Book Review: Tracing Your Irish Ancestors

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For many North Americans, tracing Irish ancestors can be a chore. Lack of resources and distance puts researchers at a disadvantage. In cases like these a primer on research is in order. "Tracing Your Irish Ancestors" from the publishers of Family Chronicle and Internet Genealogy provides a one-stop resource for researchers interested in delving into their Irish heritage.

This new special issue in their "Tracing" series, provides 68 pages of advice, assistance, websites and historical information on the following topics:

  • Certificate of Irish Heritage

  • Online resources

  • Court of Petty Sessions

  • City and Trade Directories

  • Exact origin of Irish ancestors

  • Sea faring ancestors

  • Irish money

  • Scots-Irish research

  • Surnames

  • Civil War Soldiers

This special edition follows the style of Family Chronicle and Internet Genealogy magazines with each topic written in an article format. Various writers contributed to this issue including David Norris, Hilda McGauley, Alan Stewart, Marie Daly, Brian Mitchell, Cindy Thomson and Anthony Adolph. The result is concise, easy to read and understand articles that will help you learn more about Irish research. The benefit to such a format is that it allows the reader to learn a research technique and repository in a short amount of time so they can then go to their computer and incorporate what they have just learned.

One of the articles, "6 Steps to Research Success: Irish Style," by Brian Mitchell provides an easy to follow format for those researching their ancestor. Using a case study, the author takes researchers step-by-step into his own research while providing an outline for the reader to follow. Through this process he discusses important resources to any Irish research project, including "Griffith's Valuation" and the 1901 and 1911 census.

When doing any research involving long distances, Internet resources are essential. The article "Your Irish Ancestry Online: A Definitive Guide," by Alan Stewart is a must for any Irish researcher and will probably be something that most researchers will want on their desk for future reference. Websites featured are both fee-based and free and have been categorized according to topic including vital records, census returns, church registers, wills, newspapers, military records and more.

One source often ignored by all researchers is directories. I was interested to learn in David Norris's article "Irish City and Trade Directories" about the possible directories that can be beneficial to researchers, including "The County and City of Cork Post Office General Directory" and "Bradshaw's Monthly Railway Guide." Norris also mentions almanacs another ignored source that can include such genealogical data as name lists and occupations.

"Tracing Your Irish Ancestors," as well as other titles by the publishers of Family Chronicle/Internet Genealogy and their respective authors is available from their online store as well as booksellers. You can view the table of contents for this title at their [|online store]] as well.

As a disclaimer, although I do write articles for Family Chronicle and Internet Genealogy I did not write any articles for this issue.

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