One wonderful aspect of Irish family history research is tombstones. This comes from two perspectives. The first is that on immigrant tombstones, you will find birthplaces carved into the stones. From my experience these are usually Roman Catholic tombstones. If a parish of birth is given, it’s almost always a Catholic parish, not a civil parish. Townlands can also be found, as well as the nearest large market towns. Even if you only find a county of birth, that can revolutionize your research. These can also be found among Protestant families, but my experience has been they aren’t nearly as common.
When you find a published transcript of a cemetery or online extraction, don’t always assume the person listing the information, included everything on the tombstone – such as birth places. If you have doubts, then always confirm an extraction to be everything on the stone.
The other angle is that emigrants commonly send money back to Ireland to have tombstones erected on behalf the family. Carved is the name of who purchased the stone, and where that person resided. The same cemetery can have a staggering array of stones listing places where family emigrated. I’ve seen places in Australia, Canada, England and the United States. However, I’ve also seen Brazil, South Africa and India. Such stones can be found in both Catholic and Protestant graveyards. Irish cemeteries are also being transcribed and published or placed online. If in doubt, double check the accuracy of the transcription.
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