Irish Roots? Get out your paper
........Sometimes the easiest way to start, is to draw out what you know on a bit of paper.
My Mother's family
When I started looking for my own Irish roots I only knew my mother's paternal grandfather Margaret Peebles born: 1864, was both Irish and Catholic (the second can be important if you want to find the right record). Her picture, which I am lucky to own with her beautiful thick hair is above.
By the end of my research I realised my mother's great grandfather - Robert Elliot was also Irish, born around 1796 ( the picture above, although marked Robert Elliott, I believe is not of him but his son Thomas, as the photo is a daguerreotype which were available around 1850 ).
My Father's family
My father's Irish roots came as a surprise. Whilst researching I found that my father's maternal grandmother Mary Ann Maxwell born 1876 and parents - Thomas Maxwell born: 1846 and Martha Patterson born: 1848 were Irish and protestant and from Belfast. The Maxwells and Pattersons have been traced to Dromore County Down and the Peoples and O'Donnells ( Margaret's parents) to All Saints, Donegal.
Thankfully they all made their home in Greenock, Scotland and made me.
Irish records are more difficult to find as many records were destroyed in the 1920s due to a fire. But don't despair, modern technology is deciphering even some damaged records which can build a picture of your family's life in Ireland. Contact me to find out more.