Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Book Report: 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Irish American History

1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Irish American History
By Edward T. O’Donnell
Broadway Books, NY 2002

This is another book from my genealogy bookshelves. It was a Mothers’ Day gift from our daughter and son in law. My children know that I love adding more resources to my library.

‘1001 Things’ is packed full of history, beginning with #1. Ice Age that tells us Ireland was covered by two major glaciers that were responsible for Ireland’s landscape and fertile topsoil. The ancient history section also includes #8 Celtic Ireland, #13 Druids, #24 Saint Patrick’s Mission and #34 The Book of Kells. Each topic may be as short as a paragraph or as long as a column. The book soon moves from ancient history and invasions to the beginnings of English rule, something I have found complicated. This book moves through time, step by step, starting with Norman invasions and King Henry II.

Part II, Coming to America begins with #126 The earliest Known Irish in America. This was Richard Butler in the year 1584 who came from Clonmel in County Tipperary and traveled to America with Walter Raleigh. Moving ahead in time you can read about #160 The First Irish Newspaper in America, The Shamrock, #175 Castle Garden which was the gateway into the country for most Irish immigrants, and #200 the Gold Rush. This section ends with #264, Look Who’s Turning up Irish.

“With Irish firmly established as ‘cool’ in the 1990s, a good many unexpected people began turning up Irish.”

One humorous note #664 - #674 are eleven common words with Irish origins: galore, shanty, spree, slogan, smithereens, shenanigans, spunk, whiskey, boycott, donnybrook and holligan.

Whether you’d like to learn more about Ireland & Irish history or you’d like to learn more about your ancestor’s world in Ireland or America, this book would be a good one for you to read.


Part I.           Ireland before 1850
Part II.          Coming to America
Part III.         Politics and the Law
Part IV.         Nationalism
Part V.          Religion
Part VI.         The Military Tradition
Part VII.        Culture
Part VIII.       Medicine and Science
Part IX.         Work, Business, and Innovation
Part X.          Sports


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


  1. You have provided a very helpful overview of this book.

  2. Your overview makes me want to browse through it's pages.


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