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Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide Paperback – January, 1993

4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Written by a professional Irish genealogist at the Genealogical Office in Dublin, this book is the product of more than a decade of professional research. It focuses on tracing ancestors in Ireland and, while designed for researchers at different levels of experience, its intent is to provide help even for the "hard-bitten veteran." It is organized into three parts: Part 1 addresses the most basic genealogical sources (civil, census, church, and land records); Part 2 discusses more advanced tools (wills, emigration, deeds, newspapers, directories, and the Genealogical Office in Dublin); Part 3 offers a reference guide to a wide range of more fugitive resources (county source lists, printed family histories, church records, and research services, societies, and repositories). Revised editions could profit from more readable maps, more complete and current bibliographical references, an enlarged scope that includes Irish research in the United States and Canada, and a comprehensive bibliography of published sources. Still, the book provides a good beginning as a replacement for Margaret Dickson Falley's Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestral Research (self-published, 1962). Grenham's book is by far the best work available on Irish genealogy and is essential for individuals and institutions researching the subject. For a comprehensive collection development article on genealogy, see the reviewer's "Branching Out into Genealogy," LJ 11/1/92.--Ed.
- Judith P. Reid, Library of Congress
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

John Grenham is a professional genealogist. He was formerly attached to the Genealogical Office in Dublin and later was a project manager with the Irish Genealogical Project (IGP). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Genealogical Pub Co; 1st edition (January 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806313692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806313696
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #913,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Howells on August 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
This handy paperback is the first place to start for Irish research.
Irish ancestors can be very elusive due to a variety of factors. Don't get frustrated - get educated. You CAN hunt your Emerald Isle ancestors successfully when armed with the knowledge in this book.
While covering all of the standard civil, church, census, and land records, Grenham's book also covers wills, deeds, newspapers, directories, and other less-used records. The final third of the book is a county-by-county reference guide describing extant censuses and substitutes, available local histories, monumental inscriptions and other sources for each county.
One of the outstanding features of the book is the Catholic parish maps for each county. These were drawn by the author's father and give the date of the earliest records available for each parish.
A researcher with Irish heritage must be as indefatigable and adaptable as their own Irish forebears were in order find them in the existing records. This book is one of the tools you need to start with.
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I live in Ireland and I bought this book about October, 2001. It's an updated version of the 1993 book. Having looked through many books in libraries, I found this to be the ultimate guide to Irish genealogy. I have succeeded in tracing my family back to the eighteenth century from information about parish records, census records etc, as John lists them so well. It gives details of sources county by county in chronological order. The church record listing is also excellent. This is definitely the Irish genealogy bible.
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I've just begun to research my Irish ancestors and this book presents an extremely thorough list of resources available to help with this search. Not only a detailed catalog of what's available, the book also does a great job of suggesting how best to use each type of record to reach your goals.
If you are a US resident researching your Irish ancestors, there is a decent section pointing out which US records may be of assistance. The book seems written in general, though, for those who live in Ireland or are otherwise able to get there to do research. I would have found it helpful to have a little more information about what each agency is able to do by mail (or online) for those of us who can't get to Ireland!
All in all, the book was well worth the money.
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Tracing Your Irish Ancestors by professional Irish genealogist John Grenham is specifically written and designed to be used by researchers at all levels of experience, from the novice beginning to the seasoned professional. Organized into three major sections, Part 1 surveys the most basic genealogical sources for researching Irish ancestry; Part 2 provides a more advanced application of genealogical research project tools and resources; Part 3 is a reference guide to a comprehensive range of materials that include county source lists and church records. Also very highly recommended as a reference work for Irish-oriented genealogical researchers is the second edition of Brian Mitchell's A New Genealogical Atlas Of Ireland (080-6316845, $20.00).
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This is the original edition (1993) - the note below it refers to "latest edition"...however, fine print says this note refers to items not available. Thus you guys should remove it. Otherwise, for a 20-year-old book it looks good.
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I should have gone for a newer edition, as it would have been more comprehensive concerning the internet. That, however, was my error. This book is excellent when it comes to the basics re Irish Ancestor research.

The book itself is in excellent shape, "new" condition as promised, and the delivery was speedy!
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This book is a great help for anyone trying to trace an Irish ancestor. It is very well organized, giving the reader both general information and information specific to localities. Many internet sites are listed. I would highly recommend this book to any Irish researcher.
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A bit much for the average person beginning to trace Irish Roots. I passed it on to my brother and his feelings mirrored mine. Perhaps as I get further along this will be of more benefit.
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