Finding Your Irish Ancestors; A Beginner’s Guide
By David S Ouimette
Ancestry Publishing, 2005
I discovered this book in searching the online database for my local libraries, the Upper Hudson LibrarySystem. When I had the book in my hands I started flipping through the pages immediately. It is not just a dry listing of resources. Rather it is a fun read with charts, photographs and maps that pull your eye to the page and information that keeps you on the page. This year when my children asked for Christmas gift suggestions, this book went on my list and I was delighted to unwrap it on Christmas Day! Thanks, Alanna & Dave!
Information is included on vital records, gravestones, newspapers, school registers, land records and more. I also like some of the ‘little’ information included: the most popular male & female names in 19th century Ireland; Gaelic words commonly used in Irish place names; Irish emigration statistics; and Latin words commonly found in Catholic parish registers.
David Ouiette writes about visiting Ireland. He writes, “You may choose to order a search at the Irish Heritage Center In your ancestor’s county; do this before you go to Ireland, so you can review the results well before your trip.” I wrote to County Cavan well before my trip to Ireland and picked up the results of the search while I was there. I was able to talk face to face with the person who did the search. It was wonderful. But as Mr. Ouimette suggests, it must be done in advance as these searches may take weeks. This is just one of many helpful tips in his book.
However, this book is not just for beginners. I think Irish researchers of all levels will enjoy this book!
Getting Started: Basic Principles; Time Line of Irish History; Surnames and Given Names; Place Names and Land Divisions; The Irish Overseas
Major Records: Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates; Church Records; Census and Census Substitutes; Land and Property Records
Other Records: Gravestone Inscriptions; Newspapers; Commercial and Social Directories; Wills and Administrations; National School Registers; Occupational Records
Where to Research: Internet Sites; The Family History Library; Irish Heritage Centers; Archives and Libraries; Visiting Ireland