We hope to address most major questions here.  If your query is not addressed, please send us a message and we'll respond as quickly as possible.

Who qualifies for Irish citizenship by descent?

Irish citizenship can be obtained or conferred in a number of ways. The Republic of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade has the various qualifications on their website.
Cabragh West Research can help you determine if you qualify for “Citizenship By Descent”. Read over the rules for this scenario at the DFA's site.
If you think your parent, grandparent, or -- in rare cases -- great-grandparent’s Irish citizenship qualifies you, you may wish to pursue Irish citizenship for yourself in order to obtain a passport. The Irish passport is valuable for traveling in the EU as well as for living and working in any EU country without visas or work permits. Citizenship by descent also entitles you to all the social programs as an Irish-born citizen.

What official documents do I need to apply for citizenship?

Applying for Irish citizenship and the passport requires you to obtain supporting official documentation to prove your identity and Irish heritage. The hardest part for most people is finding and obtaining the official Irish birth, marriage, and death certificate(s) of their citizen ancestor. Cabragh West Research can help you with this.
As discussed above, your parent, grandparent, or in rare circumstances a great-grandparent must have been born on the island of Ireland and have been an Irish citizen. You must find the exact Irish civil records for that ancestor.
The very first thing you should do is talk to your relatives who might know more about your Irish heritage. Ask them:
  • What’s the full name of the ancestor?
  • When was s/he born?
  • Where was s/he born? A county, parish, or town name is most helpful.
  • Did s/he marry and have children in Ireland? If so, whom, when, and where?
  • When and where did s/he die?
Once you have as many answers as possible, we can dig on your behalf. Research rates are based on the number of hours needed to find the correct records for you. The more information you provide us, the faster the research will go!

What if my ancestry is from Northern Ireland?

If your grandparent -- or in rare cases, great-grandparent -- was born in what’s now Northern Ireland, you can still have citizenship in the Republic of Ireland. Or in some situations, you may be able to choose United Kingdom citizenship by virtue of Northern Ireland being a member of the U.K. Consider carefully all the options and pros vs. cons of each, including current and possible future political and economic conditions. See this reference on United Kingdom dual nationality.

But my interest is in contracting a genealogy researcher.  Where do I start?

If your interest is in researching your heritage rather than obtaining Irish citizenship, you should first think about your specific goal for the research, then gather as much information as possible. This will reduce the amount of paid time a genealogist will need to spend to find potentially duplicated data.
For example, have you always been told that your great-grandfather was a stowaway on a ship from Ireland to Ellis Island and you want to know more about his story? Is a forename handed down from generation to generation and you want to find out whether it’s as Scottish as it sounds?
  • Write down everything you can remember about that branch of your family. Names, dates, places, relationships (who married whom, what were their children’s names, etc.?).
  • Speak to the members of your family who might have first-hand memories of the ancestors in question. Try to ask open-ended questions like, “Tell me about your grandfather, what do you remember about him? Did he ever tell stories about his parents or homeland?” Consider using a smartphone to record the conversation so you can transcribe it later -- this frees your attention to ask pertinent follow-up questions.
  • Find any supporting documents in your family’s possession like birth/marriage certificates, a family Bible, and photographs that are labeled with names, places, or dates.
  • Compile everything you’ve found so it is concise and comprehensive, to give your chosen researcher a solid foundation upon which to begin work on your behalf.

How much do you charge?

Please see our Services page to get a general idea of approximate cost.  We'll quote you a price tailored to your specific goals for this research project.  Bundling services will reduce the overall rate.

Out-of-pocket costs including but not limited to photocopies, postage and handling, repository entrance fees, travel and lodging (when reasonable, necessary and agreed upon in advance), database fees and the like, up to $50, will be billed separately and are due upon receipt. Expenses greater than $50 will be authorized in advance, by Client, in writing. Additional hours of research, as outlined in the research plan prepared for Client, will be billed at a rate of $25 per hour, in increments of no less than five (5) hours.

How can I make payment to you?

Cabragh West Research can accept payment via PayPal or you can mail us a personal check.  If you choose to mail a personal check, research work cannot begin until the check clears.  Before you make any payment, we will provide you with a detailed invoice so there is no confusion about the services and total quoted price.

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