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Article Published November 26, 1999
New Books for Irish Research
By: Kyle Betit
The field of Irish genealogy or family history continues to develop rapidly, with new reference works and books being made available all the time. These books are essential tools for successfully tracing Irish ancestors and accessing Irish records. This article focuses on new books in Irish genealogy and Irish immigrant genealogy published in the past few years, particularly 1997-1999.
Irish Genealogy Reference Books
Ireland: A Genealogical Guide By Betit, Kyle J. and Dwight A. Radford.(Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: The Irish At Home and Abroad, 1998). This detailed guide focuses on Irish record sources and strategies, including information about how to access Irish records abroad and strategies for using Irish records for immigration problems.
Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide (Revised ed. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, Ltd., 1999). This book contains an overview of the major record sources in Ireland. There is also a county-by-county section detailing various sources and periodicals.
Handran, George B. Townlands in Poor Law Unions: A Reprint of Poor Law Union Pamphlets of the General Registrar's Office (Salem, MA: Higginson Book Company, 1997). The source List of Townlands in each Poor Law Union (or Superintendent Registrar's District), and Registrar's District (1891) allows the researcher to search a list of townlands in a particular area to identify the correct official spelling. This list was published with an introduction and appendices by George B. Handran in Townlands in Poor Law Unions.
Helferty, Seamus and Raymond Refaussé, eds. Directory of Irish Archives (3rd ed. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1999). The holdings of various repositories are outlined in this work. Its focus is not specifically genealogy but can be used effectively by the genealogist.
Irvine, Sherry and Nora M. Hickey. Going to Ireland: A Genealogical Researcher's Guide (Victoria, BC: Ancestry Ireland, 1997). This guide contains advice about preparing for research with chapters about research in Dublin and Belfast repositories and "Research at the County Level."
Mac Conghail, Máire and Paul Gorry. Tracing Irish Ancestors (Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1997). This book concentrates on record sources and techniques. The coverage of church records and "Trades and Professions" is particularly good. Most chapters include a "Practicing Research Techniques" section in which the material is applied to family studies followed throughout the book. (in stock at Global Genealogy but not on web site yet Cat# 2190007)
Maxwell, Ian. Tracing Your Ancestors in Northern Ireland: A Guide to Ancestry Research in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (Edinburgh: The Stationery Office, 1997). In this guide are discussed an extensive series of topics including Crown & Peace Records, Electoral Records, Militia & Yeomanry, Ordnance Survey Memoirs, Encumbered Estates, Poor Law Records, Valuation Records, Land Purchase Commission, and Land Registry. (in stock at Global Genealogy but not on web site yet Cat# 080008)
Ryan, James G. Irish Records: Sources for Family & Local History (Rev. ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry, 1997). This book is arranged county-by-county showing a wide variety of sources. The listings of Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic parish records detail records in local custody; also noted are Church of Ireland records destroyed in 1922.(in stock at GlobalGenealogy but not on web site yet Cat# 2230009)
Irish History and Local History Books
Collins, Peter. Pathways to Ulster's Past: Sources and Resources for Local Studies. Belfast: The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's University of Belfast, 1998. This book discusses in detail many sources useful to the genealogist and family historian, being particular useful for early sources dealing with the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The book is indeed divided according to century, and then by record type.
Crawford, W.H. Crawford & R.H. Foy, eds. Townlands in Ulster: Local History Studies. Belfast: Ulster Historical Foundation, 1998. This book contains eight remarkable chapters by experienced local historians describing the development of an Ulster townland over the last four hundred years or more. These chapters are local history studies, but the sources and methods used can be very useful for the genealogist seeking to build the history of a family. Extracts and copies of various records such as tax, census and estate records are included.
Geography Publications' "County History and Society" Series (Geography Publications, Kennington Road, Templeogue, Dublin 6W, Ireland). This series of county histories provides excellent background material about particular counties in Ireland and in some cases will help the genealogist in accessing records.
Gillespie, Raymond and Myrtle Hill, eds. Doing Irish Local History: Pursuit and Practice. Belfast: The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's University of Belfast, 1998. This book is a collection of eight essays about researching and writing Irish local history. It seeks to explore questions about Irish local history and how to approach it by considering two dimensions. The first section concentrates on "pursuit" of local history and reviews the subject matter of the discipline, i.e., what are local historians studying? The second section of the book focuses on the "practice" of Irish local history, the practicalities of writing local history, giving advice and addressing problems. The footnotes listing sources are indispensable for the genealogist.
History Ireland, Hiram Morgan and Tommy Graham, eds. (History Ireland, PO Box 695, Dublin 8, Ireland; Tel: (01) 4535730; Fax: (01) 4533234; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). This fine quarterly periodical is in its seventh volume in 1999.
