Glendalough, Co. Wicklow Ireland


We have had a number of enquiries with regards to peoples ancestors from around the world. In order to help these enquiries we have decided to initiate these pages. We hope that they will grow over time and provide you with your answers.

If you have a question or are looking for to fill in gaps in your family tree, you can email, and we will place the request on these pages. If you have links back to your own web site we will gladly put these up, and hopefully you will link back, as well as your email address.

Thank you and enjoy your stay




Greetings from Australia to the Community of Glendalough.

Daniel and Margaret Kavanagh and their 8 children, James & Michael (twins, born c.1838), Thomas (c.1841), Patrick (c.1843) Mary & Julia (possible twins, c.1847) Daniel (c.1848) and Margaret (c.1851), sailed from Liverpool to Port Phillip (Melbourne) in 1858 and settled in the Maitland area of NSW.
According to Daniel's Death Certificate of 1873, Daniel and Margaret were married at "Glendalough Catholic Church" about 1834.  They were both aged 27.  Daughter Mary died in 1863 from epilepsy - her father, who was the Informant for her Death Certificate, states that she was born at Coolbeg (around 1847).
I understand that the custom of the time was that a marriage took place in the woman's parish so I assume that Margaret came from around Glendaloch.  Margaret's parents were Michael and Julia Murphy (unfortunately don't have a maiden name for Julia).
I wonder if there are still descendents of Michael and Julia Murphy (probably married around the 1800's) living in the area, or someone who has some connection with that family.
If there are, I would be most happy to share information on the family's Australian endeavours.
Kind regards
Barbara O'Connor



While searching for family history can be very satisfying, it can also be time consuming, especially if you don’t know where to look. These pages will give you pointers on:-

How to start looking for your family tree

Useful hints

Where to source information

You may also want to check on the Internet to see if someone has already been researching your family tree.

Useful Hints

Family names may have changed. For instance, a family may have been called O’Faherty in Ireland and then changed to Faherty when they emigrated. Another example might be O’Donnell to either Donald or MacDonald.

In Ireland, a national census took place every 10 years from 1820. However most of the records before 1900 were destroyed in a fire at the Public Records office in 1922. However, the 1901 and 1911 census records are open to the public and photocopies are available. A small amount has also been transcribed by volunteers and published on the web.

 Catholic church records can date back as far as 1680 (depending on the parish), but, for most parishes, started in the mid or late 19 th century. Church of Ireland records started in the mid 17 th century for urban parishes and the 1820’s for most other parishes.

 Where a parish is new, check the records of the “parent” parish.

 A major reference book is “Tracing your Irish Ancestors” by John Grenham, which is published by Gill & McMillan.

Top of Page

How to start looking for your family tree

Where do you start ? The best starting point is with living memory. What information do you, your relations and friends have ? Also check family documents, such as a bible or a prayer book. These were sometimes handed down to each new generation. Other documents might be old newspaper cuttings, photographs or local magazines. In fact anything that can help pinpoint the area that your family came from.

The next step is to move on to official records. Contact addresses are listed in Where to source information

Top of Page

Where to source information

Civil Records

National Register Office, 8-11 Lombard Street East, Dublin 2. (Telephone 01 671 1000). Open Monday to Friday 9.30 to 12.30 and 14.15 to 16.30. The records start in 1845 for non-Catholic marriages and all birth, marriages and deaths after 1864.


Birth records: name, date, place, sex, parents, name/address/rank/occupation of father, and name/maiden name/address of mother.
Marriage records: date, place, name, age, occupation and address of both bride & groom together with the names and occupations of their fathers.
Death records: name, date, place, sex, age, marital condition, occupation, certified cause of death, duration of final illness.

Census Records

National Archives, Bishop Street, Dublin 8 (telephone 01 407 3200). Open Monday to Friday 10.00 to 17.00. 1901 and 1911 census returns are held here.


Description of house and name of the head of the household.
List of occupants with names, relationship to the head of the household, religion, literacy, occupation, age, marital status, country or county of birth.

Church Records

National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Open Monday to Friday 10.00 to 17.00. The records contained are microfilm copies of 1066 out of 1153 parishes. Originals are normally stored in the churches.

The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints family history centre, The Willows, Glasnevin Road, Finglas, Dublin 11. Open evenings and Saturday mornings contains microfilm copies of 398 out of 1153 parishes.

The majority of these records begin in the early 1800’s, a few as early as 1680.


Baptism: date, place, names, parents’ and sometimes godparents’ names.
Marriage date, place, names, sometimes parents’ names and occasionally addresses.

 Land Records

Some records (The Applotment Books 1823 to 1838 and Griffith’s Valuation 1848 to 1864) are held in the National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin 2 and in the National Archives.