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Irish Resources for Family Historians: Peerage and Gentry

This State Library of South Australia guide highlights resources available at the Library as well as various databases and websites that may assist your search for ancestors in Ireland


Irish nobility falls into three categories:

Gaelic nobility - those who descend from the kings of Ireland

Hiberno-Norman or Old English nobility - those who descend from the titled settlers who came to Ireland from Normandy, England or Wales after the Norman invasion of 1169-71

Peerage of Ireland - those who descend from ancestors given titles by the British Monarchy

These groups overlap with a high degree, particularly the Gaelic and Hiberno-Norman or Old English nobility.

There where also (and still are) Chiefs of the Name.  The position of Chief of the Name was more important to some Irish leaders than English titles.  The Chief of the Name can be described as 'the head of the clan'.  Traced through the male line the title was either passed down via primogeniture or derbfine.

Useful Websites

Ashford Castle, County Mayo


Nobility in Ireland