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Every Irish family historian MUST have a copy of this genealogy bible
on 13 May 2012
I feel very strongly about John Grenham's Tracing Your Irish ancestors, 4th Edition. In the chapter "The Internet," Grenham states on page 68: "The rule is simple: if you don't know what you've searched, you don't know what you've found."
My response: AMEN!
I think this one sentence sums up why this book belongs on the bookshelf of every Irish family historian.
I wish I could afford to send copies to the creators of every "cut and paste" family tree posted on a popular Internet genealogy site. The genealogy world has become full of armchair genealogists who have no idea what records they are searching and whether the ancestors they find in those records are actually theirs. The value of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors is not simply in the wealth of information concerning what records exist and where. His explanations of the types of records and of genealogical methods should be required reading for anyone venturing into Irish genealogy. I have found his bibliographies indispensible for research into local histories.
Grenham's guide is essential to both the novice and the experienced researcher. No other Irish genealogy guide is as complete and up to date as his 4th Edition. There are a few other books I also recommend for every Irish researchers genealogical library, such as Mitchell's Genealogical Atlas of Ireland, but Tracing Your Irish Ancestors should be the first book on any Irish genealogist's shelf.
In this edition, Grenham has paid additional attention to Internet sources and research, and rightly so because the Internet has taken over genealogy. However, the Internet is more of a fluid entity than is a print book, and I wonder how long it will be until some of the Internet information becomes outdated. But such is the nature of the tension between print vs Internet today. I believe that a print guide is still necessary, since too many family historians simply jump around the Internet in ignorance. At least this one volume provides a resource that brings most of the necessary records information together in one place.
When I have traveled to Ireland for genealogical research, the earlier editions of this book went with me. Luggage weight restrictions might make this difficult for this hefty tome. So, I must ask, will it be available in a digital version?