Commissioned Research

The Irish Family History Foundation’s county genealogy centres offer a variety of commissioned research services. 

Please check with the individual county centre directly to find out about its services and to commission research.

The centre will need to assess your information on your ancestry in order to identify if research is possible before it can accept a research commission. The success of an application depends greatly on the amount of details that you provide and the availability of records. 

The types of services offered by centres can include the following:

Assessment Report:

Upon receipt of a completed application form and assessment fee, the research department will assess the information provided by you and proceed with a preliminary search of all our sources for records relating to your ancestor's family. 

The results of the assessment will be sent to you in a document which outlines the research carried out on your behalf and indicates whether records relevant to your ancestor were located.

Family History Report

If relevant records were located the centre will outline the amount of genealogical and other information available and quote a fee to prepare a family history report.  Where no records could be located the centre will try to offer professional advice and suggestions to assist you in your search for your Irish roots. 

If the centre offers a Family History Report service it will usually include transcripts of all relevant parish records, land and property records, census returns and tombstone inscriptions found for your family, as well as relevant parish and townland maps. It may also include contemporary place histories, revealing a wealth of information about where and how your ancestors lived in the county. 

Every report compiled by the centres is individually researched and can only be priced after an assessment.

Before commissioning a county genealogy centre to undertake a family history search on your behalf you will need to try to collect some of the following essential material:

Ancestor's Death Record

In several countries, including the U.S.A, death records contain the names of the parents of the deceased. Death records also give an indication of the year of birth of the deceased. Occasionally such records indicate a date of birth but these are often inaccurate.

Newspaper Obituaries

Some biographical details on your ancestor, including the names of surviving brothers and sisters, may be published in a local newspaper obituary shortly after your ancestor's death.

Ancestor's Marriage Records

Your ancestor may have two records of marriage - a Civil and a Church record. Each may contain different details so both are worth checking.

Oral Family History and Family Documents

Check with older relatives for information that might prove of value. They may have some useful documents including memorial cards, correspondence from relatives in Ireland, a family Bible or Missal containing important family dates or other information or documentation.

Census Returns

In most countries a census was taken every ten years. Occasionally, relatives of your ancestor who also emigrated from Ireland may appear on such records providing valuable clues to locating details of your ancestor's relatives in your country and in our sources.

Army/Navy/Convict/Naturalisation Records

If your ancestor served in the services or was transported, or naturalised, biographical details such as place of birth, year of birth, parents' names etc., may appear on such documents.

Will and Deeds

If your ancestor held property or made a will, these may contain addresses useful in checking census records or the names of relatives remaining in Ireland.

Burial, Cemetery Records and Gravestone Inscriptions

These may contain additional information to that which appears on the death record.

Research Processing Time

Please note that genealogical research is a time consuming process. From the time that research is commissioned to its completion may take eight to twelve weeks. This varies from centre to centre.  As seasonal demand can increase this waiting period we would recommend initiating your research in good time, especially in advance of a planned visit to Ireland.  This is also of importance if the research is being carried out for a special family occasion.

Visitor Services

Most centres offer some or all of the following services to those who wish to visit the county genealogy centre in person.  Please contact the relevant centre to ask about its specific services.

Consultation with a genealogist

If you are visiting Ireland and need some assistance with your own research, then a personal consultation with an experienced researcher can be arranged in advance at the county genealogy centre. The researcher will assist you with all the professional advice they can from their experience dealing with local family history research.  

This service is by appointment only and is subject to availability.

Location Search

A location search endeavours to identify the parish or townland where your ancestors came from enabling you to visit the area where they resided. As part of the location search you will be provided with a relevant map, if available, outlining the area relevant to your search.

Same Day Research Facility

For those visiting the area with limited time available who wish to have research carried out, many centres offer a ‘Same Day Search Facility’. Those who wish to avail of this service must bring all their family information with them on visiting the centre.

In centres where it is offered this service is subject to availability.

Contact the individual county genealogy centre for more details on any of the above services or to make an appointment.