Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Report: Tracing Your Irish Family History

Tracing Your Irish Family History
By Anthony Adolph
Firefly Books, Ltd., Ontario, 2009


This book sits on my genealogy bookshelves beside several others on the same topic. They have all taught me more about the home of my mother’s mother’s family but this one is especially appealing. When you first flip through the pages you will be pulled in by the photographs, charts, text boxes, sketches and easy to read text. You can browse on any page or read cover to cover. I’ve done both.

When you get past the appealing layout you’ll find the content full of research tips and Irish facts and history. Within the section on the United States Mr. Adolph gives these suggestions for research: NARA, societies, civil registration, censuses, directories, religious registers, newspapers, biographical dictionaries, wills, naturalizations, shipping lists, army records and land records. Each has a brief description of their value to genealogy. In the same section there are text boxes about: the colonization of America, President Kennedy, criminals sentenced to transportation to the colonies and further reading.  

When looking in Ireland for more information Mr. Adolph writes,

“Whether or not you’ve found your ancestor’s place of origin yet, don’t leap on the next plane to Dublin. Much Irish research can be done online and using the Mormon’s microfilmed records…”

He then writes about hiring professional genealogists, materials available through societies, useful magazines and books, websites and biographical dictionaries. He describes repositories in Dublin and Belfast and the county heritage centres.

The ‘Divisions of Ireland’ section is especially important to understand in order to locate the records you need. The difference between a townland, a parish and a barony is important. I was confused before reading about the difference.

I suggest you find this book in your library or buy a copy. You won’t regret spending an afternoon with this book.


Part 1. Tracing back to Ireland: first steps
          First, find your immigrant
          Using and storing records
Part 2. Tracing back to Ireland, country by country
          England and Wales
          United States
          New Zealand
Part 3. Tracing your roots in Ireland
          Introducing Ireland
          The divisions of Ireland
          Griffith’s Valuation and Tithe Applotments
          Civil Registration
          Religious Registers
          Occupational records
          Dictionary of Irish sources
Part4. Tracing ancient Irish roots
          Irish names
          Recorded pedigrees
          Milesius was your ancestor
          Ancient Irish roots
          The invasions of Ireland
          Modern chieftains
Useful addresses


At the top of this blog, click on My Library for many more books that I have found useful for genealogical & historical research.

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