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Irish History



This is an introductory guide to resources available to students at Boston College on Irish History.

Searching for Ancestors

The Irish-American newspaper was published weekly in New York City for an Irish immigrant population. Like the Pilot a Boston newspaper that for many years catered to an Irish immigrant population, the paper ran advertisements for missing persons.  The column was entitled "Information Wanted." The ads often contain Irish counties, townlands and parishes from which missing persons came.  The data can be very useful for people doing family history research.  The book listed below contains transcriptions of the ads.

DeGrazia, Laura Murphy and Haberstroh, Diane Fitzpatrick. Irish Relatives and Friends From the "Information Wanted Ads" in the Irish-American 1850-1871. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2001. (O'Neill Stacks:E184.I6 D44 2001)

See the below links for additional sources. 

Irish Genealogical Resources at Boston College

The Irish Genealogy guide highlights genealogical resources in the Boston College Libraries. Genealogical resources come in many formats.  Boston College Libraries hold books, journals, microfilms and electronic resources that assist the genealogical researcher.  The tabs to the left are separate pages organized by kinds of resources.  Each resource listed will have location information, and, in some cases, information on how to use a resource.

Please note that personalized genealogical research services are not available through the Boston College Libraries.  This type of service may be available from independent researchers or from other institutions.

There are several "How To" books listed on this page that will help you get started on family history research.  In addition, the "Ireland Roots" website provides an introductory page, Getting Started on Your Family History.

The John J. Burns Library of Rare Books and Special Collections at Boston College features manuscript collections related to Boston area businesses that list names and other vital information of Irish immigrants to the Boston area.  See Banking/Business, the Irish and Irish Americans and Boston Area collections.

Online Genealogical Databases

Historical Irish Newspapers Online

Massachusetts Research

The following Massachusetts offices provide assistance to persons in search of historical records for family members:

Archives, Archdiocese of Boston
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184-3839

Massachusetts Archives
Boston, MA

National Archives and Federal Records Center
New England--Waltham Branch
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02154

National Archives and Federal Records Center
New England--Pittsfield Branch
10 Conte Drive
Pittsfield, MA 01201

American Ancestors
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116

Local Family History Centers
(Branches of the Family History Library, Salt Lake City , Utah )

1. Belmont Massachusetts
15 Ledgewood Place
Belmont , MA
Phone: 617-489-9375
Hours: T,W 7pm-9pm; Sat 9am-12pm.
Closed: Thursdays (for July and August)
Attention: Send email to

2. Weston Massachusetts
150 Brown St
Weston, MA
Phone: 781-235-2164
Hours: T,W 7pm-9pm; F-Sat 9am-3pm.
Please call ahead first during inclement weather to see if FHC is open.

Griffith's Online

Irish Studies Liaison