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P.O. Box 36, Naas, Co.Kildare, Ireland

Book, CD and Web Site Reviews

Updated 14 March 2009

World War I Irish Soldiers Their Final Testament - An index to the Wills of Irish Soldiers who died 1914-1918
Compiled and edited by Kiara Gregory (#2552)
CD-ROM.  Published by Eneclann.   www.eneclann.ie  ISBN: 978-1-905118-07-4
Price: €29.90 including VAT

Over 200,000 Irish men served in the British armed forces during WWI.  Soldiers sent to the front were encouraged to write their last will and testament and if they did not survive these wills were registered.  9,000 wills of Irishmen are deposited at the National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin.  This CD is a first time publication of an index to these wills.

The CD is very user friendly and simple to navigate with the search window asking only to enter Christian name and surname or surname only to bring up a listing of the sought after name.  The window also has a box for "free text "which gets you into listing.  The listing page has a number of column headings such as: Surname, Forename, War-Office No., Record No., Regimental No., and Rank.  When I clicked on the row containing my own ancestor's details the window which opened up displayed his place of death which I was previously unaware of.  It also had a heading entitled "Property and effects received" which displayed his next of kin, his mother, and her address.  All very helpful information to the researcher as it should indicate the soldier's place of residence on enlistment.  The date of the will is also shown.

This CD is a useful tool if your soldier ancestor happens to be among the 9,000 recorded though it maybe somewhat of a lottery at €29.90 per copy.

Reviewed by Eddie Brennan,

13 January 2009

“ Three cheers for the Derrys “
A history of the 10th.Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in the 1914 – 1918 war, based on the recollections of the final veterans.
By  Gardiner S.Mitchell ,   Published by YES Publications  @  £16.90
First published 1991        2nd. Publication 2008

This book  “does exactly as it says on the tin”.  It contains the war experiences of a small number of combatants from Ulster, mainly the soldiers of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

These were a small tightly knit group of young men from Co.Derry who grew up, went to school and played on the street together.  Throughout the war these survivors watched their companions and comrades being slaughtered by machine gun bullets or blown apart by high explosives on the wasted landscape of northern France.

These survivors are quoted profusely by the author in this account and they speak openly and frankly of their unforgettable experiences in and out of the trenches.
Originally they were constituted as the Co.Derry UVF but on the outbreak of war they became the “Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers”.

The story is related by quoting these old soldiers of the Derrys who survived into old age, in particular Jim Donaghy, Leslie Bell and James Montieth.  In their own words these old soldiers convey the unspeakable horrors of trench warfare and the traumatising effects of being under constant bombardment.  Occasionally there were lighter moments with hours back in rest areas or even the relief of a visit to a causality station.

Whereby the book gives a graphic insight into the harsh realities of WW1 it is not of great benefit to family historians with the exception of the endpapers index list.

There is - under the headings of Army Number, Surname, Forename,Rank, Awards, Info and Additional. (“Info” meaning, date of demise and”additional” meaning  killed in  action or died of wounds.) - apprx. 900 names including officers and other ranks.

As the soldiers are in the main from Co.Derry and Ulster men it follows that researchers from that area will find the book useful.  The book contains many excellent photos of events both during the training period and also during the course of the war when soldiers of both sides are featured.  There are photos of each of the constituent companies gathered in for the official pictures which are sharp and clear and will make it possible for descendants to identify soldiers.  In the case of officers their group pictures have full captions as is the case of the NCO’s.

An easy read  for those students of WW1 but not for those principally interested in family history.

Reviewed by Eddie Brennan,
Vice Chairman and Hon. Librarian IFHS

15 October 2008

How to trace your Irish ancestors - An essential guide to recording and documenting the family histories of Ireland's people
By Ian Maxwell, Published by How To Books, Oxford, England. www.howtobooks.co.uk
Price Stg.£ 9.99
ISBN 978 1 84528 234 9

This production follows the usual genealogical style of layout which has been used effectively in the past.  The book contains more than eighteen sources of information making it simpler to organise your search and easier to carry it out.

