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Looking For Roots


Sweeney History



Tracing your ancestors in Ireland
Ben Sweeney

When trying to find your Irish Ancestors it is important to know the County in Ireland where they originated (Ireland has thirty two Counties).

In Ireland each County has Ancestry Research Centres, set up and financed with the help of the State. To contact the County where your ancestors came from go to the website:

In most Countries round the world you can find the Irish Genealogy records at your LDS Library (Latter Day Saints) and the following records are available at:

  • 1796 Flax Growers Bounty List
  • 1828/38 Tithe Records
  • 1857/58 Griffith Valuation (records of landholders where over four hundred Sweeneys were registered in Donegal alone)
  • 1864 State Records for Births, Marriages and Deaths.
  • 1901 Census for Republic of Ireland
  • 1911 Census for Republic of Ireland

    Also available are the Pension Records 1908. For the first time people over seventy years were entitled to a retirement pension. The only way that proof of age could be established was to check the 1841/51 Census which were still available then but were destroyed in the fire at the Four Courts, Dublin during the Civil War in 1922.

    We have found that by checking the church records in the County or Town where ancestors have settled in, sometimes mentions the village or parish in Ireland where they or their parents were born. Therefore, before coming to Ireland (or any country) looking for roots one should start in ones own town or city and work back down the years. Any genealogical search should start at home. It will save valuable time later in ones search.

    We find people coming to Ireland looking for their roots but have not checked their own family tree at home. Without this basic knowledge it is impossible to find your ancestors in Ireland.

    Lastly Genealogy records in Ireland are as good as you will find anywhere in the world despite the loss of the 1841/51 Census.

    Happy Hunting!!

    Ben Sweeney
    Director of Genealogy

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