The Further Adventures of the Lazy Genealogist
When it comes to genealogy, it doesn’t get any lazier than this: using other people’s research. For one thing, you don’t have to do any of that really hard, musty, and expensive digging on your own if someone has been kind enough to do it for you and transcribe it to the web. The best thing about these sites is that they’re labors of love and you don’t have to pay to search them.
You may not always get a hit, but it’s worth a look at:
http://www.failteromhat.com/index.htm You can find selected extracts of Griffiths Valuation of Ireland 1848-1864 (this was the “census substitute” for mid-19th century Ireland; the first systematic valuation of all property holdings in Ireland) the 1901 Ireland census, 17th century Hearth Money Roles for Armagh, Louth, Sligo, and Monahan, the Irish Flax Growers’ list (also known as the Spinner’s list) for 1796, selected Irish marriage records for 1600-1900, plus a number of documents from Cork, Dublin, and smaller towns along with photos, maps and historical documents. The documents were compiled by John Hayes in the course of his own ancestor-hunting. “It’s nice to hear from people who find the site useful and or have found some relative through the site,” John told me.
http://irelandgenealogyprojects.rootsweb.com/ It’s a little hit or miss, but that’s because this site, hosted by major player rootsweb, is supplied with transcriptions by volunteers (God bless ‘em!). Click on the county you’re interested in and you’ll find window after window of information, from family home pages (like the one mentioned above, often a rich source of data) to transcriptions of historical documents, including hearth rolls and census records. Each county site includes a list of common surnames and the name of a researcher you can contact to ask about your ancestor.
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~donegal/ If, like me, your ancestors came from Donegal, this site developed and maintained by Australian researcher Lindel Buckley is a treasure trove. Lindel has compiled headstone transcriptions from 18 cemeteries, commercial directories, passenger lists, census records, parish resources, land records, occupation-related indexes (including blacksmiths!), old Donegal photographs, a list of more than 100 books with a synopsis of each, and links to other resources.
http://www.rootsweb.com/~genealogylookup/index.html This site is manned by volunteers who are willing to do a “lookup” for you–perhaps a birth or death certificate, or even a headstone inscription. You can post your needs on the message board and with any luck, someone will offer to look it up for you. There is also a state-by-state list of people who love to prowl cemeteries to transcribe inscriptions, dig up census info, marriage licenses (there are fewer of those), and births (not too many). Of course, like many organizations, this one is always looking for volunteers.