If you are going to research your Irish Ancestors, you must know what county they are from. Now that can be tough, I assure you. Where is Patrick Cragun from? Where was he born? How did he spell his name? My not knowing any of these facts is making me spend hours looking at microfilm. Supposedly he was from Dublin. It's a big city folks, and was back in 1740. I spent 4 hours today, looking for any spelling version of our name, looking at Church of Ireland, St Anne's Church Dublin birth, burial, marriages, and baptisms from 1719 to 1822 and found no Creagans - Cregans and yes any version of Cragun. Help, I need to know the County! After I did all of this research I did what men are known to do - "ask for help"...... The Salt Lake City Family History Library has consultants on some of the floors, like the British Floor. This fine person showed me http://irishtimes.com/ancestors/ . It's cool.
I will use Cragun as an example of how helpful this is. 1- There are no Cragun's in old Ireland. 2- There are hundreds of other versions of our name: Creagon, Creggan, Craigan, Cragge for example.
3- When you reach this site you see a search box We searched with Creagan and received the results in the photo below.
It automatically pulled up 7 most common versions of Creagan. It tells me what County they were in. This is 19th century data by the way. Even so, 75% of the results are in Limerick. She told me Limerick did have a part in the plantation movement. Guess where I start looking next? Limerick. You betcha matey. I know, that's British.
You might notice under surname there are 5 more suggestions, one of which I had not seen before: Croidheagain. I like Cragun better, don't you?
On the bottom right of the photo above I barely clipped the second surname feature. If you knew that a Creagan married a Sweeney you would use the second surname as part of the search.
I'll point out now that I have added to the links on the right for more Ireland, Scotland, England, and Emigration websites you can go to. England usually includes Wales. Some sites are not free, and some are not even free at the LDS Family History Centers.
PS: Pray for me that I can find Patrick and his Family where he was born. I'd appreciate it.