The Third Edition of Brian Mitchell’s Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy is, page for page, perhaps the best book on genealogical research in Ireland ever written.
By skillfully blending case studies, maps, charts, and his own mastery of the subject, Mitchell has managed to convey the basics of Irish genealogical research in scarcely eighty pages. Following introductory chapters on the background of research on the American side, the author describes the nature and uses of all significant record sources in Ireland, including but not limited to civil and parish registers, gravestone inscriptions, wills, the Griffith’s Valuation, tithe books, the 1901 and 1911 censuses, newspapers, hearth money rolls, the registry of deeds, estate records, and ordnance survey memoirs. Another important chapter explains the differences between the various administrative divisions of Ireland, knowledge of which is critical in tracking down all available records on Irish ancestors. The Third Edition includes a new chapter on “Irish Genealogy and the Internet,” which discusses all the principal web sites for conducting Irish research online. Mitchell has also totally overhauled and updated the book’s two concluding chapters, which cover Ireland’s major genealogical record offices and heritage centers. The critical chapters furnish the addresses and phone numbers, hours of operation, contact persons, and major record holdings and databases of the organizations that are central to Irish family history. Enriched by the author’s experience as a professional geographer, genealogical researcher, and director of an Irish heritage center, the Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy is an outstanding value!