There are only so many avenues to follow in Irish genealogy and Maxwell has included them all.  His chapter headings cover the usual subjects such as: Administrative divisions, Civil registration, Census returns and Old Age Pension claims, Wills and Testamentary records, Election records, school records, Migration and Emigration, landed estates, Taxation and Valuation, Church, Law and Order, and researching on-line.  His research into all aspects of Irish genealogy has been very thorough and he gets into the minutiae of all of his chapter subjects.  He gives detailed explanations of the workings of such repositories as the General Register Offices of Dublin and Belfast, the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast, and the National Archives of Ireland.

In his preamble to each chapter the author gives a resume of the history of the particular resource such as Poor Law Union workhouses, Griffiths Valuation survey and Law and Order structures. What is unusual in this book is Maxwell's approach to Emigration and Immigration.  He shows how to follow the path of ancestors who left for USA, Canada, Australia and Gt. Britain giving useful details of existing sources in those countries plus lists and indexes available here.  I am not sure that this has been done before.

This book, though not up there with the likes of John Grenham's "Tracing your Irish ancestors" has merit and at Stg. £ 9.99 will be worth investing in for a complete beginner.

The author, Ian Maxwell is a former Records Officer with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and now writes for Family History Monthly and Ancestor magazines.

22 June 2008

Irish Roots
Published by Irish Roots Media Ltd.,
Blackrock, Blessington, Co. Wicklow.

The Society recently received the second edition of this publication produced by Irish Roots Media Ltd. under the editorship of Maureen Phibbs and it displays an obvious effort to maintain the standard set by previous editor Tony McCarthy. There is a good mix of family history articles, letters, reviews and photographs although I did think that the double page photo spread of Castlefreake Castle in West Cork is more space filling than informative.  Under the heading of "Genealogy Guide to getting started in 2008" Paul Gorry provides a well detailed introduction to family history research in Ireland in a two page article. The editor generously gave two pages to the genealogical societies under the heading "Society Notes".  All of the leading groups have submitted an updated account of their activities.  A nice touch comes in an article by Mattie Lennon entitled "2008 is the year of the potato" which includes a vintage photo of a Mr. Pat. Phibbs Snr. walking behind a two horse plough in 1961.  Maureen's (editor) grandfather no doubt.  Now that is family history.  There is good use of colour throughout the magazine which makes the ad's more readable.

Irish Roots appears quarterly and sells at Euro 4.25

They can be contacted at: editor@irishrootsmagazine.com  and the website is: www.irishrootsmagazine.com

17 January 2008

" Historical notes on the ancient sept of Clancy/Glancy of Dartry"
Compiled by Maria Clancy
Published by Linden Publishing Company.

The geographical location of this sept is in the northeastern area of Co. Sligo stretching into parts of Co. Leitrim in the region of Lough Gill.
The Glancy/Clancy sept claim to be of Gaelic aristocratic origins and to have been around for some one thousand years. They can show a pedigree dating back to 1590 to a  Teige Óg MacClancy.

Under the many chapter headings there are twelve interesting titles, which cover a time scale from medieval history to some modern day members of the sept. One slight critisism here would be the quality of reproduction of some of these photos. They fail to add anything to the accompanying text.

Under the heading " County Sligo Miscellanies" there are a number of articles pertaining to various personalities of the families down through the ages with extracts from the Hearth Roll Tax to Tithe Applotment and on to a detailed account of a John J. Clancy who became the Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1914.

There are also a number of brief biographies of other prominent sept members such as, William Clancy a leading Fenian of his day, Rev. John J. Clancy, the bishop of Elphin and another John who was elected to the first Dail. Two others of note, who were obviously Indian civil servants, were Reginald J. Clancy finance minister to a Nizam in India circa 1911 and a Bertrand J. Clancy who was governor of the Punjab 1941 to 1946.

All in all a very interesting group of people and although limited in its appeal to genealogists it will be of great benefit to any who are researching this name and this area.

Published Ireland 2007 / ISBN: 978-1-905487-08-0   Paperback, 100 pages incl. b/w photos and maps

Available from:  Maria Clancy, 42, Evora Crescent, Howth, County Dublin, Ireland  or email: mariaclancy23@yahoo.ie
Price:  Euro 20, Stg.£15, U.S.$30, Aus$30, Can.$30 incl. p. & p.     Pay by cash or cheque.

"Tracing your Roscommon Ancestors"
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 "Griffiths Evaluation 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

3 April 200

Introduction to Family History
by Stuart A. Raymond
Published by The Federation of Family History Societies.

