me?
By understanding how my clients and indeed anyone with a query came to hear of my services I am able to find ways of promoting myself more effectively in the future.
In order to avail of my service please fill out the below form or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org providing me with any information you have on your ancestor that will help me to establish the best possible outcome to your ancestral quest, as well as to ensure no unnecessary costs are incurred by you due to my duplicating same should you commission me. The cost of the assessment must be paid in advance
Following your Assessment at a cost of €75 , should you wish to further avail of my services the cost is exclusive of any pre-agreed purchase of any necessary records/documents to aid my search for your ancestors and must be paid in advance. Please contact me for price list. Cost of assessment/bundle can be paid via PayPal or Direct Bank Transfer.
If, for any reason, you don't have adequate information about your ancestor to allow me to conduct further research, or I believe the likelihood of locating new information is virtually nil, then I won't waste your time (or mine) or more importantly I won't waste your money by saying otherwise .
If, on the other hand, you do provide adequate information that leads me to believe there is indeed a possibility of locating new information about your ancestor with further research and you wish to commission me to undertake that research then I will work with this information as well as with you to best achieve this outcome. I will keep you appraised of my progress at all times and any extra research I may have to embark on or extra costs I may have to incurr in order to achieve the best results for you will be discussed with you and agreed upon prior to undertaking of same. You will never be charged for time or work that you did not agree to beforehand.
Remember: Any piece of information or family lore could prove invaluable in helping me to unearth further information about your ancestor. However, while I have discovered much new information for others over the years, as you will see from my testimonials, there is no guarantee I will unearth anything new on your ancestor – sometimes the information is just not there or it isn't discoverable or not decipherable. However, I absolutely do guarantee I will do my utmost to try to unearth it.
No price can ever be placed on the joy felt locating a record, or a newspaper article referencing a beloved ancestor, or a notice of birth/marriage/death of same.
However, there is a price on my time and the cost will be exclusive of any pre-discussed additional expenses.
Payment of agreed work at an agreed price is in advance and can be paid via PayPal.
Please contact me for price list.
I will reply to an Assessment request within 48hrs and will provide an expected time of completion following payment of same.
Go raibh maith agat