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Whether you are new to researching an Irish ancestor or planning a visit to the parish where all who came before them walked... your first step should be to post an Ancestor profile to our free database. Why? 

Someone on the other side may hold the key to unravelling that mystery which had you caught in the traps.  So, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of our Ancestor Chronicle post and to ensure that your Ancestor's profile is noticed by people living in the local community, who can answer your questions and point you in the right direction!

To add your Ancestor now... CLICK HERE 

Ancestor Profile Masterclass

How does it work?

The Ancestor Chronicles are a way for you to reconnect and keep in touch with any local community that you or your ancestors may have once lived or worked in. You can post chronicles for any historical individual* connected to a parish or county, be it

  • your own ancestor or their descendants*
  • someone* you are researching or have researched
  • a famous historical persona from a district or its diaspora.

Your ancestor profile is a unique FREE way to make her/him discoverable by anyone searching for matching details online. It also helps our reverse-genealogists reconnect them to local records and place of origin. 

* profiles for individuals born less than 100 years ago or for living persons, will not be published.  

What's possible?

When an ancestor profile is created or commented on all members of that community will receive a notification of the latest addition(s). Check out some of these past Ancestor Chronicle Spark Joy moments...

FAQ#1: I don't know where in Ireland my ancestor came from?

There could be someone in Ireland (or worldwide) with local records wondering what became of your ancestor. So all you have to do is connect their profile's place of origin to "Ireland XO" to GET STARTED. (See also Step 9 in the Masterclass below)

  • FAQ#2: I only know which County my ancestor came from. How can I discover which parish?

We're here to help. When you link their profile to their county of origin, this allows local researchers to identify them. 

  • FAQ#3: Can I share a link to my blog?

Of course (as long as the content is an extension of the story relating to the ancestor). Our Ancestor Chronicles are a great way to share and connect your genealogy research to a parish or county.  

  • FAQ#4: How much should I post?

It's up to you how much detail you add to your ancestor's profile. If the task seems daunting, or if you can't find your old research files... just give their name, gender and year of birth a shout-out to GET STARTED for now.

The rest is optional. You can always return to this profile later and add more over time. 


1. First Name

Add your ancestor's official first name here (as it appeared on most records) so that other researchers are best able to match her/him to local records. If unsure, you can add additional first name aliases under "middle name".

2. Middle Name

In this space you can add any middle given names, or first name spelling variations, nicknames or aliases.

3. Surname 

The spelling of many of our Irish ancestors' surname changed over time. There is no need to list them all here, as you can add additional variations to the body of this post. 

To ensure married female ancestors appear in search filters for both family names

  • include their maiden name in brackets i.e. (née ...) followed by her husband's.
  • for remarried widows, use "formerly ..." all marital surnames.

4. Profile Picture

To share an image of your ancestor (be it an old photo, or family crest), please make sure the image is upright. 

5. Body

This space exists for you to share their story, links to your research, comments or questions you may have. It is also a great idea (for search engine discovery purposes to include as many alternative spelling variations of surnames and given names/nicknames as you know.

  • Use the drop-down list below this space to add biographical details and links to other ancestor chronicles/sources of information.
  • Remember the content of your post is discoverable by anyone searching the net for matching details (so posts with personal contact details or information about living persons will not be published). 

6. Date of Birth / Death:  

  • Individuals must have been born 100 years ago.

  • Any mention of living individuals will not be published.

  • Paste URL of date of birth/ death source here: If your source of information came a from a free online repository (e.g. a civil BMD record or parish register or blog) it is helpful to include the URL link (world wide web address) here. 

7. Biographical Details: Click "Add new information" to reveal a drop-down list where you can add any of the following (where known):

  • parents' names; especially mother's maiden surname if known

  • townland born (SEE: What is a townland?) if known

  • place & date of baptism (be sure to mention the religion or parish register if known) 

  • names of siblings (here you can include a link to another ancestor chronicles if you have created/ discovered one)

  • spouse(s)

  • children names and year of birth 

  • occupation while in Ireland or overseas

  • place of death in Ireland or overseas

QUICKEST: John Grenham's Wizard will collate most of the above work for you (so all you have to do is copy and paste).  

8. Upload a file:

Having difficulty deciphering the handwriting or spelling of a placename on an old record? You can upload an image here and it will be visible to anyone reading your post. 


In an ideal world, we would all know our ancestral parish of origin, but if all you know is your ancestor's county of origin be sure to link it to your message. Why? So our local volunteers and members who search by county can spot your message and help you discover to which parish your ancestor belongs. 

READ MORE: What is a "parish"?  |  How do I locate a Parish? | FIND MY PARISH

10. Add another COUNTY or CIVIL PARISH

If your ancestor appears on record in multiple locations (e.g. migrated within Ireland for work or marriage) then you can attach them to each place they had a connection with. 

Or if you are looking at a number of possible places of origin, and want help confirming a record match, then (ask this question in the body of your message) and connect them to the places. You can later edit your ancestor's connections when you discover more. 


Do you know the name of the church your ancestor was married in? Or are you fortunate enough to have perhaps a townland or village address? How about a building that your ancestor worked or lived in? Here's your opportunity to connect them to that very place, with a view to discovering more.

Start typing the name of an address, or building to select it from our database. If it doesn't already exist, click ADD BUILDING to create your own.


Remember your ancestor doesn't have to have been born in a county or parish to feature on the database, you can connect their children born overseas as well... everyone's welcome!* 

  • Once you have created your ancestor profile, save the URL (world wide web address) so that you can share it in a Message Board post to facilitate our local volunteers' assistance.


Message Board Masterclass

Buildings & Places Masterclass

My IrelandXO Bucket List

We hope you have found the information we have shared helpful. While you are here, we have a small favour to ask. Ireland Reaching Out is a non-profit organisation that relies on public funding and donations to ensure a completely free family history advisory service to anyone of Irish heritage who needs help connecting with their Irish place of origin. If you would like to support our mission, please click on the donate button and make a contribution. Any amount, big or small, is appreciated and makes a difference. 

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