Tracing Your Irish Ancestors

An introduction to the key primary and secondary sources of information required to locate Irish (Northern & Southern) family and an opportunity for a hands-on exploration of multiple websites. This course also teaches an organised approach to searching and recording and encourages students to use state and local libraries and genealogical organisations and to be disciplined in file keeping.

This class will be delivered face-to-face at WEA Sydney. Enrolling students need to ensure they have read the current COVID-19 Safety Guidance that WEA Sydney has put in place before enrolling.


Please be advised that you will need to bring your own fully charged device (laptop or tablet) as well as the power cable for this course.

  • Session 1 - The key primary sources in Northern & Southern Ireland: BDM (civil); BDM (church); National Archives; Dublin city archives; shipping records
  • Session 2 - The key secondary sources: cemetery records; county libraries; blog sites; newspapers


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Have an understanding of the nature of primary sources of information that can be used to build family histories, including Irish Birth Death Marriage sources; Government Archives, Census and Electoral Rolls; shipping records.
  2. Have an understanding of other sources that may supplement primary sources, for example cemetery records, newspaper sources and online forums.
  3. Have gained the skills to find suitable primary and secondary sources of information relevant to their own background to help build their family history.
  4. Have gained some skills to record and save the results of their searches, in both physical files and computer files.

Show full classes

This course has no current classes. Please join the waiting list by clicking .

Course testimonials:

  • Lots of information on how to access Irish primary and secondary sources and up-to-date blog sites, which has led to a new impetus to my research.
  • Excellent informative day with expert advice and support.