Family history has become much easier to research in the last few years.  Some of the most important sources are now available at the click of a mouse on the internet.  However, a basic understanding of these sources is still needed if you are to trace your family tree.

This 146 page A5 book has the detailed information to set you up ready to plunge into the fascinating world of research of family history.  Although it is written with British researchers in mind the basic principles apply to all.

The author breaks down the task by chapter from the first steps under headings such as "where to go, who to ask, and what to read".   He then leads on to "The major sources".  Under "Other Kingdoms and Dependencies"  he includes Ireland, on only two pages he manages to display lists of repositories, web-sites and  relevant reading material. Very basic.

The panels containing the above headings in each chapter are coloured in Yellow for web-sites, Green for addresses and blue for reading material. This makes for quick reference.

Facsimiles are used throughout also to illustrate various data originals such as: Census forms, Birth, Marriage, Death certificates, Directories and Newspapers.

If you are a regular reader of our review section I am preaching to the converted and you should be well past this stage.  However you may know someone about to embark on a journey of family discovery and if you do then maybe you should recommend this book to them.

The book retails at Stg.£8.95

The Second World War
by Phil Tomaselli
Published by The Federeation of Family History Societies.

The Second World War was long, complex and brutal.  People living between the years 1939 to 1945 played a part in this great event.

Researching ancestors who took part in the Second World War can be challenging because individual service records are not yet openly available.  There is much else that is and this book looks at the sources for tracing men and women who served in the armed forces and Merchant Marine.

The book is rather slim, a mere 48 pages, but in it the author provides a wealth of detail of each branch of the armed forces with information on the how and where to access available sources.  It appears that service details are available to veterans and their next of kin by post from the various locations such as the Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow.

There are some pitfalls in pursuing research that are worth noting, i.e. anomalies such as Tank Corps and armored regiments being listed under Cavalry.

All the relevant War Office Indexes are listed by section of service such as British Army in France 1939/1940 which are under  ref. WO 167 and Home Forces under ref. 166.  These can be researched at The National Archives at Kew.

For more helpful information the author has included a list of further reading material.

The book retails at Stg.£4.95

Nelson's navy 1793 - 1815
by Keith Gregson
Published by The Federation of Family history Societies

Britains naval power, known as "The wooden wall", kept the country free from invasion by the French for twenty years from 1793.  Each of these wooden ships was manned by hundreds of seamen.  The Royal Navy was the biggest employer of the period.  Think of the big set piece naval battles such as The Nile, St.Vincents and Trafalgar - all great victories for the wooden ships.  Yet for most of those years the navies main duty was the blockade of the French coast.

Life in Admiral Nelson's navy was rough and raw for the ordinary seamen and not a whole lot better for the officer class.

Thousands of Irishmen signed on during those rousing times and many had a watery grave.

At the time of Trafalgar the Royal Navy had a total manpower complement of 110,000 and at that same battle there were eighteen different nationalities on board HMS Victory. There is family history in there for sure.

The author tells us that much of the research material can be found in books, CDs and Internet sites.  There is a "Trafalgar Ancestors” database available at the National Archives at KEW, London.

The final chapter consists of a list of web-sites which cover more than just Trafalgar during the period mentioned in the title.  Under "Further Sources" we are given a full list of reading material covering all aspects of naval life aboard the ships of the line including naval ancestors and their life under sail.

The booklet consists of 32 pages in A5 and retails at Stg.£3.95

Reviewed by Eddie Brennan, Hon. librarian IFHS

15 March 2007

Irish Family History Society Journal
Volume 22, 2006

Richard Flatman (editor); published by Irish Family History Society, PO Box 36, Naas, County Kildare, Ireland; e-mail: ifhs@eircom.net; 2006; 128 pages.

The annual IFHS parson's egg dropped in the letter box at the latter end of 2006.  Like the clergyman in the adage, this reviewer will concentrate on the good parts.

The cover illustration is of a handsome young man who turns out to be Norman Robinson, a WWII pilot, killed at the age of 26 when his aircraft crashed shortly after taking off on a bombing raid to Germany.  The author of the piece, James Robinson, makes a very interesting story of the tragedy.

