Irish Family History Society Journal

Volume 22, 2006

Richard Flatman (editor); published by Irish Family History Society, PO Box 36, Naas, County Kildare, Ireland; e-mail: info@ifhs.ie; 2006; 128 pages.

The annual IFHS parson’s egg dropped in the letter box at the latter end of 2006. Like the clergyman in the adage, this reviewer will concentrate on the good parts.

The cover illustration is of a handsome young man who turns out to be Norman Robinson, a WWII pilot, killed at the age of 26 when his aircraft crashed shortly after taking off on a bombing raid to Germany. The author of the piece, James Robinson, makes a very interesting story of the tragedy.

He has some fascinating material to help him, including Norman Robinson’s diaries. He relates how Norman attended Clongowes Wood College — James Joyce’s alma mater — and later found it difficult to get employment in Ireland. He failed to get into the Irish army due to a thumb injury. He then went to England and joined the RAF.

Another off-beat piece deals with the relocating of a Toronto cemetery in which many nineteenth century Irish immigrants were buried. The photographs accompanying the article are fascinating. They are of items discovered in the process of disinterment. The rosary beads, clay pipes, coffin ornaments and crucifixes were all reburied with their former owners.

A twelve page index to Irish Family History Society journals from 1985 to 2006 is included. However, though the compiler must have spent a considerable amount of time producing it, it seems to be of little value as a finding aid. The articles are indexed ‘by country or by subject’. In the case of Ireland and England, the index has been further sub-divided under various subject headings. The items in each of the subdivisions are not alphabetised.

Again on the negative side, there are 17 pages of 1901 and 1911 census return extracts which seem quite random.

Original review by Tony McCarthy appeared in Irish Roots Magazine, 2007 Issue No. 61 First Quarter, and is reproduced here by kind permission.