Friday, 6 May 2016

Two new books for Derry-Londonderry research

Derry specialist Brian Mitchell MAGI, has written two new books that will be of interest to genealogists with connections to Derry City and its county.

The People of Derry City, 1921: Extracted from the Derry Almanac and Directory.
Because the 1926 census for Northern Ireland has been destroyed, the first post-1911 census that survives for the city and county of Londonderry is that of 1937. Under existing legislation, this won't be released to the public until 2038, which leaves the annual editions of the Derry Almanac as the closest surviving census-type documents for Derry city in the period from 1912 to 1936.

Brian has transcribed the 1921 Almanac using five fields: surname of head of household, first name of head of household, street address, house number, and Almanac page number of the respective listing. The resulting book holds details of 8,288 heads of household in the city, creating a useful census substitute for Derry City during a period of political and social turmoil, just before Partition.

Published by Clearfield, the 172-page paperback is available via, price £15.94, or via for $22.95.

The second book is The Place Names of County Derry, which consists of two parts.

Part One delivers a list of 1,750 place names, in alphabetical order, as recorded in the 1901 census returns for the city and county of LondonDerry. It includes the names of all townlands, and street names for all towns. Against each place name (i.e., townland or town and street) is recorded the following information: District Electoral Division, Parish, Registrar District, Poor Law Union, and the name of the C17th Landowner.

Part Two provides a series of parish reports for the county. For each of its 46 civil parishes, the book details topographical features, population in 1831, the names of its principle towns, the top ten surnames in the mid-C19th, and information about the major record sources for that parish such as church registers (religious denomination and commencement dates); graveyards and their location in the mid-C19th; and census returns and census substitutes dating from 1663 to 1911.

Published by Clearfield, the 106-page paperback is on sale at for £13.16 and for $18.95.

Brian runs the Derry Genealogy Centre for Derry City and Strabane District Council and is author of several acclaimed books including A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland (an essential for family historians from beginner to advanced level), A Guide to Irish Parish Registers, and Derry-Londonderry: Gateway to a New World. The Story of Emigration from the Foyle by Sail and Steam.