Monday, May 17, 2010

Do you have any good sources for ...?

Reader Lenny asked in his comment on an earlier Genea-Musings post "...Any good sources besides AdotCom - especially looking for Italian and Irish records?"

My short answer is "I don't know much about Irish or Italian records, but there are ways to find out." Having an extensive English and German ancestry has deprived me of the wonderful experiences of researching for Irish and Italian ancestors, much to my dismay. I haven't even been to Ireland or Italy, yet.

But there are online resources to help Lenny, and anyone else, searching for their roots in other countries. When I'm researching a new locality, I usually start with articles about that locality that I might find on:

* The LDS FamilySearch Research Helps and Research Guidance pages -- both have articles available in web pages or in PDF format for Ireland and Italy, including the Research Outline for Ireland (no PDF version, but some of the articles in the Research Guidance list are in PDF format) and the Research Outline for Italy (with a PDF version).

* The LDS FamilySearch Research Wiki will eventually have all of the information, and more, from the Research Helps and Research Guidance. You can browse or search by countries - the Ireland pages are here, and the Italy pages are here. Be sure to click on the topics in the left hand column of the pages for detailed information about history, record availability, etc.

* There are published books to help a researcher get started in research in different countries. Go to, or another online bookstore, and input [ireland genealogy] in the search box, and you'll see a list of currently available books for your country of interest.

* If you want to try and find other persons researching your specific surnames, then you can visit the online Message Boards for those surnames. Go to the Rootsweb/Ancestry message board system ( and use the "Find a Board" box to see if there is a surname board for your surname. Or you can search all of the Rootweb Message Boards for your surname in the "Search the Boards" box. When you find a surname message board, then search within that board for your specific location (country, province, town, etc.). You might want to find a locality message board (country and/or province/state/shire) to determine if someone has information about local families and record accessibility. The GenForum message boards are similar -- go to and use their Forum Finder to search for a board, or search the surname listings and/or locality listings.

* The WorldGenWeb site ( has information about researching in nearly every country in the world - Ireland and Italy included. This is all user-contributed information.

* There are a number of websites with collections of articles about research in your subject countries - use a search engine and search for [irish genealogy articles] and you'll find a wealth of information, much of it based on expert researchers and case studies. Cyndi's List also has sections for most countries, including for Ireland (over 3,000 links) and Italy (over 400 links).'s Learning Center has an extensive library of articles (see about many countries and record types -- use the search box to obtain a list.

The online genealogy world is changing so fast that it is difficult to keep up with all of the new websites, database offerings, and available records for a specific country or research subject.

Not all genealogy records are on the Internet in websites, or in online databases, and they never will be ALL online.

Online researchers should remember that there are many useful records in local, province or national repositories or archives that are not available online, or even indexed. The compleat researcher needs to be aware of all available records and how to access them for a given research topic or locality. Many records in Ireland and Italy (and many other countries) have been microfilmed and are available in the LDS Family History Library Catalog (to view at the FHL in Salt Lake City, or to borrow at a local Family History Center), and in repositories in the home countries.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Hi Randy,
This might be helpful for German genealogy researchers:

Online German Genealogy Records and Databases