Introduction to Irish Records

In this comprehensive presentation Dr Ryan will start by outlining the administrative divisions (Barony, Parish, Townland, Poor Law Unions etc.) used for record creation, and the problems caused by variations in family & place names. It will also describe the major Irish archives and libraries, and useful websites and support services (e.g.  maps, place names, history).

Having set the context, Dr Ryan will describe the content and availability of major comprehensive records: Griffith Valuation & Tithes; Government Censuses; Civil Birth, Marriage & Death records; and Church records, including their access on free and subscription websites. Having described these major record types, the talk will then outline other forms of record including: gravestones, commercial and social directories, wills, newspapers, deeds, estate papers and rentals; and published family and local histories. For each Dr Ryan will describe the information contained, and the types of people likely to be mentioned in each form of record. It will also describe the relevance of each record type and how the information can best be used; and detail the availability of each record type and how to access them. This will include both web and other sources. This presentation will be well illustrated with maps and their interaction, with examples of different records and examples of their use. 

This talk is free to members of Berkshire Family History Society, and we request a donation of £5 from non-members. Pre-booking is required, because the meeting link will be emailed in advance. Booking ends one day before event. 

To join in this combined branches’ meeting, you will need a computer device which has a microphone and speakers. Ideally, also a webcam.  You also need to be able to access emails from this device. First time users will be asked to download a small piece of software to join the meeting. The meeting link will be emailed to you in advance. Technical help is available for those who need further assistance, please contact

Image: PRONI (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland), Titanic Quarter, Belfast 

Book Event

Available Tickets: 90
The Member ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
Available Tickets: 90
The Non-member ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.


23 Feb 2023


Zoom opens at 19:15
19:45 - 21:00

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  • Dr James Ryan
    Dr James Ryan

    Dr. James Ryan is a writer and publisher who has been active in Irish genealogy for the past 25 years. He also founded Flyleaf Press in 1987 and this has now been merged with Ancestor Network. His book ‘Irish Records’ (published by Ancestry Inc.) has been a standard guide for Irish genealogists since its publication. His research interests during this time have included church records, which resulted in his editing and publication of ‘Irish Church Records’ (see below) which provides the background to the creation and survival of these records.
    He has lectured and taught extensively, and has given presentations to over thirty genealogy societies, mainly in the USA. He was also a professional family history researcher for many years, but in recent years has concentrated on lecturing and publishing and has published works by many Irish genealogists.

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