Family History Research

Is there a doctor in your family tree? Did one of your ancestors study or practice medicine in Ireland? If so, we may be able to help you find out more about them and their medical career.

Getting started

Our guide to tracing your medical ancestors details they types of records we hold, and the sort of information you are likely to find in them.

Download the guide 

Sources for family history researchers

Kirkpatrick Index

A unique collection of newspaper cuttings, manuscript notes and extracts from printed work relating to individual Irish medics. The index contains approximately 12,000 names of doctors practicing from the the 1650s to the 1950s.

Medical Registers and Directories

Published since 1852, these contain details of all doctors registered in the British Isles. We also hold earlier Irish Medical directories, dating from 1843 and 1846.

RCPI Registers

Our registers list all doctors who have been admitted to RCPI as Licentiates, Members, Fellows or Honorary Fellows since 1692. The information contained in the registers usually consists of a name, with a date of admission. Sometimes an address, qualifications or date of death is included.

Dun's Library

Our library holds a number of printed works that can be useful in tracing Irish medics, including:

  • published histories of Irish medical schools and hospitals
  • histories and printed alumni lists of the main Universities and College where Irish medics studied
  • the printed rolls of the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Indian Medical Service.



Our substantial archive relates both to the history of RCPI and other medical institutions in Ireland. References to individual doctors may be found in various parts of the archive; particularly important for genealogical research are the hospital and College records.

Commission Research

For a fee of €50 we will carry out a search of our main family history resources for you. Please bear in mind that search may result in a negative yield.

Commission research 

In person research

Research can be carried out in person in our reading room, Monday to Friday 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm by appointment.

Book an appointment