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

    Readers:  Please note the new price cut in the last paragraph of this review.

     As family historians are well aware, a revolution in access to genealogical records due to the World Wide Web has taken place over the past decade. Irish resources are no exception. In fact, Ireland has become one of the world leaders in this online endeavor.

     Previously, genealogical research in the Emerald Isle depended on trying to work with records that were more fragmented, localized, and difficult to access than most countries. The fifth edition of TRACING YOUR IRISH ANCESTORS by John Grenham, however, reflects the major changes that have taken place in Irish research, especially since 2011. As a result, this newly updated and expanded edition makes online research the focal point of all Irish record sources, thereby helping family historians to increase their utilization of available resources on the internet.

     Combining the best features of a textbook and a reference work, Grenham's volume describes the methodology of the genealogical research process and provides a gold mine of data about a diversity of source materials, where to find them, and how to use them. He explains difficulties that certain types of records may present and suggests strategies to help researchers to overcome them. A large portion of the book consists of an exhaustive county-by-county inventory of various genealogical resources (both print and online) and a year-by-year roster of census returns and census substitutes. Tables listing copies (transcript, microfilmed, and online) of Roman Catholic parish records of baptisms, marriages, and burials compose another large section. Maps showing the names of the parishes in the nineteenth century accompany the tables. The author also includes some information about the religious records maintained for members of the Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Methodist, Quaker, and Jewish faiths.

     Because so many of the Irish scattered all over the world after they left the Emerald Isle, Grenham’s introduction briefly summarizes general American, Canadaian, Australian, and British resources that can be useful in locating an immigrant’s place of origin. In one chapter, the author goes into further detail by highlighting publications about the ethnic group in Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, the United States, Canada, and various European and South American countries.

     Grenham’s revisions demonstrate the huge transformations that have occurred in the accessibility of resources necessary to trace Irish lineages. Often called the best manual about family research in the Emerald Isle, the new fifth edition of TRACING YOUR IRISH ANCESTORS is indeed an indispensable guide and should be considered an essential addition to genealogical library holdings.

     The 650-page paperback has a preface, an introduction, acknowledgements, numerous illustrations and maps, a list of abbreviations used in the work, and an expanded index. Instead of the original retail price of $49.95, the cost is now reduced to $37.50. A special sale price of $32.50 is available at the website.  (A hardback edition for $38.50 is scheduled for release sometime in August, but the paperback version may or may not still be available after that date.) To the price of the book, 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; FedEX Ground Service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book). The volume (item order #2387) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 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

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