The worldwide network of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon/LDS) Family History Center's (FHC) have been an indispensable part of family history research for many people. Despite the advent of billions of records coming online, there are still many billions of records that are very much offline. When this is the case, getting those microfilmed records delivered to your local FHC can sometimes be the best option to move your research forward or, in reality, backwards!
The McLean, Virginia FHC is located just a few miles west of Washington, D.C. It is an unusual setting for one of the largest and little-known collections of Irish genealogy records, containing over 3,000 microfilms along with books related to Irish genealogy. My understanding is that it serves as a closer location, east of the Mississippi river, to the large Irish American populations in the east coast states. This results in less wait time for films ordered from FHCs in these states, as they do not have to come from the main LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Many people come to the nation's capital to do research at the National Archives and Library of Congress. If you do so for Irish genealogy research, then make sure to take the short trip a few miles across the Potomac river to check out the resources at the McLean FHC.
The Mount Vernon Genealogical Society (Virginia) has produced this helpful guide to Irish collections at the McLean FHC. The McLean FHC is included in the GSI database on this website. Click here to see all groups, societies, and institutions in the U.S. and Canada that can help your Irish genealogy research.