Quick Start your Kerry Research
County Kerry

Quick Start your Kerry Research

1) One of the advantages of the internet for "genies" is to leave our family data where others can see it, and contact us if there is a connection. In order to compare notes with other Kerry researchers who may also be studying your lines, or for help on researching in Kerry, I suggest placing a well worded query to both these Kerry connection aids:

IRL-KERRY Mailing List - Kerry research via email! Follow this link to learn all about subscribing and make sure you read how to search the IRL-KERRY archives too! Our list has a lot of active, helpful researchers ready to offer their expertise.

Kerry Ireland Query- Message Board - Besides leaving your query, you can use the search engine at the top of the page to find all the previous queries that match your interest. Just change the "period" to "several eons" and put in your surname or location. Although connected with the Kerry site, the message board is on another site on the internet. When you post a query to the message board it automatically is repeated in the IRL-KERRY Mailing list - that does not work in reverse. An email query to the mailing list does not get repeated on the message board.

2) Determine if possible, whether your ancestors were Catholic or Protestant. It may greatly effect what records might be available especially when you start checking into parish registers, and will steer your research more appropriately. Remember to include the religion in any query!

3) Try putting your surnames and or locations into the Kerry Homepage SEARCH ENGINE to see if they are located in any of our online records, its located in the "box" at the top of the page.

4) Many of our researchers are tracking down their famine era emigrants. Regarding these 1850 era searches...

If your surname is NOT one of the more common ones or if you know a specific location like parish, or townland, ask on the mailing list for someone who has the CD of the index to the Griffith's Valuation (done in Kerry in 1852) to look up your surnames for you. Although the results show **heads of household only**, it could help locate townlands where families with your surname lived, and narrow down areas for you to search. Once you ID locations you can check church registers for baptisms and marriages. Note: no civil registrations of vital records was required until 1864! Therefore we are dependent on "census substitutes" like the Griffith's tax valuation that lists heads of household only, and parish registers for pre 1864 dates. Read more on 1864 Civil Registration film indexes on the Kerry homepage.

5) Read Finding Your Ancestors in Kerry. It will give more of an explanation of the above and much more ... look for what it says about Householders Index if your surname is NOT one of the common ones. This is a lengthy essay, but there is valuable Kerry research information included that will save you much time and effort later! It contains hard to find Kerry specific information that shouldn't be missed.

6) Somewhere along the line you are going to question the spelling of a surname/location or a date. Its almost inevitable in Irish research. Read why, here and save yourself a lot of time later getting really frustrated: Spelling and Date variations.

8) SHARE YOUR STUFF! Once you start getting into researching actual records like Census, Griffith's & Tithe surveys, parish registers, passenger lists etc... please think about not just recording your family information but the whole page of information to share on the Kerry site with other researchers. Information on how to submit your data.

Note about passenger lists... it would behoove you to copy a whole list not just your person if you find them... you may find later they emigrated with other members of their family that you didn't have names for when you found him and didn't bother to record. Or they could have traveled with neighboring families (happened often) and later married one member of that family... so record a whole shiplist and then think about sharing that or any Kerry related records on the Kerry site!

If you follow the above suggestions you will be well on your way to an informative Kerry search ~ back to your own ones.

Although not Kerry specific, you could also try searches on major genealogical research sites such as:

Cyndis List


slán, (thats Irish for good-bye)

Host ~ Co Kerry, IrelandGenWeb
Listowner ~ IRL-KERRY Mailing List
Moderator ~ Kerry Ireland Query Message Board

This page created March 2000 for County Kerry, Ireland at


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