Discovering Irish Origins Using The Records Of Ireland
Discovering Irish Origins Using The Records Of Ireland
Price: $39.95
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Product #: FR0152

 Product Information:

Discovering Irish Origins Using the Records of Ireland; Volume 2 of the Getting Them Over the Water - An Irish Immigration Strategies Series; by Dwight Radford; 2021; 293 pp; ISBN: 978-1-62859-295-5; Soft Cover; Item #: FR0152.

Discovering Irish Origins Using the Records of Ireland is a combination of Irish genealogy reference sources and methods for how to skillfully employ them. This guide covers the usual Irish genealogy records like censuses and census substitutes, church records, civil registrations, cemeteries and tombstones, estates, taxes, deeds, and voters’ lists. Also included are discussions of records of the Petty Court Sessions, workhouses, and prisons. The book tells how to effectively search within Ireland’s resources, whether online or at on-site. Radford further explains in detail “If you find this, then look here or here next.” Special strategy chapters include those on: Names, Nicknames, and Naming Patterns; Surname Distribution Survey; and Finding the Ancestral Homesite.

The author incorporated an exhaustive inventory of resources to explore as well as helpful directories. Included are religious denominations that might be considered minor; lists of early, often-forgotten occupations; situating Church of Ireland diocesan courts into their respective counties; examples of fair towns and fair dates in County Leitrim; and detailed lists of mills by location and types of key mines, prisons by location and type, principal destinations for prisoner transportation by date and current names, and historical terms with definitions relating to hangings, land measurements, and land records. Radford’s review of Griffith’s Valuation and associated manuscripts is one of the best to be found.

Book reviews can be found at the end of this page.

The following is from the Table of Contents:

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: Administrative Divisions and Place Names
  • Chapter Two: Cemeteries and Tombstones
  • Chapter Three: Censuses and Census Alternatives
  • Chapter Four: Church Records
  • Chapter Five: Civil Registration
  • Chapter Six: Emigration Lists
  • Chapter Seven: Estate Records
  • Chapter Eight: Genealogies and Pedigrees
  • Chapter Nine: The Grand Lodge of Ireland
  • Chapter Ten: Internet Database Searches
  • Chapter Eleven: Occupations
  • Chapter Twelve: Petty Sessions Court Records
  • Chapter Thirteen: Prisons, Prisoners, and the Transported
  • Chapter Fourteen: Registry of Deeds
  • Chapter Fifteen: Tax Records
  • Chapter Sixteen: Voters’ Lists
  • Chapter Seventeen: Wills and Administrations
  • Chapter Eighteen: Workhouse Records

Special Strategies

  • Chapter Nineteen: Names, Nicknames, and Naming Patterns
  • Chapter Twenty: Surname Distribution Survey
  • Chapter Twenty-One: Finding the Ancestral Homesite
  • Index

The following graphic resources are also found in the book:


  • Province Boundaries of Ireland
  • County Boundaries within Provinces for Pre- and Post-Northern Ireland
  • Poor Law Union Boundaries of Ireland
  • Surviving Parishes of the 1803 Agricultural Census
  • Surviving Parishes of the 1831 Census
  • 1834 Representation of Primary Protestant Expansion in Ireland
  • Linen Triangle and Lough Erne Rectangle
  • Mormon Corridor of Settlement
  • Immigration/Emigration Ports with Surviving Records, 1878-1960
  • Ports of Departure with Surviving Records, 1803-1806
  • Estate Records’ Database Representation
  • 15th Century Land Ownership Representation
  • County Leitrim
  • Merchant Marine Ports in Ireland
  • Post Towns for Silver, Copper, and Iron Deposits
  • Post Towns for Lead Deposits
  • Post Towns for Collieries
  • Transportation Route from Ireland to Australia
  • Pre-1858 Consistorial Court Jurisdictions
  • Probate Registry Districts
  • Surname Distribution Map


  • Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns of Ireland
  • 1911 Census
  • 1901 Census
  • 1796 Spinning Wheel Premium Entitlement Lists
  • 1831 Census
  • Catholic Baptisms
  • Marriage Bonds’ Index from Church of Ireland
  • PRONI’s Guide to Church Records
  • Quaker Marriages
  • Civil Registration Marriages
  • Advertisement Soliciting Immigration to North Carolina
  • Encumbered Irish Estates
  • List of Tenants Matching Lot Numbers for Encumbered Irish Estates
  • Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary
  • Hand-drawn Pedigree from the Dr. Samuel Madden Manuscripts
  • Membership Register from Grand Lodge of Freemasons (Image)
  • Apothecaries’ Prosecution List
  • Merchant Seaman Record
  • Outrage Reports
  • School Masters and Mistresses of Educational System in Ireland
  • Petty Sessions Court Record
  • Dog License Registries
  • Prison Registers
  • Grantor Index
  • Lands’ Index
  • Land Deed
  • Griffith’s Survey Map
  • Tithe Applotment Record
  • Valuation Office House Book
  • Griffith’s Primary Valuation
  • Valuation Office Revision Book
  • Freemen of Dublin City
  • Report of the Select Committee on Fictitious Votes
  • Freeholders’ List
  • Calendar of Wills
  • Index to Prerogative Wills of Ireland
  • Workhouse Admission and Discharge
  • Outdoor Relief Register
  • Homesite Platted on Ordnance Survey Map


  • St. James Catholic Cemetery Headstone, County Waterford
  • Murrisk Abbey Cemetery Headstone, County Mayo
  • Mt. Jerome Victorian Chapel Cemetery Headstones, Dublin
  • Headstone
  • Louth Cemetery Headstone, County Louth
  • Logan Temple, Logan Utah, USA
  • Prisoner Transport
  • Castlebar Prison, County Mayo
  • Travelling Gallows
  • Cushendall Prison, County Antrim
  • Sir Richard Griffith of Griffith’s Primary Valuation
  • Lismore Union Workhouse
  • Michael Condon Homesite Remnants


Ecclesiastical/Religious Orders

  • Abbreviations for Selected Religious Orders of Women, Pre-1920
  • Abbreviations for Selected Religious Orders of Men, Pre-1920
  • Select Presbyterian Evolution in Ireland
  • Methodist Evolution in Ireland
  • Congregational Churches in Ireland
  • Moravian Congregations in Ireland

Access/Reference Aids

  • Index to Films for Names on First 6-Inch Survey Maps
  • Census Substitute Options
  • Diocesan Courts by County for Church of Ireland
  • Surviving Marriage Bonds’ Indexes for Each Diocese
  • Brethren Directories Housed at the Brethren Archives
  • Superintendent Registers’ Districts to 1921
  • Miscellaneous Emigration Collections
  • Irish Masonic Lodges in 1804
  • Markets and Fairs for County Leitrim in 1850
  • Historic Dublin Guilds
  • Merchant Seaman Port Abbreviations
  • Registered Foreign Ports for Merchant Marines of Ireland
  • Locations of Metallic Deposits or Mines
  • Directory of Collieries for 1865
  • Locations of Prisons in Ireland
  • Principal Colonies for Penal Transportation
  • Gallows’ Historical Terminology
  • Historical Land Measurements
  • Irish Land and Tax Dictionary
  • Published Versions of Griffith’s
  • Pre-1858 Consistorial Court Jurisdictions for Probates
  • Post-1858 Probate Registry Districts
  • Name Variations and Nicknames

Book Reviews

Thank you for the complimentary copy of Dwight Radford's latest book, Discovering Irish Origins Using the Records of Ireland. And can I say, what an amazing book both in its breadth of coverage and insight!

...I have now read Dwight's book from cover to cover, nodding my head in agreement with points/illustrations he was making and with Dwight's philosophy/strategy for researching Irish ancestors.

For me, Irish genealogy has always been a mix of geography and local history, and it just so happens that these two topics have always fascinated me. I tend to see Irish genealogy as a means to make connections between people and place as opposed to tracking family lineage back in time, generation by generation. So, I now have Dwight's strategic insight to back up my belief in the absolute importance of identifying place in Irish family History research!

Not only does geography and knowledge of place offer more potential for researchers to feel an emotional attachment to that part of Ireland associated with their ancestors, it enables realistic genealogical research which, in the absence of indexes and databases, generally requires knowledge of the parish in which the ancestor lived.

So congratulations to everyone involved in the production of this fine book.

Brian Mitchell, M.A.G.I., Genealogist with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Northern Ireland. Author of: A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland (2009), A Guide to Irish Parish Registers (2009), Irish Passenger Lists 1847-1871 (2001), Irish Passenger Lists 1803-1806 (2010), Genealogy at a glance: Irish Genealogy Research (2010), Genealogy at a glance: Scots-Irish Genealogy Research (2014).