Nolan, William and Anngret Simms, eds.Irish Towns: A Guide to Sources. Dublin: Geography Publications, 1998. An impressive range of sources for researching the history of towns in Ireland is included in this work, many of which will be directly useful to the family historian and genealogist tracing residents of these towns. There are chapters contributed by various knowledgeable authors about maps, taxation, census and other government records, estate records, church records, newspapers, directories and gazetteers. An extensively bibliography lists published works relating to many of the towns in Ireland.
Irish County Research Guides
1. County Guides from the PRONI The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) in Belfast published the third volume in its County Guide Series in 1998: Guide to County Sources: Tyrone (by Tim Campbell and Ian Rice). This impressive 752-page work includes detailed information and inventories of records for a wide variety of record types available at the PRONI for County Tyrone. The Tyrone volume is presently only available in the public search room of the PRONI. The two earlier volumes, for Fermanagh and Armagh, can be purchased from the PRONI (£10 and £15, respectively). The PRONI also published a County Monaghan guide: Peter Collins' County Monaghan Sources in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (Belfast: PRONI, 1998, price £14.95).
2. Noel Farrell's Local Guides
Noel Farrell of Longford, Ireland, is publishing a series of local family history guides for Irish towns. The latest titles are for Navan Town, County Meath; Arklow Town, County Wicklow; Monaghan Town, County Monaghan; and New Ross Town, County Wexford. These books contain some general information regarding sources in the county and more specific details about the town area including extracts from the 1901 census, 1911 census, Griffith's Primary Valuation, electors' lists and other sources. There is also a pull-out map attached to the back cover.
3. New County Guides from Flyleaf Press
McCarthy, Tony and Tim Cadogan. A Guide to Tracing Your Cork Ancestors. Glenageary, Co. Dublin: Flyleaf Press, 1998. Ryan, James G. and Brian Smith. Tracing Your Dublin Ancestors. 2nd ed. Glenageary, Co. Dublin: Flyleaf Press, 1998. Smith, Brian. Tracing Your Mayo Ancestors. Glenageary, Co. Dublin, Ireland: Flyleaf Press, 1997.
Estate Records Inventories
Estate record inventories of papers in the NLI and the NAI are being published in a joint project of the Irish Genealogical Society International (PO Box 16585, St. Paul MN 55116-0585, USA) and the Genealogical Office (now part of the NLI). Inventories have been published for counties Armagh, Cavan, Cork, Donegal, Fermanagh, Galway, Kerry (the latest county released), Leitrim, Mayo, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo, Tyrone, and Waterford, as well as for the Lismore Papers. The project is ongoing.
Publishing of Church of Ireland Records
1. The Representative Church Body Library in Dublin is publishing a series of books extracting the information from some of the earliest surviving Church of Ireland parish registers.
2. The Anglican Record Project has produced transcripts of the parish registers of various Church of Ireland parishes. Copies of the transcripts are deposited at the Society of Genealogists Library in London and at the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin, Ireland:
Aspects III Released
Aspects of Irish Genealogy III: Proceedings of the Third Irish Genealogical Congress (Edited by Christopher Ryan. Dublin: Irish Genealogical Congress Committee, 1999) contains ten essays taken from lectures given at the September 1997 Third Irish Genealogical Congress at Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland.
McAnlis Indexes to Genealogies
Many of the vast collections of the Genealogical Office have been indexed in Virgina Wade McAnlis' The Consolidated Index to the Records of the Genealogical Office, Dublin, Ireland (4 vols. Issaquah and Port Angeles, WA: by author, 1994-1997). This monumental work not only provides easy access to the pedigrees but also lists the accompanying Family History Library (FHL) microfilm No.s where they apply.
Family History Library: 35 North West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150, USA; British Isles Ref Tel: (801) 240-2367; Internet:
Genealogical Office: 2 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, Ireland; Tel: (01) 6030200; Fax: (01) 6621062.
National Archives: Bishop Street, Dublin 4, Ireland; Tel: (01) 4783711; Fax: (01) 4783650; Internet:
National Library of Ireland: Kildare Street, Dublin 2, Ireland; Tel: (01) 6618811; Fax: (01) 6766690; Internet:
Public Record Office: Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU, England; Tel: (0181) 392 5200; Fax: (0181) 878 8905; Internet:
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland: 66 Balmoral Avenue, Belfast BT9 6NY, Northern Ireland; Tel: (01232) 251318; Fax: (01232) 255999; Internet:
Representative Church Body Library: Braemor Park, Churchtown, Dublin 14, Ireland; Tel: (01) 4923979; Fax: (01) 4924770; Internet:
Society of Genealogists Library: 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA, England; Tel: 0171 250 0291; e-mail: Library@sog.org.uk
More Irish Resources