Irish Roots Special Interest Group

This group usually meets from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ion the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Members gather in the LCGS Small Group Meeting Room found at the Harvey Engelhardt Funeral Home at 1600 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers. The meeting room is located on the west side of the building and the entrance is at the southwest corner of the back of the building. There is a sign at the door.  Check the Events area for more information.
Be sure to check out our recommended links to Irish research websites in our Research Links area.


An Irish researcher's GOAL – Find the specific place of your family origin in Ireland.

  1. Pedigree Chart ​
  2. Family Record
  3. Chronology
  • Mine your family sources – Family records, Bible, old letters and papers, scrapbooks, photos, family traditions, stories, and obscure references. (Find the family packrat.)
  • Vital records, church, funeral home, and cemetery records. (Don’t forget the tombstone even if you have the death certificate and cemetery record.) ​
  • Obits of all known family members of the first two generations here and any affinity persons who may have traveled with your ancestor or been a witness on documents or is a neighbor or is that friend that visited periodically from out of town or shows up in old photographs.
  • Federal and state census records from the first appearance through 1930.​ (NOTE: federal census records are available through the Lee County Library website, if you are a member of the library, at Heritage Quest online and, at the library, through the Ancestry Library Edition web site. From 1900 on, you get a year of arrival and 1920 on, the naturalization status.]
  • Naturalization record; esp. the declaration of intention or petition to naturalize.​ (NOTE: the declaration may be located at an earlier location than where the final certificate is located. Similarly, it could be in any court – not just a federal court.)
  • Probate and will records may well mention relatives in Ireland.
  • Land records. Look for first deed or original land grant (and back up documentation). Look for a deed signed by all of the heirs in order to clear title after the death of the last of the original landowners, especially if there is no probate file.
  • Military records; esp. civil war pension records with backup documentation.
  • Local, family and parish histories, esp. vanity histories. (Don’t forget the affinity groups that I noted in Obits above.)​​
  • Document everything (even where you found nothing so you don’t check it again).
  • Organize your results.​
  • Fill in your timeline.
4. Indicators:
  • Names (given and surname) that your ancestors used and the spellings.
  • Religion.
  • Time of emigration and age at emigration.
  • Location of settlement in North America and subsequent locations. (Don’t ignore Canada.)
Irish Research Books
The following books are now the property of the Irish Special Interest Group. To Borrow a book please contact Joan Reilly at 239-772-1645 and leave a message.
  • Irish Records - Sources for Family & Local History by James G. Ryan, Ph.D.
  • A Guide to Irish Parish Registers by Brian Mitchell
  • Book of Irish Names (First, Family and Place Names) by Ronan Coghlan
  • Surnames of Ireland by Mac Lysaght
  • The Ancestor Trial in Ireland (a companion guide for visitors attempting to explore family origins) by Donald F. Begley
  • Tracing Your Irish Ancestors by John Grenham
  • The Famine Immigrants (Arriving in New York)
             .  Vol. 1 January 1846 to June 1847
             .  Vol. II July 1847 to June 1848
             .  Vol. III  July 1848 to March 1849
             .  Vol. IV  April 1849 to September 1849
             .  Vol. V  October 1849 to May 1850
             .  Vol. VI  June 1850 to March 19851

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