He has some fascinating material to help him, including Norman Robinson's diaries. He relates how Norman attended Clongowes Wood College — James Joyce's alma mater — and later found it difficult to get employment in Ireland. He failed to get into the Irish army due to a thumb injury. He then went to England and joined the RAF.

Another off-beat piece deals with the relocating of a Toronto cemetery in which many nineteenth century Irish immigrants were buried. The photographs accompanying the article are fascinating. They are of items discovered in the process of disinterment. The rosary beads, clay pipes, coffin ornaments and crucifixes were all reburied with their former owners.

A twelve page index to Irish Family History Society journals from 1985 to 2006 is included. However, though the compiler must have spent a considerable amount of time producing it, it seems to be of little value as a finding aid. The articles are indexed 'by country or by subject'. In the case of Ireland and England, the index has been further sub-divided under various subject headings. The items in each of the subdivisions are not alphabetised.

Again on the negative side, there are 17 pages of 1901 and 1911 census return extracts which seem quite random.

Original review by Tony McCarthy appeared in Irish Roots Magazine, 2007 Issue No. 61 First Quarter, and is reproduced here by kind permission.

5 March 2007

Potterton people and places, three centuries of an Irish family.

By Homan Potterton
Published  2006 by  Choice publishing
Mayoralty Street, Drogheda, Co.Louth.

Selling at Eur.15 and available also from:  www.bookwise.ie

This publication is the genealogy of the Potterton family of Co.Meath who came to Ireland from Yorkshire in the late 17th. Century. They settled in the Trim/Athboy area of that county and have remained there farming to this very day.  Their story, which is carefully and methodically researched, is the history of an English settler family who through hard work and application became an important part of the community.

The book covers all of the connecting branches of the family through the townlands in connecting parishes. In the early chapters there are a series of line drawings of the houses in which many branches of the Potterton lived from the 18th. Century onwards.

Each of the principal townlands in which the family lived within the parishes has a separate section and some helpful genealogical detail emerges as the other neighbouring family occupiers are noted.

The author includes family "who's who" biographies from the first settler to date.

Description of houses, properties and of in-law families who lived in neighbouring towns and parishes are included.  He has also added very helpful maps of all the areas and estates mentioned with the family holdings indicated.  They leased initially from Lord Darnley and later bought land of their own.

Another interesting aspect of the book is the inclusion of lots of family photos which the allows the reader to identify the leading personalities of the dynasty.

To add to the understanding of the family lines, Potterton has included a dozen pages of family trees with identifying headings (first of the line) or by location in the first townland settled. I found the charts a little confusing in the manner of their layout.

In spite of this the book is extremely well researched and it is plain that the author has a deep interest and love of his ancestors and of what they have achieved over the centuries.

This is a well-ordered publication which although of limited interest outside the Potterton diaspora (some went to New Zealand) it makes interesting reading for genealogists.

Reviewed by Eddie Brennan, Hon. librarian IFHS

30 January 2007

Register of the Parish of Shankill, Belfast, 1745 - 1761
Edited by Raymond Gillespie and Alison O'Keefe.
Published by the Representative Church Body Library.

The register, which covers a mere seventeen years, is in essence a loose social history of a parish in a young though not always healthy town.  In between the years of the title the growing town of Belfast was subject to constant change in its social, cultural and business life, from a medieval settlement at a river crossing or ford, Belfast (Beal Feirsde in the gaelic form) grew slowly to become a town and a port with ever increasing trade.

The book opens with an interesting history of the growth of the parish of Shankill and of Belfast during the 18th. Century.

It was the parish of Shankill, (from the gaelic, Sean Chill or Old Church) which enclosed the town of Belfast and from the earliest days there was a church close to the crossing.  The first recorded mention was in a Papal decree in the year 1306.

Planter baron Sir Arthur Chichester decided that a new church was required and that the old one be refurbished leaving each church with its own graveyard.  This situation is the reason why entries in the register refer to either Shankill or Belfast as burial places.

In the period covered by the register the parish of Shankill extended from the river Lagan in the East across to the mountains of Antrim in the west and as far North as Greencastle.

The parish covered a total of twenty-seven townlands and encompassed the town of Belfast.

