Western Australian Genealogical Society Inc.

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About the Irish Group

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Welcome to the Irish Special Interest Group, the first WAGS' Special Interest Group to be formed, probably because at the time, most members seemed to have at least some Irish connection. 

Our Motto   Irish research: challenging - not impossible! 

 Current Irish SIG projects 

  • County Research Guides - guides to family history research in each of the 32 traditional counties of Ireland (Northern Ireland and the Republic), plus one more for when the birthplace county is unknown. If you'd like to help please contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The first six guides were launched on 15 January 2017 and two more were launched on 21 Jan 2018. The template or model guide shown below with the guides under Publications.
  • Developing an online index of relevant biographical and historical articles from 18 years of Perth's Irish Scene magazine. 
  • Working in partnership with researchers in Ireland to discover what happened to the young women who came to Western Australia on the Palestine in 1853 from the Mountbellew Workhouse in Co. Galway  


Irish Family History Records Timeline - see what records are available, where and over what period  NEW!

New to the Irish Special Interest Group - how the group works, how to start researching  NEW!

Post Your Interests - Post details of your Irish ancestors (names, places and dates, as much as you know) under the Members Interests Directory. This will increase your chances of being found by a distant cousin - or at least someone researching in the same area. Go to Home > Members Area > Members Interests Directory.

Links  - Check out the Links page of the WAGS website. There are over 100 links to websites related to Irish family history.

Explore - the many informative guides, newsletters and meeting notes on this page

Come along - to the Irish Special Interest Group meetings, share what you have learned, share details of your ancestors, be inspired, get tips and ideas

Join- the Irish SIG forum- details at the top of this page, share your search with the world 

 Irish Family History Seminar Sun 28 May 2017

Nearly 80 people attended the Irish Family History Seminar at the State Library of WA on Sunday 28 May from 1pm-7pm. 90% were members of WAGS, associates or affiliated societies. 34% were members of the Irish Special Interest Group of WAGS.

There was a great bundle of giveaways for participants, two handouts (downloadable below). The WAGS bookshop and the Ulster Historical Foundation both operated bookshops before and after the seminar and during the break. Some of the books brought by Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt from the Ulster Historical Foundation and recommended during the seminar, have been bought by WAGS either for the library or the bookshop. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to find out which new titles will soon be available to borrow or contact the WAGS bookshop This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to find out what Irish resources they have recently acquired.

Once the new titles have been processed they should show up on the online library catalogue here or the online bookshop here  

Handouts to download (distributed on the day)

Seminar handout – Researching Irish Ancestors - Ulster Historical Foundation

Timeline of Irish History - Ulster Historical Foundation

Other guides recommended by Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt from Ulster Historical Foundation

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland Online Guides - worth reading even if you do not have Northern Irish ancestors (that you know about currently)

PRONI Guides  

PRONI Guides to Historical Topics (5) 

PRONI guides to local history (11) 

PRONI guide to Catholic Church Latin terminology 

PRONI guides to your family tree (28) 


PRONI video on Irish emigration to Australia (Richard Reid) 

Republic of Ireland

National Library of Ireland - Family History Research – Sources at the National Library of Ireland download from here (bottom of page) 

National Archives of Ireland -  these guides are not online otherwise

General guide NAI

Guide to Genealogy NAI

Help notes NAI




Last Updated on Sunday, 15 April 2018 10:56

Contacts, Meetings & Events

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6ire  WAGS Irish SIG Forum

Frequently Asked Questions about Forums

Join the Irish SIG Forum and post a query or share your latest find. This can be seen by anyone in the world, so giving names, dates and places of your Irish ancestors might help you link up with others researching the same name or place. To join the Irish SIG Forum, log into the WAGS website and follow the links under the Forums tab above. See how to do it step by step using these screenshots:

How to join WAGS forums 1           How to join WAGS forums 2           How to join WAGS forums 3


Convenor:         Robyn O'Brien                                          

Email:                SIGS Contacts - Convenor - Irish SIG

Newsletter:       Elissa Livingstone & Maureen Mulligan       

Email:                This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it    download past issues below


2018 meetings: Sundays 21 January 2pm, 15 April 2pm, 15 July 2pm, 21 October 2pm

We meet every three months at the WA Genealogical Society, 48 May Street Bayswater, in January, April, July and October. We discuss how to do Irish family history research from many angles. Meetings also feature speakers and workshops. Our July meeting is usually devoted to personal research in the WAGS Library and Resource Centre or research for a group project.

Since late 2016 we stopped producing formal meeting minutes, but do issue meeting notes which record decisions and agreements only. They are circulated to group members, provided you have given us a clear record of your email (or postal) address. If you have not attended a meeting or event, nor sent apologies for 12 months, your name is removed from the mailing list. Come to a meeting to get your name added again. 

