Most researchers be they experienced or beginners know that one has to collect records. These include civil registration, church records and of course what is passed down through the family. I have shown other sources such as land records, newspapers, criminal registers and a host of others. The question now is “when do I know when to give up?” The simple answer is you do not! I do not mean you have to devote all of your spare time researching that one person/line that is giving you such a headache. What I do (and I have a few brick walls) when I have that spare time is to delve into that brick wall and see if there is something that I have missed or if anything new has developed. This can include a new researcher that has posted their tree on line or new records have been published or discovered. What I would advise is to write to local newspapers and ask the editor if he would consider publishing your letter asking for local help. I would also write to county reference libraries for information on local history books.
The 19th century newspaper "The Freeman's Journal" is available on line (not free - except in certain libraries) and you can search digitally by entering the townland of your ancestors. Using this newspaper I found many reports involving my ancestors and I was really amazed on what I discovered.
One of the simplest means of finding information is simply googling the surname with the parish/townland. Also add ancestry to it if you wish....you might be pleasantly surprised on what you find. Another tip is to search the name and townland/parish within quotation marks...... this will filter out all other "hits."
What you might consider is "how much do I spend on this research?" This of course is entirely up to you and how important it is to you? Personally I believe nothing beats travelling to Ireland and visiting the area of your ancestors even if you know the county of your ancestors only. If you are considering visiting Ireland I will always take time on answering any queries you might have and I'll give the best advice I can. You can always consider paying a small amount for someone to search for you though obviously no guarantees come in research. I would again advise you do this one step at a time. It's cheaper and more realistic.
If you do have any questions please feel free to contact me directly if you wish.
All the very best.
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