Initial Book Reviews:

In a world filled with too many dry and painfully boring genealogy books, Dwight Radford’s Discovering Irish Origins Using the Records of Ireland is refreshingly enjoyable to read, interesting and informative. I heartily recommend this book to not only those just getting started but also crusty old experts as a go to for questions regarding Irish genealogical research. - Craig Foster, MA, MLIS, Accredited Genealogist in Ireland.

Easy to read and understand, Discovering Irish Origins Using the Records of Ireland gives hope that there are ways to find where our immigrant ancestors were from using Irish records. Dwight has done an excellent job sharing his extensive knowledge of how to use Irish records to solve these research problems. This is one I plan to refer too often. - Kori Robbins, Accredited Genealogist. Professional Genealogist, BA in Family History/Genealogy from BYU

As in the first volume of his series of Irish research reference books, Dwight Radford has given researchers a second text of excellent and required information about records in Ireland. It is a worthy compilation of detailed and necessary information covering past and present research techniques, along with his special strategies categories, which are becoming a hallmark of his writings. Throughout all of the chapters are charts, pictures, maps, and/or illustrations to put a picture to the words, making it extremely understandable for the beginning, intermediate, and even advanced Irish family researcher. Mr. Radford is applauded for his efforts on our behalf for giving attention to the smallest details so often passed over. Once again, it is another contribution by him to anyone’s ongoing desire to locate complicated Irish ancestry. I heartily recommend making space on your bookshelf for yet another gem to guide your research project in Ireland. - Sheila Benedict, Benedict Research Services, Forensic and Family History Research.

Mr. Radford has produced an incredibly insightful and clearly written guide to Irish research, specifically for assisting researchers to determine the origins of their illusive Irish ancestors. Particularly impressive is the generous use of maps that clearly explain various jurisdictions and strategies. Images of original documents and other illustrations help familiarize the reader with the various records and concepts described in the book. There are also several unique reference aids throughout the book, such as “Locations of Abbreviations for Selected Religious Orders of Women, Pre-1920,” “Metallic Deposits or Mines,” “Surviving Marriage Bonds’ Indexes for Each Diocese,” “Locations of Prisons in Ireland” and even “Irish Masonic Lodges in 1804.” These lists will no doubt prove valuable to researchers but are not ones that most researchers would have the ability to ferret out for themselves. We are fortunate that Mr. Radford has compiled these for us in such a handy format. This book is packed full of practical information, including step-by-step guides to several research strategies, such as creating a Surname Distribution Survey. There are also three interesting glossaries: Historical Land Measurements, Irish Land and Tax Dictionary, and Gallows’ Historical Terminology. The later being fascinating and definitely exclusive to this guidebook. If you are struggling to track down the origins of your Irish ancestors, this book provides a fresh approach and deserves a spot on your bookshelf! - Claire Smith-Burns, Genealogical Researcher and Educator, Kelowna, BC, Canada.

Radford’s latest work on tracing Irish-American family history endorses the historical research approach of group migration and addresses many of the same techniques as historians in that field. He lists and explains a variety of resources to be used to resolve issues and eliminate blocked walls in our genealogical endeavors. He plots various methods of tracing one’s Irish immigrant families. His is a detailed explanation of a multitude of records, including a discussion of each source’s strengths and weaknesses. Tackling Irish-American research frequently overwhelms even experienced family historians. Similar to his other two works on this topic, he proffers an amazing list of resources to investigate as well as alternate tools and approaches for solving genealogical dilemmas. Using techniques and sources which Radford outlines, will assist most researchers to attain success in tracing their Irish past. - Wendy Elliott, PhD, FUGA, Professor Emerita of History, California State University, Fullerton, Past President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

Too many of us with Irish ancestry have long been discouraged by the warning that we cannot track our families back very far in time. Now Dwight Radford, from his many years of helping those pursing their heritage in Ireland, presents a fresh look to guide our research. He helps us know and understand what the realities of record destruction and lack of record keeping have been and the importance of how these relate to our research in the records that survive and are available—from the most basic to many of those not so well known and explored—in order to produce successful research results. Now when someone inquires about Irish research, I can ask enthusiastically, “Have you checked Radford?” - Roger D. Joslyn, cg, fuga, fgbs, fasg, Co-editor, The American Genealogist