Ancestry Research, steps, order – “three-legged-stool.”

 Ireland Ancestry Research- Our “three-legged-stool” method®” of Irish Ancestry Searching:


Ok this  merely explains some of the reasoning of our research methodology — and sometimes, most times, you do NOT need to know the why — for the methodology — just how to do it !

Main Page

Just remember the first caveat: TALK TO YOUR LIVING RELATIVES NOW, DO NOT PUT IT OFF ….because if you gather all information known by them, it will save YOU tons of time, money (*and sweat*) later.

And do so over several visits (as no one remembers everything) in a month and let them know you want to talk about their Childhood, so they think about it over the intervening weeks (say do this for a month every Monday) — when I asked Cousins they said they didn’t know anything….but then in simply asking good questions (what about Your Mom, Her Mom?) questions I got the memories flowing so week after week I got more and more (and frankly they loved talking about it and it was a bonding experience). The Worst thing you can do is give up!


the following Monday, if your Relative KNOWS your coming back they WILL be thinking on it and remember one of those old events they were at — it’s Human Memory and it needs to get flowing. I suggest keeping visits short, but weekly — and if they do not mind, RECORD IT for future reference is a smart strategy !

Once you have done this, you have the First leg of the of the THREE LEGGED STOOL IRISH RESEARCH METHOD® you should have several leads (and lists) of ancestors after the first meet, and you can start running them down on (which has such a massive databaseS (many) it is incomprehensable you would find no paper record of someone even 50, 75, 100 years ago (people create paper records over their lives, we all do)

Some of the best resources now are open source, and Free, but Ancestry certainly is the  “800 pound gorilla” of records for the USA and World – they are often well worth a MONTHLY FEE — I would NOT and do NOT suggest people be cajoled into the ongoing or annual subscription as even with the slight decrease in price for it, the MONTHLY ONLY is the best (because who does Ancestry Research full time)? Take the remaining 11 months of the year to run down things using free resources, then you have only ONE MONTH cost for Ancestry World Explorer (see if you have a coupon from other research sites, AARP, and the like to lower the cost, but pay attention to the terms/conditions).


No Family researcher I know has time to work it every day for a Year (except the PROS), so you need NOT keep paying Ancestry month-after-month for an Annual Subscription as your paying them when you sleep ! Use them fervently for ONE MONTH, download everything onto thumb drives — then cancel your subscription (and confirm it is cancelled – do NOT give them a card number, they WILL BILL IT).

Use the saved ton of money from only having a Monh Subscription and direct it to ordering CERTIFICATES !


Obviously if the entire Family and all cousins had left Ireland by the time any of the three records were done, not much will be found — BUT how often does an entire Family, with all their extended Family, leave all at once? Probably odds are in the millions to one — so it works. Most is based on the 1901/1911 Irish Census. IF you cannot find anyone in your EXTENDED FAMILY in the Census, your going to have to work the older records, as they are called “census substitutes” for a reason – not much else exists….


Announcement : that the Kilmacteige Parish Microfiches with many Baptisms and Marriage listings:


Search (and retrieve)  existing Ireland Ancestry Records for Ireland (except Northern Ireland) –  We have our main interest in researching South Sligo area, centering on Kilmacteige Parish (around Aclare, Co. Sligo), but also research adjoining and close-by Lands, Townlands, and in County Mayo (including Swinford, Kiltimagh, Killasser, Killedan (Gallen Barony) and both RC and CI Parishes – but mainly RC and in Kilmacteige. We have essentially expanded research to cover  20+ miles (35+ kilometers +/-) area around Kilmacteige Parish, in the quest to discover records of Our Ancestors – we hope by posting them online these records (which we copy ALL records not just the surnames we are interested in) we might help others.

THE REASON for searching the adjoining areas is that, if you think about it, before the advent of Bicycles and Autos, past People did not have such comfortable, fast, and powered transportation. Generally speaking,  most (prior to the 1940s) People never ventured more than than 10 miles or so from their Homes (or Birthplace). It is only in the past 50-70 years that Humans have been some easily mobile over long distances in short periods of time (I do not envy researchers in the future given our present mobility worldwide)!

So,  most Marriages, Births/Baptisms, and finally, Deaths, were generally within the 10+/- mile radius (and usually much less like adjoining townlands or villages) of their Homes. Some did move large distances due to events like War (Cromwell, in Ireland of the 1649-1655 period), catastrophic events (Potato Famine 1845-1850) – but in times of peace – post 1945 period to present –most stayed to the small area, generally, surrounding their Homes.

So, when searching for Ancestors, a good grasp of local, and over-all History is needed. The records that were collected in Ireland, are (generally again, which We hate to keep posting but exceptions exist to all these statements) mainly post 1864. In Kilmacteige, many Church records were started around 1845 (th Parish Priests might have been in contact with Associates in England, when they had started keeping “major Christian-Life event records” around 1839.

The 4 or 5 major Christian Life Events for Roman Catholics and Protestants are the same:  1) Baptism, 2) Confirmation, 3) Marriage, 4) Births, and 5) Final Rights or Death.

These were recorded in Parish Church records. Then Civil Parishes kept records as well and it is important NOT to exclude these civil records (like Land Purchases, or Leases “for 3 lives” (in Ireland), as well as other major events including  Courts (such as “Quarter Sessions” and “Petty Sessions”). One wants to make sure they leave no stone unturned.

So, to start, We/YOU want to start by throwing a very “wide net” and find any and all records and references that were recorded (and are now, generally, indexed for easy searching.

“BMD”‘s are defined as: Birth (Baptism) Certificates, Marriage Certificates, and Death Certificates.