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Introduction to Genealogy – Family History

Introduction to Genealogy – Family History


This evening genealogy course will inform and familiarise participants on how to research their family history.

Discover what family documents, stories, photographs may assist in building a profile of the family and from what repositories and online sources information may be accessed.

Why study Genealogy at Griffith College?

This part-time evening course is held over a ten-week period. Participants will be made familiar with the method involved in genealogical research – systematically working back, generation by generation, from a dependable piece of information or document to the retrieval of a new relevant document – from the known to the unknown.

  • You will learn to place events in their context e.g. what were the living conditions of a particular area at a particular time? What were the occupations of the people that lived there?
  • Engage in the history of your locality and in the contextualising of the family/ancestors details as they emerge.
  • Participants will be made familiar with the method involved in genealogical research.
  • Learn how to interrogate documents or records: are they primary sources (original), derivatives, copies, or transcriptions.
  • Be taught how not to be dogmatic about spellings of such subjects as surnames, place names/townlands.

Intake Dates

We run 2 intakes for this course commencing in Spring and Autumn.

  • February*
  • October*

*subject to sufficient numbers

Please see the timetable section for the course dates.

Course details
  • Introduction to Irish Genealogy: Preparation; how and where to begin your research project; methodology; family sources.; 19th century Administrative Divisions of Ireland; principal repositories in Ireland & their websites
  • Brief history of civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in Ireland; General Register Office (GRO) research facility in Dublin; General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI); online databases
  • Census Returns: 1901 & 1911 censuses online will be examined and interrogated, surviving 19th century census fragments, substitutes & Census Search Forms will be discussed
  • Church Records: Roman Catholic; Church of Ireland - the state or established church in Ireland up to 1870; main non-Conformists -Presbyterian and Methodist; brief historical background will be discussed; what records are available and where; how dependable and extensive are online church record databases
  • Land and Property Records: published mid-19th century Griffith’s Primary Valuation & associated maps; Valuation Office surveyors’ notebooks; revision or cancelled books accessible in the Valuation Office Dublin or the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) Tithe Applotment Books, created between 1823 and 1837, identified the individual liable to pay tax in money terms to the clergy of the Church of Ireland, based on the value of the produce from the land; Tithe Defaulters. Ordnance Survey maps; OS placename notebooks
  • Deeds; Estate Papers: tenant rent rolls.
  • Registry of Deeds
  • Wills and Testamentary Records:
  • Trades, Occupations; Professions: Directories; Newspapers;
  • Cemetery records; Gravestone/Memorial Inscriptions
  • Research Repositories; National Library; National Archives; Representative Church Body Library; County and City Libraries internet; websites; online services and databases
  • Emigration/Immigration records , websites and databases
  • Participants will be invited to make three separate guided visits (separate to class time) to the National Library of Ireland; National Archives of Ireland and Dublin City Library & Archive.

Course Contacts

If you have any questions please get in touch with us at [email protected] or 01 415 0429.


This course is scheduled to commence on Tuesday, 4th February 2020 in Griffith College Dublin Main Campus. Contact [email protected] for further information.

This part time evening course will run one evening per week (Tuesday) from 6.30pm - 8.30pm over 10 weeks, course dates outlined below.

Year 2020

  • Feb: 04, 11, 18, 25
  • Mar: 03, 10, 24, 31
  • Apr: 07, 14
How to Apply

Entry Requirements 

Open entry.

How to Apply

Directly to Griffith College Short Courses Department


Study Mode: Part-Time

Fee: EUR 390.00


What further study can I do?

Participants may wish to further their studies at Griffith College.


Ready to take the next step?