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Knowles, Ó Tnúthghail, Newell Genealogy
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Genealogy Research Tips

Your best source for Irish records is probably your own family.  Starting with a very limited amount of information, I found over fifteen family members who have also been searching.  Some of these distant relatives have obtained records in Ireland, and one "cousin" has done genealogical research for over thirty years.   For privacy reasons, I have not listed the cousins who have contributed valuable information for this site.

    Finding your family members birthplace or residence in Ireland can be difficult.  Family history may indicate they came from Cork, but this is probably the port of Cork where immigrants left Ireland.  Some records may indicate their residence as a townland in Ireland, but a townland is not a town and does not have a government.  It is merely a surveyed plot of land which could be uninhabited.  See page: Cloonagh.   Irish towns and surnames have many different spellings.  The same name can be spelled phonetically  in ships manifests, census records, obituaries and other documents.  

    Local community and county historical and genealogical societies may also provide new sources of information and often the names of others who are searching for the same surname.  Illinois State Archives has placed a great volume of records on the internet.  Some public libraries are also willing to provide birth, marriage and obituaries for you.  I always send a contribution to the library and the historical society when I request information.  

    Once you have more definitive information, you can obtain a copy of a marriage or death certificate from the county clerk's office.  The information you receive depends on the county and the date of the marriage.  Some counties kept better records than others.  I have obtained marriage certificates listing the birth, birthplace, parents names and parents birthplace from one county and a certificate merely stating the individuals were married from a different county.

    Most of the 19th century Irish records were destroyed by the British or by the 1916 and 1922 conflicts.  Census records are very limited for this period.  Your best source for the older records are the local parish church files on baptism and marriages.  Ten years ago, you could obtain the data from the parish church.  Most of the valuable records have been sent to county "heritage centers".  Many of these centers have had data base printouts for ten years or more for your surname.  They spend five minutes printing a few pages and then wait four months to mail it, hoping you will think it took that long to obtain the data for you.

    Genealogy searches have become very popular in the past few years.  As the interest in genealogy has grown, so has the dishonest and incompetent genealogy search offers.  Some of these places charge over $500 and often find nothing new.  They  want you to provide all the information you have on your relatives, and then send you back the same data claiming how great they have done.  Their prices usually have a range of $25 to $1,000.  Trying to obtain an exact price is impossible.  On many of the sites, you have to figure out the currency exchange rate between Ireland and the United States.  

    In August, 1998, I sent money to one of these "centers".  ONE YEAR later, I received a short paragraph of incorrect data along with a request to send them more money.  If you have a complaint, they will not help, but tell you to write to a non-existent address in Ireland.  We tried again in February 2000 with no results.  

    Time Difference:  Ireland is eight hours ahead of U.S. Pacific Time.  Example:  1:00 p.m. in Los Angeles would be 8:00 p.m. in Ireland.

    Currency Exchange:  One Ireland Punt is worth $1.28 in U.S. currency.  Example:  A cost of Ten Ireland Punts would be $12.80 in U.S. currency.  For current exchange rates: click here.

    Weather in Ireland:  Weather Reports for Ireland

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Copyright © 1995-2012 Clan Knowles™.   All rights reserved.   No text or images may be copied without written permission.   RMK Research  Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to Ronald Knowles or Séamus Ó Tnúthghail   March 20, 2012

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