Kinsearching August 7, 2011




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Experienced genealogists associate the name David Dobson with publications about tracing Scottish ancestors. However, he is also making a name for himself with books pertaining to Irish forebears. His latest work in this area is THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND, 1600-1699: PART THREE.

     Family researchers who wish to trace family pedigrees in the "Emerald Isle" in the seventeenth century or earlier face a challenging task. Since church records (for instance, registers of baptism, marriage, and burial) contain details about individuals from all levels of society, they are an essential source for locating progenitors in the British Isles. In Ireland, however, the majority of church records do not go back beyond the late seventeenth or eighteenth century. The few that extend back that far are usually incomplete. In fact, the Society of Friends (often called Quakers) is the only religious group to have maintained excellent records, which start in the mid-seventeenth century.

     To help overcome the lack of religious materials, Dobson's Irish series pulls together obscure data from alternative resources not accessible to ordinary researchers, especially those in America. His primary source is the multi-volume set CALENDAR OF STATE PAPERS RELATING TO IRELAND, a series published in London between 1860 and 1910. Containing a wealth of genealogical information for the period between 1509 and 1670, the volumes include letters and petitions from English officers, noblemen, native Irish chieftains, and mayors and corporations of towns in Ireland presented to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

     Another important source Dobson consulted is the denizations that resulted from THE ACT FOR ENCOURAGING PROTESTANT STRANGERS AND OTHERS TO INHABIT AND PLANT IN THE KINGDOM OF IRELAND. Because the denizations gave foreigners admittance to reside and gain the rights of citizenship, they furnish data about the origins and occupations of the new settlers.

     Since Dobson's series, Scots-Irish Links, 1575 – 1725, concerns people of Scottish descent in Ireland, he does not generally include information about them in this volume. Instead, the publication predominantly pertains to individuals of native Irish or English lineage as well as a handful who were of French and Dutch origin.

     The short, documented sketches of approximately 1,600 inhabitants of Ireland in the seventeenth century differ in length, due to the amount of material available on individuals. Besides a person’s name, an entry usually provides a date and a place. Numerous sketches contain miscellaneous supplemental data, such as family relationships, occupation, or a crime committed. Dated 12 December 1625, the entry for Henry DILLON, for instance, asserts that he was the "son and heir of Henry Dillon late of Kentstown, County Meath....” The entry for John DILLON states that he was “pardoned for stealing a horse at Mullingar, 29 July 1625.” In addition to DILLON, common surnames are BUTLER, EUSTACE, FITZGERALD, FITZPATRICK, MCNAMARA, MAGENNIS, MCMAHON, NUGENT, O’BRIEN (and variant spellings), O’DALY, O’KELLY, O’MULLOY, PLUNKETT, POWER, PURCELL, ROCHE, WALSH, and WELCH/WELSH.

      Since it supplies facts about ancestors of various lineal descents, Dobson’s latest series is a noteworthy addition to the literature pertaining to family research in the Emerald Isle. Genealogical libraries will want to keep their set complete by adding THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND, 1600-1699: PART THREE to their holdings.

     The 100-page paperback has a introduction, a map of Ireland during the reign of King James I, and a list of references and their abbreviations Dobson used in his source citations. To the book's price of $18.50, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #9707) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website at

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