Kinsearching May 27, 2012




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

     If you are seeking material about progenitors hailing from the Emerald Isle, you will find much valuable information in the new fourth edition of TRACING YOUR IRISH ANCESTORS: THE COMPLETE GUIDE by John Grenham. First published twenty years ago, the updated and expanded publication reflects the major changes that have taken place in Irish research, especially the increasing utilization and availability of 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.

     Because so many Irish immigrated and scattered all over the world, Grenhamís introduction briefly summarizes general American, Australian, and British resources that can be helpful in locating the Irish place of origin. In one chapter, the author goes into further detail by highlighting publications about the ethnic group in Australasia, India, South Africa, and various European, North American, and South American countries.

     Grenhamís revisions reflect the continual progress being made in the accessibility of resources necessary in tracing Irish lineage. Often called the best manual about family research in the Emerald Isle, the fourth edition of TRACING YOUR IRISH ANCESTORS: THE COMPLETE GUIDE is an essential addition to genealogical library holdings.

     The 579-page paperback has a new preface, an introduction, numerous maps, a list of abbreviations used in the work, a list of illustrations, and an index. To the book's price of $37.95, 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 #2386) 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

     On 30 June 2012, the North Carolina Genealogical Society (NCGS) and the Olivia Raney Local & Family History Library are co-sponsoring the seventh annual Speakers Forum at the Wake County Commons Building in Raleigh, North Carolina. Featured presenters will be Jordan Jones, Laura Edwards, Monica Hopkins, Rachel Hiatt, Cynthia Doxey Green, Rebecca Hyman, and Elizabeth Hayden. Topics to be discussed will be cloud computing and genealogical collaboration, lineage societies, internet sources for free books and newspapers, fun with FamilySearch, family stories versus recorded history, advanced internet searches, and the 1940 census. Costs for the forum are $35 for NCGS members and $45 for non-members. For more information, go to the website at or write to NCGS Speakers Forum, P. O. Box 30815, Raleigh, NC 27622-0815.

Kinsearching Home Page