26 August 2019

Book Review: Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet

This 2nd edition by well-known speaker, author and blogger Chris Paton, is strongly recommended as a reference for everyone researching their Irish family history online. Packed with information and web addresses a remarkable amount is covered in the 10 chapters, 187 pp, of regular text.

The Genealogical Landscape, the first chapter, is an overview of the major archives, libraries, societies and commercial vendors. Chapter two, The Vital Records covers records of birth, marriage. death and burial one might expect plus wills and, strangely, newspapers and DNA. Sadly the DNA section lacks any mention of developments encompassed by Genetic Genealogy Ireland.

The third chapter, Where They Lived, covering the census, census substitutes, land records and directories is followed by chapters on Occupations and a new chapter for this edition on The Decade of Centenaries covering the period 1912 - 1923.

The following four chapters, on the four Provinces of Ireland, Ulster, Munster, Connacht and Leinster are strengths because of the specialist websites mentioned. Here is one excerpt
Ros Davies' County Down site at http://freepages.rootsweb.com/-rosdavies/genealogy, Raymond's County Down site at www.raymondscountydownwebsite.com, and the Irish Genealogy Project at www.igp-web.com/IGPArchives/ire/down/index.htm all offer many transcribed and free to access research resources. Peter Meaney's site at http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~meaneypj/genealogy has a section on Down also, containing various gems such as a name index to petty session court reports drawn from the Belfast Newsletter. A list of High Sheriffs for the county from 1714 to 1857 is at http://homepage.tinet.ie/~jbhall/index.html.
Published as a (6 "x 9")  trade paperback it is less than half the weight of John Grenham's Tracing Your Irish Ancestors 5th edition published in the same format.

My one suggestion for a third edition would be to include some maps. Although no challenge to find a map online it would be helpful, especially for newcomers to Irish research, to have a map of the island of Ireland upfront showing the provinces and main towns and more detailed maps in each of the Province chapters.

The Pen and Sword UK website lists Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet at £11.99. Amazon.ca lists the publication date for Canada as 19 November 2019.

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