Pocket Guide is a bit of misnomer, for in fact this 7″ x 10″ publication is one of the most complete and informative books on genealogical research in Ireland ever written. When Brian Mitchell wrote the original Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy in 1991, with revisions in 2002 and 2008, access to Irish record sources was through examination of original and microfilm copies of historical sources in record offices. Genealogists now, however, have ready access online to most of Irish record sources. Therefore, Brian Mitchell has completely revised his guide to meet the needs of today’s researchers and direct them to the most current websites and resources.
Mitchell’s original premise remains the same: that the examination of seven major records will throw quite detailed light on most peoples’ Irish ancestry. By skillfully blending Irish history, record sources, case studies, maps, charts, and his own mastery of the subject, Mitchell has put together a masterful handbook to Irish genealogical research.
Following introductory chapters on the background of Irish genealogy and how to get started in your research, Mitchell describes the nature and uses of all significant record sources in Ireland, including but not limited to civil and parish registers, gravestone inscriptions, wills, census returns and census substitutes, the Griffith’s Valuation, tithe books, newspapers, hearth money rolls, the registry of deeds, estate records, and ordnance survey memoirs. Also included are the addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and websites for the major record repositories, as well as a section discussing DNA and genetic genealogy as applicable to Irish genealogy research. Finally, Mitchell offers a step-by-step guide to tracing your Irish ancestors, first itemizing the three steps researchers should take first, and then including case studies to illustrate how to apply these steps.
Enriched by the author’s experience as a professional geographer and leading Irish genealogical researcher, the New Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy is an invaluable tool for all those seeking Irish ancestors.