Tracing Derry-Londonderry Roots


Author: Mitchell, Brian
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 66 pp.
ISBN: 9780806356952


Brian Mitchell, the best-selling author of A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland, has written a book to enable anyone–local people and visitors alike–to research their family history in the city and county of Londonderry (also known as Derry). In the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, the city of Derry was a major port of embarkation for Irish emigrants, and County Derry, in northernmost Ulster, was populated by persons of Gaelic Irish, Gaelic Scottish, Lowland Scottish, and English origins–any number of whom would take part in the exodus to the Americas, Great Britain, and Australasia. Tracing Derry-Londonderry Roots recounts Derry’s importance in Irish emigration and explains how it impacts genealogical research for the area.

The book is divided into three main parts. The introductory chapters discuss the fundamentals of genealogical research, such as reviewing family papers and gathering family reminiscences, before emphasizing the importance of place or locality in all of Irish research. In Derry’s case, this means ascertaining the name of the townland(s) your forebears came from in order to utilize the treasure trove of Irish records that can shed light on the people who lived there. The meat of the book consists of a review of the main record sources for Derry genealogy, including civil registers of births, marriages, and deaths; church registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials; gravestone inscriptions; wills; 1901 and 1911 census returns; mid-19th-century Griffith’s Valuation; early 19th-century Tithe Applotment Books; the 1831 census; and pre-1800 census substitutes. Brian Mitchell explains where you can find these sources (including Internet sources) before launching into a discussion of the main Irish record repositories for Derry ancestry research. He concludes with a detailed treatment of all the local record offices—including the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies at Ulster American Folk Park, the Foyle Family History Centre, and the Derry City Council: Archive and Genealogy Service—and with a review of the national repositories that hold Derry sources, such as the General Register Office Northern Ireland, Belfast; the National Archives of Ireland, Dublin; and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast.

Thoroughly up-to-date with respect to online and offline research, this invaluable resource written by one of Ireland’s leading genealogists will appeal to Derry-Londonderry researchers from all corners of the globe.

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