From the prospective of outside observers the most striking feature of the community of Belfast was its religiously diverse nature.  Richard Pocoke, Archdeacon of Dublin at the time, wrote of the Church in Belfast "indeed the congregation is but small and most of them of the lower rank, for of 400 houses there are about sixty families that go to church.  The richer people with a number of others are of the new light Presbyterians and the rest of the old light and Papists. The new light are looked on as Arians and these two lights have a greater aversion to each other than they have to the Church."

The index covers pages 47 to 300 in this volume of 350 pages filled with details of baptisms, marriages and burials by year and by day of the month with headings in bold type indicating the page numbers in the original register.  The end pages contain an alphabetical index of all the included persons.

Reviewed by Eddie Brennan, Hon. librarian IFHS

19 December 2006

The Clergy of Clogher,  Biographical succession lists.
Published by The Ulster Historical Foundation.

 The Church of Ireland diocese of Clogher consists of the six deaneries of Clogher, Clones, Enniskillen, Kesh, Kilskeery and Monaghan.

The book begins with lists containing names of bishops, deans, chancellors, precentors, prebendaries, canons and diocesan curates of the Diocese from 1923 onwards.  Under the heading of Bishops the first one named is MacCarthinn, a companion of St. Patrick, 493 a.d.  These are followed by 90 pages of pictures of the parishes churches and the incumbents from  its inception to date.

The rest of this large publication consists of an alphabetical list of the biographies of the clergy, beginning with Aldhouse, Frederick Stephan, 1845 - 1941, through to Young, Agustus, 1845 - 1941.

From there through to the index there are pen pictures of Bishops, Deans and Canons and also of parishes, which are listed alphabetically, showing the incumbents and their year of inception.

This very large hard covered book is a very helpful resource for anyone researching clergy of the Church of Ireland within the diocese and a useful source of reference.

A History of St.Margarets, St.Canices and Finglas.
By Peter Sexton.

This publication has only just come to hand even though it was first published in 2001. The author although Cork born became an active member of St.Margarets parish when he moved to Dublin after the second World war.

He describes in great detail the history of the parishes from the earliest church built in the 18th. century through to the year 2000.

It is not of great genealogical value as individuals do not feature strongly but there are local families mentioned through the narrative. There is included a small number of group photographs taken from different eras such as school pictures taken in 1937, 1940 and an ICA group taken in 1948.  These have lists of names included as captions. It may have a limited interest to non parishioners but it will be a source to reserchers of the area of north Co.Dublin covering St. Margarets, Naul and north Finglas.

 24 April 2006

Book received:  John Grenham’s  “Tracing Your Irish Ancestors”  3rd edition.

Right away the reader will notice the change in cover style and the increase in bulk of this latest edition.  Grenham has been a major player in the field of family history research since the publication of the first edition in 1992.  This time he has excelled himself and has managed to broaden still further the base of research by including extra features giving new angles and insight to the previously published broad range of data.  He has broadened the “Introduction” section by adding in two new chapter headings, “British sources for identifying Irish place of origin” and “The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints”.  Under the heading of Emigration the author has extended the range greatly and where there was seven pages devoted to this in the first edition, it has been increased to a total of 23 pates.  This expansion is achieved by a greater coverage of locations and therefore longer lists of sources and of publications pertaining to the Irish abroad.

The coverage given to the County Source List has doubled from vol. 1.  The information given has been extended greatly under each heading with all published works on any given county gathered together in one list.  I particularly liked the changed layout of the chapter on Roman Catholic Parish Registers.  The data is laid out alphabetically by parish showing the years of available data under Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, with the appropriate location and reference numbers.  I particularly liked the new style maps of each county showing the parish divisions.  Very clear and concise.

One small criticism.  A colleague of mine who specialises in Co. Sligo genealogy, noted the omission of three particular local publications from Grenham’s listing.  Are there others?

All considered, this is a much improved publication and one I would buy for my own use.  When I got my copy of the first edition, I thought it was the “bees knees” of family history references books.  This edition surpassed it.  It is an “all you ever wanted to know” publication.

The book is published by Gill & Macmillan.  The cost is  Euro 22.99.

