Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide
by John Grenham
(Dublin, Gill and Macmillian, 1992), 281 pages
Reviewed by Doris V. Cummins
This book is now considered the most comprehensive and authoritative guide for those who wish to trace their ancestors in Ireland.
The book is structured to reflect differing circumstances in individual families. A series of maps drawn by the author's father, Sean Grenham, cover all the Catholic parishes and the dates records begin. One wishes they were larger! Nevertheless, they are very useful. Most readers will need to work through all the basic major sources in Part One such as civil, census and church records as well as land records before deciding whether the narrower record sources explored in Part Two apply to them.
Part Two analyzes wills, services of the Genealogical Office, emigration lists, and available records such as the registry of deeds, newspaper sources and directories.
Part Three is a reference guide which allows access to a range of research materials including county source lists, printed family histories, occupations and Church of Ireland records.
While the book contains much of the same basic record information found in Irish Records: Sources for Family and Local History by James G. Ryan first published in 1988, Grenham's book seems to be written in a more readable style and presents information with more clarity, particularly the use of land records.