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The threads that bind us most to Ireland are the places we heard mention of when were too young to ask the right questions. The names of these buildings, farms, and landmarks are all beacons for anyone trying to place an ancestor and ultimately find their way 'home'. Our Buildings Chronicles allow you to set up such a beacon and discover more. 

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of our Buildings Chronicles and to ensure that your post is noticed by all connected to it worldwide! BROWSE NOW


Irish Buildings and Places Masterclass

Whether you are new to researching an Irish place of origin, want to share local history with your parish diaspora, or planning a visit to the parish where all who came before them walked... 

Why not use our Building Chronicles to collate your findings, and reconnect with others who may hold the key to unravelling that placename mystery.  


How does it work?

The Buildings Chronicles are a way for you to reach out to anyone whose ancestors may have once lived or worked in a place you are researching. You can post chronicles for any historical building, landmark, or placename* connected to a parish or county, be it

  • your own ancestral place of origin (whether the buildings are extant or not)
  • an Irish place / building / landmark you have researched or are in the process of researching (YES you can link it to your publication or blog)
  • a famous historical building of general interest to a local parish and its diaspora.

Your Building Chroinicle is a unique FREE way to make a place discoverable by anyone searching for matching details online. It also helps our reverse-genealogists reconnect ancestor records to the same place of origin. 

* a placename is the name of a geographic locality that may or may not exist today. Some examples would be townlands, crossroads, villages long gone, or places that have since become known by another name. 

What's possible?

When a Building Chronicle is created or commented on all members of its associated community will receive a notification of the latest addition(s). Check out some of these past Building Chronicle Spark Joy moments...

Why bother?

It's a way to help others and #PayItForward if you've received help in discovering a place. It can help you ask questions about a place to discover more. It's a therapeutic way to reconnect with a place you once lived in, or visited, or dream of visiting!

  • Got an old photo of an ancestral homestead or place of work before it was demolished? Share and make someone's day!  
  • Visited Ireland in search of your ancestors' footsteps and found something wonderful? Inspire others to do the same. 
  • Want to show your home town some love? Whether you live locally or abroad (and missing home) you can populate your parish home page with photos and stories of the places you love for all members of its diaspora to enjoy!

How to Share a Building, Landmark or Placename to IrelandXO


FAQ#1: I don't know where my Irish ancestors came from?

Nearly every Irish surname has a castle or townland connected to a name. Start by researching Irish castles linked to your surname and post a chronicle to share with family members. These strongholds are always a good place to start. Try posting a building long-associated with your Irish surname to our database. It's a great way to share a connection to Ireland with family and to create a beacon for others to connect with and share to... who knows what you might discover!

e.g. Castle Barrett  |  McDermott's Castle | Lynch's Castle

FAQ#2: I know which County my ancestor came from but that's it!

That's enough information to begin reconnecting with your ancestral county in a meaningful way.

  • If you have already visited your ancestral county, our Buildings Chronicles are a great way to share photos of the places you visited.
  • If you're dreaming of visiting one day, our database is a great way to store and share your research. Try posting your favourite building and watch the conversation unfold in the comments box! 
  • To discover which parishes your ancestor's surname was most common in, type it into and filter by county. Then ask the local parish Message Board for help placing your ancestor.  

FAQ#3: All I have to go on is a church record!

That's fantastic! The first thing you should do is create a Building Chronicle for the church or chapel to which your ancestor has (possible) connections to. 

FAQ#4: I have an address/ placename for my ancestor but I can't find it on a map!

We're here to help. Phonetic spelling on old records can be solved easily by asking the locals on your dedicated County Message Board.

  • Be sure to confirm which civil parish their replies correspond with and then create a Building Chronicle for that very address/ placename so you never lose it again. 

FAQ#5: I want to create a building chronicle but I can't figure out what parish it belongs to.

If you have an address, first Google it along with the words "civil parish". If you are still unsure, our local volunteers can confirm it for you on your County Message Board

FAQ#6: I found the land my ancestors came from but no buildings remain!

No worries. You can create a building chronicle for any Irish place from the past (extant or not).

  • To create a townland for everyone to connect their ancestors to, under "Type of Building" select "placename".

FAQ#7: Can I promote my book or blog about a building or place?

Of course... creating an introduction to your research in our Building Chronicles is a great way to reach its interested diaspora worldwide. 

Whiddy Island National School


Ancestors Masterclass

Message Board Masterclass

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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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