If you are like me, I always am willing to research my Irish roots. They are probably the most challenging of my ancestors. For many years there were so few records available. That continues to change with more records online. Let’s look at the Irish Estate Maps.
The Irish Estate Maps are documents that show the maps and information about the large Irish Estates across Ireland. Many of our ancestors were likely tenants of these estates. John Grenham wrote about the Irish Estate Maps on his site Irish Roots as well the invaluable information for genealogists from the National Library of Ireland. As you tell your family story, it is fun to add maps and photographs about the place they lived.
Here is a link to an estate map from Grenham’s blog. If you want to search for your county, you can first by “estate” and then look for your county. You also can try adding your county and estate in a search. I had many more records pertaining to Donegal (in my case
As you’ve probably surmised, these estate map books are not all indexed so you will need to page through, but if you suspect or know that your ancestor was a tenant on a particular estate, you might find their name in the records. The example above has listings within the book as well as maps. Now for the sad news, not everything is digitized yet, but you can further filter on the right-hand side of the page to view only digitized records. In my search of County Donegal Estates, choosing “digitized” reduced the number available to 91 documents from 290. A bit more manageable to sift through. And as is sometimes the case, one set of papers that I was interested in, was not yet digitized. And who knows., perhaps I’ll be able to view the actual records someday.
I will warn you that you will probably go down a rabbit hole because there are all kinds of interesting, digitized documents available at the National Library of Ireland. We are so lucky to have access to digitized records. Good luck with your research and have fun exploring!
With a lifelong passion for genealogy and history, the author enjoys the opportunity to share genealogy tidbits, inspiring others to research and write their family story.