Reviewed by Eddie Brennan, Hon. librarian IFHS

5 March 2006

Journal of the Irish Family History Society

The latest issue of the Journal of the Irish Family History Society, that for the year 2005, with its 128 pages and twenty articles, as usual, provides interesting reading. This year, it is a bit light on source material. Most of the articles are personal accounts of research carried out, and descriptions and characterisations of various ancestors and their times. This personal emphasis makes the booklet more entertaining.  It is most unlikely that anyone is going to find a reference to one of their ancestors in a sampling of source material that can be fitted into a short article.  Much better to celebrate the lives of ancestors and relate the adventures involved in discovering them.

Margaret Purcell's piece: 'Recollections — Looking for Ancestors in Ireland', details her search for the roots of her 'four great-grandparents of Irish stock', all of whom settled in England during the nineteenth century. Luckily for her, one of her forbears, John Purcell, left a Bible after him in which he had written: 'This Bible belongs to John Purcell, son of Thomas Purcell and Mary Bryan of Grawna in the Parish of Ballingarry, County Tipperary, Ireland'. The inscription was dated 6 May 1854.  Her experience of the ancestor trail in Ireland was very positive. She encountered a parish priest who gave her full access to the parish baptismal records. Afterwards he directed her to the local authority on family history, a shopkeeper, who was able to send her on to the place from which her Purcell ancestors came. She was welcomed to the homestead by cousins who had never met her, or even heard of her before. Since then, she has stayed in the homestead on a number of occasions as a guest of her new found cousins.

Patricia Moorhead had a piece in the 1999 edition of the journal of the IFHS about her great-great-grandfather Bernard Sheehan.  Part two of the article appears in this issue. Over twenty pages in length, it is the longest article in the booklet.  It is very well researched and written in an engaging style. Here, she tells us more about Mr Sheehan who was a Cork pawnbroker who fathered fifteen children and featured regularly in the press due to his involvement in local politics. The article is very well illustrated with old photographs of Bernard and his descendants.

Richard Flatman writes about a more recent ancestor, his grand-father James Michael Duffy.  Mr Duffy worked in the Natural History Museum for over forty years, most of it spent in the 'bone room'. The short article gives a little insight into what working in one of the institutions of the state was like in the early part of the last century.

Other articles of note are Perry Mclntyre's piece on 'Famine Orphan Girls to Australia 1849-1950' and 'Oscar Wilde's Friend and Benefactor, Helen Carew (c.1856-1928)' by James Robinson.

The focus of the various articles indicates a good geographical spread. Patricia Moorhead's piece, centred on Cork City, is balanced by Margaret Bonar's 'The Gweedore Estate of Lord George Hill', with its focus on rural Donegal at the other end of the country.

The journal concludes with a number of reviews of genealogical publications, both CD-Roms and books.

Original review by Tony McCarthy appeared in Irish Roots Magazine, 2006 Number 1, and is reproduced here by kind permission.

New Library acquisitions, February 2006

Eneclann continues to produce interesting CD’s for researchers of family history. We have procured three of the latest addition to their growing list of titles.

