Friday, December 27, 2013

Book Review - Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, 4th Edition

Do you have Irish ancestry, but are frustrated in your genealogy research for records in Ireland?  This book may help.

John Grenham, Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, 4th Edition (Dublin, Ireland, Genealogical Publishing Co., 2012), 608 pages, $37.95 (soft cover).

The publicity for this book says:

The best book ever written on Irish genealogy, this new edition of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors retains the familiar structure of previous editions but is now more useful than ever. Combining the key features of a textbook and a reference book, it describes the various steps in the research process while at the same time providing an indispensable body of source materials for immediate use.

The biggest change from previous editions is in its approach to the Internet. Online research is now an essential part of any Irish family history project, so the 4th edition serves as a directory to online records, discussing their uses and outlining research strategies. The sheer scale of the data available online makes a guide such as this all the more essential, and in the hands of a master it is indispensable.

Along with its step-by-step instructions in the location and use of traditional genealogical records, its discussion of civil records of birth, marriage, and death, as well as land records and wills, and its list of Roman Catholic parish records and source lists-—all expanded, updated, and indexed-—it is easily the most useful book in Irish genealogy.

Some testimonials:

"The most comprehensive and authoritative book on Irish genealogy available."-—Heritage Quest

"Highly recommended for anyone doing Irish research.--Federation of Genealogical Societies Forum

"It is one of the most up-to-date and thorough source books for serious researchers of Irish family history."--American Reference Books Annual

The Table of Contents includes:

Chapter 1: General Register Office Records
Chapter 2: Census Records
Chapter 3: Church Records
Chapter 4: Property and Valuation
Chapter 5: The Internet

Chapter 6: Wills
Chapter 7: The Genealogical Office
Chapter 8: Emigration and the Irish Abroad
Chapter 9: The Registry of Deeds
Chapter 10: Newspapers

Chapter 11: Directories
Chapter 12: Occupational Records
Chapter 13: County Source Lists
Chapter 14: Roman Catholic Parish Registers
Chapter 15: Research Services, Societies, Repositories and Publishers

The value of this book is the comprehensive nature of the work.  Each record type is discussed in detail and with examples.  The Internet (Chapter 6) has many links to online record collections, both free and commercial.  The County Source Lists (Chapter 13) are extensive.  The Roman Catholic Parish Registers (Chapter 14) lists are by county, then parish (with diocese listed), and provide information about baptisms, marriages and burials.  The location of the records, and any reference, is also provided.

If you want a "Bible" for Irish genealogy and family history, this book is highly recommended.  Order it at Genealogical Publishing company's website - see Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, 4th Edition

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Disclosure: contacted me recently and asked me to provide a review of this book. They mailed me a review copy for my personal use as remuneration for this review. 

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