By John Hamrock
Published by Flyleaf Press
The initial interesting fact to appear in this book is the population figures for the county as they changed over the last century and a half. The total for 1841 was 253,591, which slipped to 174,490 in the years following the famine. The latest data show that the figure is now down to 54,000 and growing. Immediately this trend points to a massive outflow of people, which added to the Diaspora, which is no doubt the Genesis of interest in Roscommon heritage.
This is where this publication becomes important. It is one of many as there is a number of “Tracing your ancestors” books available covering many counties. This is the first for the county of Roscommon. It does the job well by providing lists of sources and facsimiles of the many documents, which a researcher will encounter when the search begins. Reproductions from such as ” Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary”, A numbered civil parish map of the county, a copy of a death cert.from the GRO, a page from the “Book of Surveys 1654 – 1656”, a census of Elphin 1749, a householders sheet from the 1901 Census of Ireland and the “Griffith’s Valuation for the Civil Parish of Kiltoom”. All of which make for an easier understanding of what to look out for those beginning research.
This is a well thought out publication and leaves no avenue of research uncovered in trying to steer the researcher in the most profitable direction.
There are lots of lists, addresses and a lengthy list of surnames common to the county.
If you are new to research in Roscommon this is a publication you should have.
Reviewed by Eddie Brennan,
Vice Chairman and Hon. Librarian IFHS