Thursday 4 May 2017

Just published: my new Irish Genealogy Guide book

As some of you will be aware, I spent most of the second half of 2016 writing a full-blown, 240-page print-copy guide to Irish family history research. Today I received my advance copy, so it's time to spread the word....

Now available to pre-order
THE FAMILY TREE Irish Genealogy GuideHow to Trace Your Ancestors in Ireland is a comprehensive how-to guide and research companion. It's full of step-by-step strategies for getting a family history project underway, for gaining an understanding of genealogy basics and for applying advanced research techniques. There are tips to help you avoid pitfalls, to guide you to the most useful online and offline resource materials, and to ensure you know where to find the the most up to date record releases, the best books and the handiest tools and widgets.

You'll also find insights into the limitations of specific search engines, receive sound advice for tackling certain record types, and discover page after page of contextual detail about the main record collections, their quirks and potential treasures. Along the way, there are numerous checklists and genealogy forms available for download.

Published by Cincinatti-based Family Tree Books, whose sister company produces the USA's top-selling genealogy publication, Family Tree Magazine, the book is aimed primarily at Irish-Americans. It includes chapters on Ireland's history, geography and land divisions, Irish names, and the key waves of Irish immigration to America. Of course, the toughest part of the research for many Americans of Irish descent is making the connection across the Atlantic to a specific place of origin in Ireland, so one of the book's most in-depth chapters sets out the best strategies and US record sources for identifying that most vital ingredient.

The Irish Genealogy Guide is not designed for the exclusive benefit of Irish-Americans, however. It's my sincere hope that its strategic approach to pinpointing a townland of origin can be applied by any Irish family historian, no matter where he or she lives. Once a townland is successfully identified, the book goes on to show you how to use and understand Irish resources to learn more about your ancestors' lives: there are chapters on civil registration; census, lands and church records; wills and deeds; newspapers; military and occupational records. Appendices also feature guides to Irish archives, libraries and heritage centers; understanding Latin; and lists of the best Irish genealogy websites and publications to consult for further study.

The book is published in both paperback and ebook formats. It's now available from the publisher's online store – – and will be reaching bookshops in the USA and Amazon warehouses over the next few weeks (it can be pre-ordered with a price guarantee from and in the meantime).

Its ISBN is 978-1440348808.