Genealogy in Dublin

It all starts with a family name!


The staff at the Drury Court Hotel have compiled the below information to provide our guests with some of the first steps into genealogical research, with some information and contact details that should help with the tracing of Irish ancestral roots. We are certainly not professional genealogists, but we do hope that the below information will help give our guests some direction into their research. We very much look forward to welcoming you to the Drury Court Hotel as you undertake this exciting delve into the past.

With the advent of TV shows such as Who Do You Think You Are, researching family roots has never been as popular. In keeping with this, many of the Irish archives and records have become more accessible than ever in the last few years- and most resources are offered free of charge to the public. This means you no longer need to be a trained genealogist to gain an insight into your familial past.

Irish diaspora (loosely defined as the spread of Irish citizens across the globe over the years) has been estimated at 100 million people, and an estimated 75 million people have some form of Irish ancestry. Amazingly, 10.8% of the total US population claim Irish ancestry - the equivalent of 7 times the current population of Ireland itself.

This has led a number of people to visit Ireland and attempt to discover more about their forefathers and their way of life; one such well-documented instance of this was Barack Obama’s visit to Moneygall in May 2011 to learn more about his maternal great-great-great grandfather, Falmouth Kearney, who immigrated to America in 1850. Obama was greeted in the town by his eighth cousin Henry Healy, still living to this day in Moneygall, and was treated to some real Irish hospitality- a perfect example of how genealogical research can have real relevance in the modern day.

Despite all of the recent improvements to the availability of material, researching Irish family history can still be quite tricky, especially as much of the 19th Century census data was destroyed in the 1922 fire at the Public Record Office. Therefore an organised approach to this research is certainly to be recommended, and obviously the more information gathered beforehand, the easier the research will be.

What to research before arrival in Dublin:

  • Name(s) of ancestor(s)?
  • When and where were they born?
  • When and where (which Parish if possible) did they marry?
  • Who did they marry?
  • How many children did they have, and what were the names of the children?
  • What type of work did they do?
  • What religious institutions, military organizations, or other organizations did they belong to?
  • When and where did they die, and what was the cause of death?
  • Where were they buried?
  • Ireland does not have one dedicated Genealogy Records centre, so data can be fragmented- and the number of possible repositories to search can be slightly overwhelming.

The key places to visit in Dublin are listed and shortly explained below:

National Archives:

Location: Bishop Street, Dublin 8, Ireland.

Contact (Phone): + 353 (0)1 407 2300

Contact (Email):

Services Offered:

The National Archives hold many rich and varied records that are highly relevant to both public history and genealogy. The National Archives cannot undertake research on behalf of visitors, but anyone and everyone is welcome to visit the National Archives and peruse the records free of charge.  

Selection of Records available to view (online or in person): Census Records for 1901 and 1911, Census survivals for 1821-51, Census Search forms for 1841-51, the Tithe Applotment Books from 1823 to 1837, the Soldiers’ Wills from 1914 to 1917, and the Calendars of Wills and Administrations from 1858 to 1922.

If for any reason, however, it is not possible to undertake this research in person, the National Archives have provided a selection of researchers who can perform paid searches into genealogy. Please note that neither the National Archives, nor the Drury Court Hotel, accept responsibility for the findings of these searches:

For any further information into research and services provided, please consult the National Archives Genealogy website:

National Library:

Location: Kildare St, Dublin 2

Contact (Phone): +353 1603 0200

Opening Hours: 

Monday – Wednesday:     9.30am - 12.30pm and 2.00pm - 5.00pm

Thursday – Friday:           9.30am - 12.30pm and 2.00pm - 4.45pm

Services Offered:  The NLI holds a wealth of information that can be used to trace the history of a family. The main record sources include Catholic parish registers, property records such as estate papers and maps, newspapers, directories and heraldic records. They also hold published family histories and local history society publications, and provide free on-site access to a number of useful subscription websites.

Additionally The NLI's free Genealogy Advisory Service is an ideal starting point for those a little unsure where to begin with family history research. No appointment is necessary.

For more information on services offered, both online and in person, visit the National Library Genealogy Website:

Glasnevin Cemetery:

Location: Glasnevin cemetery
Finglas road,
Dublin 11

Contact Cemetery (Phone):
+353 (0)1 882 6500

Contact Museum (Phone):
+353 (0)1 882 6550


Opening Hours:
Glasnevin Cemetery Museum is open every day from 9am until 5pm; however the Genealogy Museum is open at the following times:

Monday and Tuesday from 10.00am to 14.00pm

Thursday and Friday from 10.00am to 16.00pm

Services Offered:

Glasnevin Cemetery has kept meticulous records of deaths and burials since 1828, with almost 1.5 million separate entries, and their online search tool is free to preview. If you wish to investigate the results further, there is an option to purchase credits using all major credit cards or Paypal. Visitors to Glasnevin Cemetery are more than welcome to visit the workstations onsite and avail of assistance from the helpful staff there.

Glasnevin Cemetery Museum also has a dedicated member of staff, Lynn Brady, for their Genealogy Research, who was also closely involved in the register digitization of their records prior to launching their Online Genealogy site. Lynn’s in depth knowledge of their records could provide you with the last piece of the puzzle allowing you to complete your own genealogy journey.

Please note that fees may apply to use the record search facilities. The most popular searches incurring fees are listed below:

  • €3 for Standard Search to view transcribed record of your ancestor
  • €8 for Extended Search to view transcribed records of your ancestor as well as others buried in same grave
  • + €2 to also view any of the book extract images available online

Full Office Search:

A search using a combination of digitised records and archive registers can be done by a member of staff:

From €8 to €15 per grave search depending on whether records where found quickly based on details in submitted in Search Application.

For any further information into research and services provided, please consult the Glasnevin Cemetery Museum Genealogy website:

Epic Ireland @ Custom House Quay

Newly opened in 2016, there is an exhibition at Custom House Quay, dealing with Irish diaspora and genealogy through the ages. Located in the impressive vaults of the Custom House, this is an interactive insight into Irish roots and features stories of over 10 million individual journeys. There are also impressive computer records onsite that can be accessed by visitors to the exhibition.

Please see the following link for all visitor and ticket info:

Why Stay at the Drury Court Hotel?


The Drury Court Hotel is ideally located for anyone with an interest in genealogy, as we are a very short stroll from the National Archives, National Library and Trinity College’s Long Room.

Similarly, our central location makes it very easy to access other genealogical sites of interest, such as Glasnevin Cemetery, with public transport. Walking in your ancestors’ footsteps has never been easier.


24 Hour Reception Service:  Our reception desk is staffed 24 hours per day and our friendly staff will be delighted to assist you throughout your stay, with everything from printing documents to arranging transport around the city.

Triple Glazing:  All of our rooms are triple glazed, ensuring a relaxing stay in the centre for all of our guests, especially those that require some peace and quiet whilst studying their Irish roots.

WiFi: Drury Court Hotel also offers complimentary WiFi to all of our guests, meaning that many of the below online resources can be accessed during your stay completely free of charge:

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