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Monday, 1 February 2016

John Grenham to decamp from The Irish Times

Renowned genealogist John Grenham, whose bestseller Tracing your Irish Ancestors is in its 4th edition, announced over the weekend that his weekly 'Irish Roots' column in The Irish Times (IT) newspaper is to cease after next week's issue. It wasn't his decision.

You can read his announcement on his website.

A stoical John told Irish Genealogy News: "The end of the column came as a bit of a shock, but like all newspapers, The Irish Times is struggling to stay solvent and I understand why they did it. Seven years of writing it have left me with a persistent itch to tell the world what I think, though, so I'll continue scratching away on the blog at johngrenham.com."

A second casualty of the IT's move will be John's IrishAncestors database, which has been hosted on the newspaper's site for several years. It holds hugely useful techie resources for tracing surname distribution across the 19th century, matching pairs of surnames to location, sifting RC parishes from civil parishes, finding neighbouring townlands and parishes and so on. There's also a unique wizard that points beginners towards appropriate Irish records, based on the researcher's starting-gate knowledge of their ancestor's life.

I've blogged and written about many of the resources in the database over the years, and I know many researchers use them on a regular basis, so I'm pleased to report that the site won't be disappearing permanently.

John says the amicable divorce will see IrishAncestors remain in its existing space as part of the IT until April-ish. It will then re-emerge in some form, probably on John's existing website, immediately after.