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Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (Paperback)

A Guide for Family Historians - Second Edition

Family History P&S History > Social History World History > UK & Ireland > Ireland

By Chris Paton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing Your Ancestors
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 40
ISBN: 9781526757814
Published: 5th August 2019
Last Released: 30th March 2023


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In this, the fully updated second edition of his bestselling guide to researching Irish history using the internet, Chris Paton shows the extraordinary variety of sources that can now be accessed online. Although Ireland has lost many records that would have been of great interest to family historians, he demonstrates that a great deal of information survived and is now easily available to the researcher.

Thanks to the pioneering efforts of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the National Archives of Ireland, organizations such as FindmyPast Ireland, Ancestry.co.uk and RootsIreland and the volunteer genealogical community, an ever-increasing range of Ireland’s historical resources are accessible from afar.

As well as exploring the various categories of records that the family historian can turn to, Chris Paton illustrates their use with fascinating case studies. He fully explores the online records available from both the north and the south from the earliest times to the present day. Many overseas collections are also included, and he looks at social networking in an Irish context where many exciting projects are currently underway.

His book is an essential introduction and source of reference for anyone who is keen to trace their Irish roots.

As featured in

The Avondhu (By The Fireside)

Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians can be read from cover to cover but can equally be used as a quick guide for a specific type of record or Province as your research dictates.

Heather Nowlan, Family Tree Searchers

I found this book enlightening and ‘a good read’, and can imagine it would be a real boon to anyone stuck with their own family research in Ireland.

Glamorgan Family History Society

Referenced in resources part of ‘Irish Wills From 1858’ article

WDYTYA? Magazine, January 2021

I started doing my family tree back in 2005 at Christmas as I was a little bored and was then a little curious – I managed to track a few of my ancestors back but then I hit a stumbling block with my Irish relatives (my grandmother on my dad’s side was Irish – I was struggling to access the records so I put it to one side with the view to pick it back up at a later date.

Well 15 years almost have passed now and when I saw this book I was intrigued and I got a copy to see if it would help me. I am genuinely astonished at what I have been able to find out when I thought that all hope had been lost following the bombing of the records office in the times of trouble.

Reading this book has given me the incentive to find out more and I have been able to use the hints in the book to find out more, there are a lot more parish records available now online and I have thoroughly enjoyed finding out more about my family, their history, occupations and back stories.

The book is easy to read, follow and understand – it is no hesitation from me in giving this one 5 stars, it has been brilliant and such a help to me – anyone with Irish ancestry should give this a read!

Read the full review here

Donnas Book Blog

As featured in

Bristol and Avon FHS

Written specifically for people of Irish ancestry, Paton dives deep into useful websites, online archives, church registries, as well as information that could be found within specific Irish counties which is super helpful if one’s family hails from a specific part of the Emerald Isle.

Tracing Your Irish Family History would be a helpful guide for both ancestry newbies as well as the more seasoned genealogy researchers.

Read the full review here

The Lazy Historian

As featured in

Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society

Author article: 'Trace your family back 300 years' as featured by

Family Tree, December 2019

Chris Paton has filled the pages of this volume with a great deal of information that is truly valuable for the researcher – it is not just a list of websites, but is a valuable guide to carrying out your research on the island of Ireland.

Read the full review here

The Nosey Genealogist

Chris Paton's book is an excellent resource which lists a vast number of Irish genealogy resources along with pointers on how best to use them.

Read the full review here

Things to Make and Do

Listed in the 'First Flush' feature

Books Ireland, November/December 2019

Strongly recommended as a reference for everyone researching their Irish family history online. Packed with information and web addresses a remarkable amount is covered in the 10 chapters, 187 pp, of regular text.

Read the full review here

Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections, John D Reid

There's an amazing amount of information crammed into 190 pages.

Read the full review here

Lost Cousins

This revised guide will be really useful for anyone with Irish roots seeking the latest information about the records.

Family Tree, December 2019

Acknowledged at the end of author article 'Tracing graves, memorials & records of death'

Family Tree, November 2019

As featured on

Register of Qualified Genealogists

Register of Qualified Genealogists

This newly updated and expanded second edition of "Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians" is an essential introduction and source of reference for anyone who is keen to trace their Irish roots and unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Genealogy Research collections.

Read the full review here

Midwest Book Review

This is a useful guide that navigates you through the research process no matter what your level of experience is, as it caters for the beginner and advanced alike.

Read the full review here

Qualified Genealogists

As Featured in

Family Tree Researchers

This latest title in Pen and Sword's most excellent genealogy library is one of the very best I have ever read, with thoroughly practical examples of websites where you can get information from, in many cases for no cost (you'll notice I avoided using the very wrong phrase "for free"!) The websites mentioned have genuinely free information, and they all work. Chris Paton has written a brilliantly useful book - we happen to have Irish ancestry in our family, and will be delving into this information just as soon as we have the time. In the meantime, I urge you to get this book and do the same!

Books Monthly

Acknowledged at the end of author article 'Tracing your ancestors in the early 20th century'

Family Tree, September 2019

Featured in

Glasgow and West Scotland Family History Magazine

I have learned so much about the types of resources available to help with family history research in Ireland and indeed elsewhere! I have been tracing family trees for many years and have just discovered a line relating to my husband in Tipperary, so I was delighted to find a whole section dedicated to the area. An invaluable resource for those pursuing Irish ancestry.

Read the full review here

Amazon Customer, Jayne

I would strongly recommend this title if you are willing to do some serious Irish research on your ancestors, it will certainly get you that one step ahead of the rest.

Read the full review here

UK Historian

About Chris Paton

Originally from Carrickfergus on the outskirts of Belfast, genealogist and writer Chris Paton is today based in Ayrshire, Scotland, where he runs the Scotland’s Greatest Story research service at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk. As well as contributing to many of the UK’s best known family history magazines, he also writes for his own Scottish GENES news blog at www.scottishgenes.blogspot.com, and regularly gives talks to family history societies across the UK and worldwide. His previous Pen and Sword publications include Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd edition), Tracing Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, and Sharing Your Family History Online.

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