First published 2003
Paperback and eBook 160 pages. Cost €13
By Margaret Franklin
Published by Flyleaf Press Dublin (www.flyleaf.ie)
Ten years after its first publication this book has been updated and is testimony to Limerick’s unique history. The second edition is easier to read as the text is larger, paragraphs are organized better and there is extensive use of outlining headings in bold. Most of the chapters remain the same but have been re-organised with a new chapter on Miscellaneous Sources. It includes numerous illustrations and an Index.
County Limerick is situated in the province of Munster close to the west coast of Ireland and is noted for its fifteenth century Tower Houses and its nineteenth century “Big Houses”. It is divided into 14 Baronies, 8 Poor Law Unions, 131 civil parishes and 1630 Townlands. The city has St John’s Castle (1212), St Mary’s Cathedral (1168) and the Hunt Museum formerly the Custom House. It has been designated National City of Culture for 2014.
In the foreword the editor tells us that “Limerick is unique in that it has many wonderful institutions that have led the field in uploading Internet records. Limerick City Library, Museum and Archive services have all contributed with a wealth of free online resources”. Chapter 8 on Land records has a very useful list of the major collections of Limerick Estate Papers. Most common surnames are: Ryan, O’Brien, Fitzgerald, Sullivan, Hayes, McNamara and Walsh among others. Unfortunately the fine image of The Seal of Limerick City in the first edition was not re-produced in the second edition.
The book opens with a Chinese Proverb: “To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.” People are not going to forget their Limerick ancestor’s history with this essential guide.
Margaret N Loftus B A, Certificate in Genealogy UCD. .