1         1798 Rebellion, Claimants and Surrender

The uprising of 1798 and the 1916 rebellion are the two most significant revolutionary developments to have taken place in the history of Ireland over the last two   hundred years or so. There is a wealth of recorded detail with many lists pertaining to the Easter Rising but not so many when it comes to documenting the insurrection of 1798.  This CD goes some way towards correcting this by documenting many of the insurgents and their neighbours and adversaries using some of the remaining sources available.
The upheaval was a watershed in Irish history and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 people were killed during the uprising and as many wounded or maimed.
This CD brings together the few remaining sources and compiler Ian Cantwell has used them to good effect.
In total there are 8,000 names listed in this publication - those who took up arms and those who made claims for damage to their property. The surnames are listed alphabetically and by county and the place names by county and townland also alphabetically in each county. In all there are 20 counties covered although in many cases the lists are short as it was mainly in the East and South East of the country that the major encounters took place. The counties listed are: - Antrim, Clare, Cork, Down, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Kings’ ( Offaly), Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Meath, Queens (Laois ), Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow. The researcher can search by Surname or by county under each of the headings.
In the Introduction there is a heading “Analysis “ with three sub-headings i.e. “A, analysis of compensation ",“ B,  “ Analysis of Coolock (Co. Dublin) Surrenders “ and C,  “Analysis of Dublin Surrenders “
In the Coolock section there is an interesting list showing the frequency of recurring family names among those who surrendered. This should make interesting reading for researchers with similar names and who are searching for more detail of ancestor’s involvement.  In “placenames “ or surrender points, surprisingly most were recorded at Howth with Baldoyle and Malahide coming in very close behind.
Under the heading of “Black humour of the Rebellion” there are a number of very amusing anecdotes culled from local publications of the time and which add in a taste of the cultural and social climate of the day.
The prime source of the information is from two volumes from the National Library entitled “ Ireland list of persons who have suffered loss of property 1798” Published 1800.
Other material came from “ The journals of the House of Commons Ireland, 1796 – 1800”
This CD is of fairly limited interest to researchers but will be of assistance to any who have direct knowledge of their ancestor’s participation during this period of upheaval.
The CD costs Euro 29.90
2        “ The Irish Genealogist “ Vol. 1 – 8   1937 to 1993
This CD covers the publications from Vol., no. 1 1937 to Vol. 8 no.4, published 1993.
The editorial in the very first issue explains that there was a need for a society devoted exclusively to Irish genealogy and formed with this special object in view. It would have a wide appeal to those of Irish descent through the World who would be encouraged to contribute the results of their research. Those who guided its progress from inception have in the main kept to these ideals admirably.
An indication of the level of ambition set by the founders of the journal is their choice of first President of the Society who was non other than The Earl of Ossory who was the elder son of the Marques and 22nd. Earl of Ormonde and head of the illustrious house of Butler. The Vice. President was The rt. Hon. Sir Dunbar Plunkett Barton, Bart. P.C.
The entire work covers 5,000 pages and searching is not difficult as there is a search facility that can scan the entire 8 volumes. The journals are indexed in drop down lists by Volume Number and subsequently by issue number.
Clicking on a particular issue number drops down a list of article headings and a split screen then allows the viewer to see the facsimile of the front cover and the list of contents.
The opening article in the very first volume is entitled “King Henry the 8th. Irish army list.” By T.H. Blake Butler.
A cross-section of articles in the series has such headings as the following: -
Some notes on the high-sheriffs of Co. Longford 1701
Anglo-Irish medieval genealogy.
Monumental inscriptions from Termonfecin Cemetery Co.Louth.
Some inhabitants of the barony of Newcastle and Uppercross, Co. Dublin.
The Waterford Herald.. 1793, 1794, 1796.
Some Protestant settlers in Ireland 1662 – 1737.
There are a large number of articles on named families such as: -
The Nagles of Garnavila
The Fitzmaurices of Duagh.
The Galbraiths of Cappard.
Barnwall of Rowestown Co.Meath
The importance of this CD is that it is making accessible much material which has been in the hands of private collectors and will help new researchers have access to some rare sources of ancestral lore.
The CD costs   Euro 74.90 from Eneclann
3         Memorials of the Dead, the collected works.  Edited by Brian Cantwell
Twenty-five years work went into recording 67,000 people from over 500 cemetery sites around the country.
This reproduction of the well-known memorials will add a new dimension to genealogy for researchers of Irish ancestors especially those living abroad. This painstaking and intensely detailed work was carried out between the years 1966 to 1990. Any one who has made an effort to trace a head stone in an overgrown graveyard can easily appreciate the toil and effort which was required to complete this  “monumental” task.
What are displayed on the CD are scanned versions of the actual pages of Mr. Cantwell’s work.
The indexes include indexes of surnames, of occupations, professions and trades. There is also an index of locations and maps of the cemeteries. The Eastern region of the country is mainly featured covering the counties of, Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, with Galway (Kilmacduagh), Clare (West), Cork, Kildare and Sligo (St. John’s) also covered.
There are thirteen pages of database showing by County, the names of cemeteries and their page numbers for quick finding.
This CD is a valuable tool as well as a fine tribute to a man who devoted many years to his abiding love of family history research.
The cost is   Euro 69.90 from  Eneclann

Eneclann Ltd., Unit 1, Trinity College Enterprise Centre, Pearse Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Tel: +353 1 6710338  Fax: +353 1 6710281   e-mail: support@eneclann.ie

Reviewed by Eddie Brennan, Hon. librarian IFHS


e-mails to  ifhs@eircom.net

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