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Genealogical publications

The following publications are recommended for both those with an interest in genealogy generally and those more experienced researchers:



General sources

Irish libraries, archives, museums and genealogical centres: a visitors’ guide by Robert K O’Neill (UHF, 2007) introduces readers to printed and manuscript resources available in Irish libraries, archives and heritage centres while genealogical sources can also be viewed at


  • Tracing Irish ancestors, a practical guide to Irish genealogy by Máire Mac Conghail and Paul Gorry (Collins, 1997)
  • Irish records: sources for family & local history by James G Ryan (revised edition, Salt Lake City, 1997)
  • Tracing your Irish ancestors, the complete guide by John Grenham (3rd edition, Dublin, 2006)
  • Your Irish ancestors, a guide for family historians by Ian Maxwell (Barnsley, 2008)
  • How to trace your Irish ancestors: an essential guide to researching and documenting the family histories of Ireland’s people by Ian Maxwell (Begbroke, 2008)
  • Tracing your ancestors in Northern Ireland by Ian Maxwell (SO, 1997)
  • Researching Scots-Irish ancestors: the essential genealogical guide to early modern Ulster, 1600-1800 by William Roulston (UHF, 2005)



Sources for particular counties

  • Ian Maxwell, Researching Armagh ancestors (Belfast, 2000)
  • William Roulston, My roots – tracing your Belfast ancestors (UHF, 2008)
  • Brian Smith and Gerry Kennedy, Tracing your Clare ancestors (Dublin, 2012)
  • Tony McCarthy and Tim Cadogan, Tracing your Cork ancestors (Dublin, 2011)
  • Helen Meehan and Godfrey E Duffy, Tracing your Donegal ancestors (Dublin, 2008)
  • Ian Maxwell, Researching Down ancestors (UHF, 2004)
  • James Ryan and Brian Smith, Tracing your Dublin ancestors (3rd edition, Dublin, 2009)
  • Peadar O’Dowd, Tracing your Galway ancestors (Dublin, 2010)
  • Michael H O’Connor, Tracing your Kerry ancestors (Dublin, 1994)
  • Karel Kiely, Tracing your ancestors in Co. Kildare ([Newbridge], 1992)
  • Margaret Franklin, Tracing your Limerick ancestors (Dublin, 2013)
  • Brian Smith, Tracing your Mayo ancestors (2nd edition, Dublin, 2010)
  • Noel E French, Meath Ancestors, a guide to sources for tracing your ancestors (Trim, 1993)
  • John Hamrock, Tracing your Roscommon ancestors (Dublin, 2007)
  • James Ryan, Tracing your Sligo ancestors (Dublin 2012)
  • Sources for family history in Waterford County (Waterford County Council, 2005)
  • Gretta Connell, Tracing your Westmeath ancestors (Dublin 2012)



Another useful series is the Exploring Family Origins series which is specific to towns in various counties while sources in the National Archives are covered by Counties in Time, Documents and Commentaries from the National Archives of Ireland (National Archives of Ireland, 2003) cd-rom which also contains images.



Sources for Irish surnames

For notes on the origin and history of Irish surnames, see E MacLysaght, Irish Families (3rd edition, Dublin, 1972), Supplement to Irish Families (Dublin, 1964) and The Surnames of Ireland (3rd edition, Dublin, 1978).



Sources for church records

  • A Table of Church of Ireland Parochial Records and copies edited by Noel Reid (Naas, 1994)
  • An Irish Genealogical Source: Guide to Church Records (PRONI, 1994)
  • Irish Church Records by James G Ryan (Dublin, 1992)
  • Detailed information on congregations and records of all Dublin non-conformist (or dissenting) denominations will be found in Dictionary of Dublin Dissent: Dublin’s Protestant dissenting meeting houses, 1660-1920 by Steven C ffeary-Smyrl (Dublin, 2009)



Sources on the holdings of the National Archives

  • The Short Guide to the Public Record Office of Ireland (out of print)
  • The 55th–59th Reports of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records in Ireland



The Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations

A series of booklets has been produced by the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations and the first two in the ‘Exploring Irish Genealogy’ series are:


  • Steven C ffeary-Smyrl, Irish Methodists where do I start ? (Dublin, 2000)
  • Eileen Ó Dúill and Steven C ffeary-Smyrl, Irish Civil Registration – where do I start? (Dublin, 2000)



Other genealogical sources

Useful articles on genealogy are contained in Aspects of Irish Genealogy 1, 2 and 3 which are papers from the proceedings of the First, Second and Third Irish Genealogical Congresses – available for purchase at