Irish research is notriously hard before the Famine, but how about back into the later 1700's? Especially in the West, if you're a poor tenant farmer and Roman Catholic? Basically you have little to no hope.
Imagine my surprise then when I decided to revisit my GGG Grandparents, who were from the Moycullen area of Galway. First I discovered there is a local census of the married men of the Parish, taken between 1793-1813! Beyond that there are actual Catholic Parish records of BMD's back to 1775 or so! And there are Tithe Applotment records from 1827 or so.
What an absolute bonanza of records!
I have some oral history that points at 3 different townlands within Moycullen, and some specific names (Morgan and Larry) that relate to my family -- so armed with those details and all those records, I've spent 2 days trolling through everything and putting my family together. There are still many gaps, and some is supposition, but it's obvious I'm related to most of these folks in some fashion.
The offhand comment that a cousin told us back in 1999 that my Gt Grandfather Seamus Conneely was called "Larry", was something I never thought I'd figure out, but luckily I took down the note....and now can see that there are several Laurence Conneely's in Moycullen that are likely where his nickname came from.
Our Conneely's were also from "The Morgan Conneely's", and sure enough there are Morgan's in the family lines back to about 1765!
Note sure I'll sort out the Morgan, Laurence, Patrick, Roger, John and James Conneely's.....but these are my people!