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 

Searching our collections on Ancestry

Most of our key genealogical collections are now on Ancestry, this short video guide takes you through searching them step-by-step

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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.

The Kirkpatrick Index has been digitised in partnership with

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.

The Medical Registers and Directories have been digitised in partnership with

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.

The RCPI Registers have been digitised in partnership with

Apothecaries' Hall Registers

Apothecaries' Hall was established in 1792 to regulare the apothecary (pharmacy) trade in Ireland. From 1858 to 1971 the Licentiate of Apothecaries' Hall was a recognised medical qualification. The registers of Licentiates and Apothecaries contain details of names, dates of admission and qualification, and in many cases an address.

The Apothecaries' Hall Registers have been digitised in partnership with

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.

Ancestry Partnership

The majority of our records have been digitised in partnership with and can be search via their website.

Search with Ancestry 

In person research

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

Book an appointment