One of my specialties is Irish Immigration research. My philosophy has been if you can’t find out where in Ireland your ancestor was from through United States or Canadian records, then look for the sibling who went elsewhere. That looks good on paper, but what if you don’t know who went where, or even the who part!
Records From Around the World Are Being Indexed
This is where research gets fun and you get the chance to learn about the Irish immigration worldwide. With the advent of indexed records from most countries, it’s easy to simply “plug in the parent’s names.” This is based on the assumption you know the parent’s names from a death certificate or marriage record in the immigrant country. This strategy works extremely well if you know the mother’s maiden name.
Databases for marriages and deaths especially are helpful in identifying siblings who may have gone to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or Latin America. Databases on Ancestry or FamilySearch are particularly helpful as they have a “Parent Search” feature. In this case, for a child’s name, I just put in the last name of the family, leaving the first name blank and then use the “Parent Search.” Sometimes I’m amazed at the hidden treasures I discover. Keep in mind these aren’t the only databases available. Databases associated with FindMyPast and any number of Australian and New Zealand websites are simply outstanding.
Use Name Variations in Database Searches
Now a last word about databases; don’t always assume the search feature will pick up all variations. Always drop an “O” or “Mc/Mac” and add it on. Always think fluid with your spellings.
Once you have found other potential siblings then you are ready to dive into the records for that country. Look for records which will tell you where in Ireland that potential sibling was born.