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County Galway is one of the five counties in the province of Connacht and is situated on the western seaboard of Ireland. The county forms part of the Irish speaking Gaelteacht region where the native language is still used on a daily basis. If your Irish ancestors hail from Galway here’s some facts you may not have known about your family history:

1. Sea-trade with France and Spain sustained the economy of Galway throughout the medieval period and seventeenth century with agriculture also featuring on a relatively smaller scale. Farmers even used seaweed to fertilise their crops!

2. If you’re searching for your Galway ancestors’ births, marriages and deaths you’ll need to know the civil registration districts that lie within the county borders. There are thirteen – Ballinasloe, Ballinrobe, Clifden, Galway, Glenamaddy, Gort, Loughrea, Mount Bellew, Oughterard, Portumna, Roscommon, Scariff and Tuam.

3. Your eighteenth and nineteenth century Galway ancestors can often be traced using sources you may not initially think of such as The Galway Vindicator and Connaught Advertiser historical newspaper on Findmypast.

4. Your Galway ancestors may have attended St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church which is the largest medieval parish church in Ireland that’s still in use. It’s thought that even Christopher Columbus paid a visit!

5. There are over 4.5 million family history records related to County Galway on Findmypast – you’re bound to find a family connection in there somewhere!

Let us know in the comments below what you’ve uncovered about your Galway roots!

For more stories on tracing your Irish heritage from Findmypast click here.

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