You have looked everywhere...you know what your ancestor's name was...you even know roughly where they came from but you cannot find them! We have all been there.
So what can you do next?
Let's go back to the drawing board and remember that spellings of Irish family names were not standardised until the 1920's. This can cause huge problems for the person who is just beginning to search for their Irish ancestor. I am going to give you a few examples which may help you in your search.
Let's take the surname Mc Gillicuddy.
There are 3,454 returns for this name in Kerry Roman Catholic Church Records on www.irishgenealogy.ie
When I enter Daniel, the man I am looking for I am given 9 returns but my Daniel is not there. A brick wall.... or maybe not.
Daniel is there but his name is recorded as Daniel Mack.
How about Edward Sheehan? Recorded as Sheekan in the 1911 Census. I initially thought that Edward had left Fenit before 1911 until a search of the placename Fenit instead of his family name revealed him still living there with his wife Catherine and 6 children.
Christina Gowan is variously recorded as McAuvern, Mc Gowan and Mc Gowran. The spelling of her name is different on her marriage record and on the baptism records of each of her children. And she moved from Dublin to Killarney and then to Tralee apparently following the expansion of the railroad. But that's another story!
Then there is the Lane family whose name in the 1800's was spelled Leyne.
Sometimes the Prendergast family name was recorded as Pendy.
A branch of my family tree bears the name Counihan, by simply entering O'Counihan into the www.irishgenealogy.ie website, I gained another generation. This one is well worth a try no matter what your family name is!
Then there was Catherine Wyles of Derrymore. I could not find her... but she was hidden in plain sight, recorded as Catherine Wylde and married to Matthew O'Shea in 1839.
I could go on but I hope this is enough to whet your appetite and point you in the direction of trying spelling variations in your search