John Grenham’s Tracing Your Irish Ancestors” 3rd edition

Right away the reader will notice the change in cover style and the increase in bulk of this latest edition. Grenham has been a major player in the field of family history research since the publication of the first edition in 1992. This time he has excelled himself and has managed to broaden still further the base of research by including extra features giving new angles and insight to the previously published broad range of data. He has broadened the “Introduction” section by adding in two new chapter headings, “British sources for identifying Irish place of origin” and “The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints”. Under the heading of Emigration the author has extended the range greatly and where there was seven pages devoted to this in the first edition, it has been increased to a total of 23 pates. This expansion is achieved by a greater coverage of locations and therefore longer lists of sources and of publications pertaining to the Irish abroad.

The coverage given to the County Source List has doubled from vol. 1. The information given has been extended greatly under each heading with all published works on any given county gathered together in one list. I particularly liked the changed layout of the chapter on Roman Catholic Parish Registers. The data is laid out alphabetically by parish showing the years of available data under Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, with the appropriate location and reference numbers. I particularly liked the new style maps of each county showing the parish divisions. Very clear and concise.

One small criticism. A colleague of mine who specialises in Co. Sligo genealogy, noted the omission of three particular local publications from Gresham’s listing. Are there others?

All considered, this is a much improved publication and one I would buy for my own use. When I got my copy of the first edition, I thought it was the “bees knees” of family history references books. This edition surpassed it. It is an all you ever wanted to know publication.

The book is published by Gill & Macmillan. The cost is Euro 22.99.

Reviewed by Eddie Brennan, Hon. librarian IFHS