Kinsearching June 8, 2008




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

     Did any of your ancestors come from the Emerald Isle? Have you thought about tracing them? Do you wonder what, if any, genealogical resources are available for that purpose? Answers to the last question can be found in Brian Mitchell's BASIC GUIDE TO IRISH RECORDS FOR FAMILY HISTORY.

     As its title implies, Mitchell's latest book furnishes a concise but informative, up-to-date overview of the key resources used in researching people from Ireland. According to the author, basic Irish genealogical resources fall into eight main categories, each of which he briefly reviews. He explains the types of information they contain, their limitations, location, and accessibility on the internet.

     The volume also emphasizes the importance of geography in Irish family research. In his introduction Mitchell stresses that genealogists need to know their ancestors' place of origin because Irish records are organized by administrative divisions; Irish counties, for example, are subdivided into parishes, which are then divided into townlands. He lists the various units and defines their genealogical function.

     Next, the author provides details (address, phone number, and website, for instance) for contacting Ireland's five major genealogical record offices and mentions their principal holdings. He also supplies contact information for Ireland's network of county-based family history centres. His list of other helpful websites pertains to general ones, such as Cyndi's List.

     Written to be an overview of genealogical resources in Ireland, Mitchell's volume is aimed at researchers who already have some knowledge of genealogical research techniques; individuals who are just starting to trace their lineage will need to consult a manual on genealogical fundamentals before they can conduct a successful search. Experienced genealogists who wish to delve further into available materials will value the useful survey in BASIC GUIDE TO IRISH RECORDS FOR FAMILY HISTORY.

     The 52-page paperback has an attractive front cover, an introduction, interesting illustrations including facsimiles of documents, maps, and a short annotated bibliography. To the book's price of $14.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.00 for one book or the first volume of a set and $2.50 for each additional copy or each additional volume of a set; for UPS, the cost is $7.00 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. Any orders totaling $10.00 or less will be charged $6.00 for postage and handling. The volume (item order #9684) may be purchased by check, 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

     The marriage notice below comes from the newspaper, New York Transcript, published in the city of New York, on Thursday, 24 March 1836 (Vol. IV, no. 71), p. 3, c. 1. (Surnames are capitalized for emphasis.)

     "At Oahu, Sandwich Islands, at the residence of P. A. BRINSMADE, Esq., by the Rev. John DIELL, Capt. Wm. Coffin LITTLE, of brig Griffin (formerly of Boston) to Miss Charlotte Augusta WOOD, of Augusta, Me."

     (Editor's note: When the great explorer, Captain James Cook, landed in the Hawaiian Islands in 1778, he named them the Sandwich Islands in honor of the first lord of the British Admiralty--the Earl of Sandwich.)

     The North Carolina Genealogical Society and the Olde Mecklenburg Genealogical Society will co-sponsor a summer workshop at the Methodist Home in Charlotte, NC, on July 26, 2008. Guest speaker will be David R. Rencher, who will discuss tracing Scots-Irish ancestors. For more information, visit the website at

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