Irish Family History Society

Connecting People With Their Irish Roots

How to trace your Irish ancestors – An essential guide to recording and documenting the family histories of Ireland's people

By Ian Maxwell, Published by How To Books, Oxford, England.
Price Stg.£ 9.99
ISBN 978 1 84528 234 9
This production follows the usual genealogical style of layout which has been used effectively in the past. The book contains more than eighteen sources of information making it simpler to organise your search and easier to carry it out.
There are only so many avenues to follow in Irish genealogy and Maxwell has included them all. His chapter headings cover the usual subjects such as: Administrative divisions, Civil registration, Census returns and Old Age Pension claims, Wills and Testamentary records, Election records, school records, Migration and Emigration, landed estates, Taxation and Valuation, Church, Law and Order, and researching on-line. His research into all aspects of Irish genealogy has been very thorough and he gets into the minutiae of all of his chapter subjects. He gives detailed explanations of the workings of such repositories as the General Register Offices of Dublin and Belfast, the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast, and the National Archives of Ireland.
In his preamble to each chapter the author gives a resume of the history of the particular resource such as Poor Law Union workhouses, Griffith’s Valuation survey and Law and Order structures. What is unusual in this book is Maxwell’s approach to Emigration and Immigration. He shows how to follow the path of ancestors who left for USA, Canada, Australia and Gt. Britain giving useful details of existing sources in those countries plus lists and indexes available here. I am not sure that this has been done before.
This book, though not up there with the likes of John Grenham’s “Tracing your Irish ancestors” has merit and at Stg. £ 9.99 will be worth investing in for a complete beginner.
The author, Ian Maxwell is a former Records Officer with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and now writes for Family History Monthly and Ancestor magazines.

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