Here are some simple guidelines to follow when replying to queries as an Ireland XO Volunteer.  They are designed to help you understand the scope of the free genealogy advice that can be offered, and also to observe some basic rules designed to protect the privacy of our members and Volunteers alike. These guidelines are also available to all members, so that they understand the objectives and limitations of the family history advice give on the Ireland XO message board.


One of the key aspects of the Ireland Reaching Out programme is offering free advice to anyone looking for information about their Irish family history. This is in line with the core objective of the Ireland Reaching Out programme which aims to connect all people of Irish descent with their ancestors’ place of origin. The time that Volunteers can contribute will vary from individual to individual and throughout the year.  Most of our Volunteers have a deep interest and enjoyment of genealogy and the Ireland Reaching Out message board is one forum which provides an opportunity to engage in this.

We can offer this free service thanks to our Volunteers, who are available to investigate individual queries on the Message Board by conducting some research, either locally or online.


  • For a simple query as to a particular date of birth/baptism or marriage, do reply with the information and the source.  Be sure to tell the poster whether or not the source used is free or from a subscription site. 
  • If a poster continues to reply looking for further information, do give lists of free sources or direct them to our Genealogy News items page:
  • For those queries that continue to look for information or appear to be looking to commission research, do direct them to the list of researchers available through the National Library of Ireland website at:


  • Don’t conduct extensive research for any single member.  Ireland Reaching Out is a volunteer-driven programme that assists anyone with re-connecting with their local or ancestral parish.  It is not a professional genealogy service.  While some of our volunteers are professional and accredited genealogists, it is not a requirement to be so.   For those volunteers who choose to undertake specific, commissioned research, any expenses incurred will have to be covered by themselves, as individual commissioned research is not what Ireland Reaching Out offer.
  • Don’t divulge personal information about anyone either alive or born within the last 100 years on the message board or onsite through any of the features.  This is due to Data Protection and Privacy laws. 
  • Don’t encourage a poster to phone potential relations for information.  This is due to the large number of phone scams and reluctance of many people to give information over the phone. 
  • Don’t give false or inaccurate information.  If you don’t know, state that.  Find someone or ask someone who may have more information to assist.