THE National Archives of Ireland has launched a new website dedicated to helping people with Irish ancestry discover their family history.
The online genealogy toolkit is aimed primarily at students but will also be useful to members of the general public interested in learning how to explore their past.
Arts Minister Heather Humphreys met with students from Muckroos College in Donnybrook, Dublin, where students have been trialling the website before its launch.
The website provides tips on how to find your ancestors, and brings together a range of online resources.
Through informative videos and step-by-step guides, case studies and targeted tasks, students are able to learn how to explore the numerous Irish historical records available online, including the Census, civil records, military archives and church registers.
"There is such a vast array of online historical records available, the challenge can often be knowing where to start," Ms Humphreys said.
“This new genealogy toolkit gives ample tips on how to do just that. It provides a step-by-step guide on how to search through a range of online databases and archives, allowing people to explore their family history.
“While it is primarily aimed at secondary school students, it bound to appeal to a much wider age group, especially considering the growing interest in genealogy both at home and abroad.”
Director of the National Archives John McDonagh said that the new website would appeal to any person with Irish ancestry interested in their past.
“This website is aimed primarily at second-level students, but will also be useful to the general public, many of whom may think family research is daunting and difficult,” he said.
“With help from this site, it should be possible for most people to search records dating back to the early 19th century.
“The site contains case studies on Sean Mac Diarmada and Sean Lemass as examples of how to research and contextualise family history, with poignant accounts of Mac Diarmada’s relationship with Min Ryan, who visited him on the night before his execution, and Sean Lemass’s accidental shooting of his baby brother, Herbert, in 1916.”