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

     Whether people trace their family tree using resources online or visiting libraries, they need to know what kinds of materials are available for research. Once they find the sources they are looking for, they must understand their meaning in order to utilize them properly. For these reasons, some guides still contain valuable information even though they were published years ago. One such manual, first published in 1967 and recently reprinted, is GUIDE TO IRISH QUAKER RECORDS, 1654-1860 by Olive C. Goodbody, with a contribution on Northern Ireland records by B. G. Hutton.

     In her introduction, Goodbody furnishes the history of the Quakers (also known as the Religious Society of Friends) and explains the meaning of terms like “meetings” as well as the assortment of records maintained by the denomination. Among the various types of records kept by the Quakers are sufferings (records of penalties, such as fines or excommunication, for holding beliefs contrary to the rest of the congregation) and certificates of removal (papers people received when they transferred to another “meeting” in a different part of Ireland or elsewhere, such as America.)

     Concentrating on supplying an inventory and synopsis of Quaker records available in Ireland, the larger part of the book describes the holdings of a number of private collections of Quaker records housed at the Historical Library in Dublin and in the Quaker Archives. Often divulging detailed information on specific families and individuals, the annotated records fall into several categories, including family papers (which often encompass letters written by friends, relatives, and business associates), drafts of manuscripts, diaries, school records, maps and plans, portfolios, and abstracts of wills, deeds, and miscellaneous documents.

     The FENNELL collection, for instance, includes thirteen letters, written during the years 1777-1789, from William RAYNOR to his cousin, Deborah (SHACKLETON) CHANDLEE. Goodbody’s annotations present interesting facts about certain individuals. Her additional notes, for example, show that William Raynor was the orphaned nephew of Richard Shackleton and son of Richard’s sister, Elizabeth, who had clandestinely married Maurice Rayner (sic), an usher in Shackleton’s school. Valuable gems like these details can be found in many of the entries.

     Making up the smaller part of the volume, Hutton’s contributes data pertaining to the Ulster Province Meeting and Quaker records in the Public Record Office (PRO) of Northern Ireland. Like Goodbody, he annotates the private collections, which often contain genealogical details.

     By now, many of the sources mentioned in the book may be online. But in whatever form the materials are used, genealogists must know they are available and understand their meaning. Goodbody and Hutton’s GUIDE TO IRISH QUAKER RECORDS, 1654-1860 still remains relevant.

     The 237-page paperback has an introduction, a list of surnames occurring in Irish Quaker registers, two appendices, and a full-name and place index. To the book's price of $27.50, 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 UPS, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #9352) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website ).

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