Finding Your Irish Ancestors: Unique Aspects of Irish Genealogy


Author: Mitchell, Brian
Publication Date: 2001
Reprint Date: 2008
Pages: vi 84 pp.
ISBN: 9780806351001


Mr. Mitchell is the author of the Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy (see Item 9240), page for page perhaps the best book on genealogical research in Ireland ever written. His new book, Finding Your Irish Ancestors, is intended as a companion volume to the venerable Pocket Guide. Making use of the case study technique employed in the Pocket Guide, this book expounds on topics that are not found in his earlier book and expands on others that are. For example, Irish surnames and place names represent a treasure trove of historical information and contain genealogical clues that are frequently overlooked by researchers. Accordingly, Finding Your Irish Ancestors includes two chapters on the importance of surnames and the importance of place names in family history. The place name chapter, for instance, explains the etymological origins of a number of Irish townlands and the importance in Irish research of the all-important finding aid the General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, Parishes and Baronies of Ireland. Another neglected topic is the role of local history in Irish genealogy. In the final chapter of his new book, Mitchell uses the case study method to illustrate how delving into published town histories and unpublished local manuscript collections can unearth buried evidence on Irish ancestors. Although a list of government-supported Genealogy Centres in Ireland can be found in the Pocket Guide, Mitchell now shows the reader, in some detail, how best to use these important resources. And he ought to know, inasmuch as he has administered the Derry Genealogy Centre for more than a decade. The chapter pertaining to emigration and Irish passenger lists includes a brief history of 19th-century Irish emigration, while another one focuses on how to make the best use of church registers–perhaps the single most important source in Irish genealogy. Drawing on his first-hand experience as a genealogist and as a geographer, Brian Mitchell delivers a new volume that is full of first-hand explanations and expertly drawn maps of Ireland and Northern Ireland. If you own a copy of the Pocket Guide, you are sure to want Brian Mitchell’s latest collection of Irish genealogy essays, Finding Your Irish Ancestors.

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