Next Meeting - have a look at WAGS events calendar by clicking on the Events tab above. WAGS Event Calendar 

Speaker Notes

Emily Chambers, guest speaker from ECU, Immigration of Domestic Servants to Western Australia in the 1850s and 1890s, 16 July 2017

Jenni Ibrahim What's New in Irish Family History Research Mandurah Family History Society 12 August 2017

Jenni Ibrahim Researching Your Irish Ancestors at State Library 9 August 2017 in Grow Your Family Tree Seminar as part of National Family History Month

Jenni Ibrahim on Introduction to Major Irish Census Substitutes: Griffiths Valuation and Tithes Applotment 23 April 2017

Maureen Mulligan on Finding My Ancestors in Griffiths Valuation 23 April 2017

Cheryl Hebbs on Finding My Ancestors in Tithes Applotment 23 April 2017

Jenni Ibrahim on County Research Guides Project 15 Jan 2017 updated with names of volunteers developing guides for next 10 counties

Sabrina Armstrong Using Facebook for Irish Genealogy 16 Oct 2016

Whats New in Irish Family History Research 1 Oct 2016 presentation by Jenni Ibrahim to Rockingham Family History Society 1 October 2016

Mike Kiely speaker on 19 April 2015 DNA Science or Marketing Ploy

Mike O'Brien speaker on 19 April 2015 Cork Evictions

Lynne Roberts speaker on 19 April 2015 Searching for those Elusive McConvilles

Graham Mahony speaker on 18 Jan 2015 Hiring a professional genealogist handout G Mahony 18 Jan 2015 - Check List

Hiring a professional genealogist slides G Mahony 18 Jan 2015 - Slide Presentation 

Irish Records & the Four Courts Explosion

 No, all the genealogical records held by the Public Record Office were not destroyed in the 1922 fire at the Four Courts during the Battle of Dublin! Much was already destroyed before then. Read what's been lost and what was not.  Join us each year when we commemorate the record loss with the Four Courts Memorial Lunch.  

In 2018 the annual Four Courts Memorial Lunch will be held on Friday 29 June in Northbridge from 12 noon. Contact Sunita for further details.  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it    

Memorial Lunch Invitation 2018 SM

 History of Irish Special Interest Group

 In the early years the group had very few resources and books they did have were often on loan from private members. WAGS has expanded rapidly and Irish research material is becoming more and more readily available. It was exciting when microfiches of the Griffith's Valuation were purchased; now it's available free online, as is the Tithe Applotments. These are two of the main census substitutes. Over the years the Irish SIG has purchased a number of Irish resources for the WAGS library using funds members have raised.  We are always on the look out for any new resources that will help people researching Irish ancestors. Contact us with your suggestions. The WAGS resource centre holds subscriptions to Find My Past (Ireland) and Ancestry both of which have many thousands of Irish records.

The first meeting was held on 10th October 1981 under the guidance of Alan Campbell. Sometime later George Cargeeg took over the reins but in 1991 when ill health caught up with him, he handed them over to Mike Logan who remained convenor for almost ten years, Ray Hartnett followed. Mark Donald has also convened the group in recent years. And most recently Betty Vanderlande who resigned recently as she focuses her energies in a more southerly direction. Thanks to all the past convenors who have kept the group going since 1981.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 April 2018 09:36

Irish SIG Publications

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Irish County Research Guides

County Down Guide - Lynne Roberts 15 Jan 2017 County Fermanagh Guide - Maureen Mulligan 15 Jan 2017
County Dublin Guide - Jenni Ibrahim 15 Jan 2017 County Limerick Guide - Cheryl Hebbs 15 Jan 2017
County Galway Guide Maureen Mulligan 21 Jan 2018 NEW  County Mayo Guide - Peta Hayward 15 Jan 2017
County Tyrone Guide - Maureen Mulligan 15 Jan 2017  County Kilkenny Guide - Maggie Hogan 21 Jan 2018
County Unknown SIG workshop Jan 2016
County Research Guides template 15 Jan 2017


General Research Guides

Developed by members to help people new to Irish family history research.

Irish Naming Patterns Jan 2018 NEW Family History Records Timeline NEW
Finding the Irish Catholic parish  Irish SIG Tip Sheet updated July 2015      
How to find the birthplace of your Irish ancestor Jan 2016 Irish Genealogy Facebook Groups
Irish Research Guide - Elissa Livingstone Aug 2015 Short Guide to Public Record Office of Ireland M Griffiths 1964
Republic of Ireland Research - Elissa Livingstone  



In 1992 the Irish Group decided that the people in the country and city people unable to come to the WAGS library regularly, may appreciate more information in the form of a newsletter. The first quarterly newsletter was published in February 1993.  Newsletters are now sent all over Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland and America. Until recent years this cost $10 a year. The fee is currently suspended.

Make sure you provide your contact details clearly so you can receive a copy!

We really welcome your contributions. Your success story, brickwall, photo or information may help others. To submit an item - long or short - please contact Newsletter Editors Elissa and Maureen at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Previous editions of the WAGS Irish SIG Newsletter are available to download below  (in PDF Format) Get free Acrobat Reader to read PDF files here.


Irish SIG News Jan 2018


Irish SIG Newsletter Jan 2017   Irish SIG News April 2017  Irish SIG News July 2017   Irish SIG News Oct 2017


Irish SIG News Oct 2016  Irish SIG news Jul 2016   Irish SIG News Apr 2016   Irish SIG News Jan 2016


Irish SIG News Jan 2015   Irish SIG News Apr 2015   Fire at the Four Courts 3 presentations 30 Jun 2015  

Irish SIG News Jul 2015   Irish SIG News Oct 2015

Last Updated on Monday, 22 January 2018 13:12


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