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12-03-2011, 20:17   #1
Join Date: Mar 2011
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US ship records enough to claim Irish citizenship?


my fiancé (American) had a great grandmother that came originally from Limerick. I can find her details on which also says she was Irish (born in Limerick) and that she went to NY.

My father-in-law to be told me that he could claim Irish citizenship if he could prove that his grandmom was from Ireland.
Well, the ship records say so but it is this enough to claim citizenship?

Thanks for clarification!

EC_GOD is offline  
13-03-2011, 00:39   #2
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Hi Martin,

I think having an Irish grandparent is enough to claim citizenship but you would certainly need a chain of birth certs to prove the connection (i.e. his, his parent's and his grandmother's). Your best bet is to check with the Irish embassy in Washington DC.

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14-03-2011, 02:46   #3
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Bannasidhe's Avatar
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Hi Martin.

First I would suggest you try and find your fiancée's G-Grandmother's details in either the 1901 or 1911 census (

This will give valuable information on her year of birth, parents names and address (at least at the time of the census).

With info such as date/ place of birth and parent's names it is quite easy to order a birth certificate online from

What needs to be done next is to prove the connection between your father-in-law and his grandmother - marriage certs, birth certs etc.

If you can't find her in the census - don't despair as there are still parish records. These however are not available on-line and can be a bit tricky to find unless you know exactly which church she was baptised in.

If your father-in-law is serious about getting an Irish passport I would suggest he contact the professionals such as Eneclann ( - these are the guys called in to find the Irish ancestry of US presidents and Irish Grannies for soccer players.

So yes - if your father-in-law can prove his grandmother was born in Ireland he can claim Irish citizenship (and British also as I imagine she was born before the foundation of the Republic) but no - ship's manifests, passenger lists, immigrant info from Ellis Island etc won't do. You will need original birth certificates etc.

Last edited by Bannasidhe; 14-03-2011 at 02:57.
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14-03-2011, 14:11   #4
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Originally Posted by Bannasidhe View Post
Hi Martin.

With info such as date/ place of birth and parent's names it is quite easy to order a birth certificate online from
I wouldn't be happy recommending this site. It looks very official but isn't actually the GRO. They charge €37.50 for posting a cert abroad, when with some help from people like us, you can get it for less than a tenner from the GRO.

ETA: obviously lots of parish records are available online but you'd have to get a copy from the original church - I'd imagine. Dept Foreign Affairs website with all details required:

Last edited by pinkypinky; 14-03-2011 at 14:15.
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14-03-2011, 22:27   #5
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your father in law may be able to claim citizenship by descent and apply to be added to the Foreign Birth Register (FBR). Children born after entry to the FBR would be able to claim Irish citizenship but not those born before entry.
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