An unusual source for Irish Genealogy

+20 votes
I discovered the Irish Schools Collection ( by chance yesterday.

In 1937 Irish schoolkids were encouraged to record stories and folklore associated with the places where they lived.  These records have been uploaded through the auspices of University College, Dublin, and are in desperate need of volunteers to transcribe them.

One branch of my Irish ancestors (the Brosnan family) came from Broadford, a small townland in County Limerick.  I clicked on the records for Broadford to see what was there.  I discovered a story had been recorded in there by a local schoolboy about a William Brosnan who lived in Broadford who had been taken away at night by the fairies!!  The story had been told to him by his grandfather.  William was probably related to me in some way - what a thrill to read that!

If you know where your ancestors came from in Ireland, particularly if you know the townland or civil parish, I really recommend you take a look at this site.  There are many names recorded in these records but also poignant stories.  I found a wonderful story about how the people of Broadford suffered during the Famine, also how local people were bribed with meat to eat if they turned Protestant!  An example of what you can see is included in the link above.

This source is a real treasure trove for anyone interested in their Irish Roots!
asked in The Tree House by Leigh Murrin G2G6 Mach 2 (27.9k points)
retagged by Leigh Murrin
Leigh - thanks very much for this - I think I found a story from my mother-in-law's cousin pretty quickly!
So cool! I remember hearing something like this from my Grandmother, but she was about as Pennsylvania Dutch as they come. Interesting...
How wonderful Jason!
Couldn't immediately find a way to search - my County Tipperary is there, but seems to link only to title pages with the teacher'said name. Any hints?
Hi Teresa, here is the link to County Tipperary

All the locations are listed on the right hand side.   You will need to know the civil parish of your particular location if it is small as I believe documents are stored by civil parish not downland (though you may get lucky if you do a word search).  If you do not know the name of the civil parish, you can look it up on
Thanks, I think my phone was the problem. Interesting source! Too late to help with my ancestors, but I did a quick transcription.

1 Answer

+5 votes
Awesome, I just found several Lyng's in The Rower, now to figure out who they belong to.  No Donegal?
answered by Michael Stills G2G6 Pilot (363k points)
Look harder Michael, Donegal Found!
Ack, Donegal is in Gaelic!
Michael, keep looking against random page numbers - I found that most schools  had a mix of Gaelic and English records.  Donegal is in the Gaeltacht so there may be more Irish than English documents in that county's case, but you never know, there might be some English language pages further on.  I found that in Broadford, for e.g., the Gaelic records all came first.
Thanks, I think there may be some cousins but no direct relations because the time frame does not fit.  Very cool sight however.

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