Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - reviews!

My latest book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet has been out now for a couple of months, meaning that the reviews are finally coming in! Thankfully they've been highly favourable, and I'm extremely grateful to all those who have taken the time to explore it so far. The book is proving to be a great success, fast approaching its first thousand sales already. So here goes then...!

Family Tree magazine recorded the following: "Chris Paton has produced this much needed book for researchers tracing Irish roots, pulling together all the current online resources and expert advice into one handy guide...While those researching Irish ancestry may be aware that many of the island's genealogical records were destroyed during the civil war, Chris takes the 'glass half-full' approach, explaining family historians just need to think out of the box when tackling records in Ireland and further afield... The simple chapter headings and easy to read text make this a great reference book to dip into as well as a practical, step-by-step guide. If you are researching Irish ancestry, this will prove invaluable".

Who Do You Think You Are Magazine describes it as "a thorough and informative guide that will greatly assist the Irish family historian.... Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is a truly comprehensive and thoughtful guide that you will return to again and again as you dig deeper into your Irish roots."

Your Family Tree has awarded it with its Seal of Approval, and notes that "Inside are nine themed chapters on different types of records and the many online resources offering them or at least providing useful information. The result is far from just a list of useful websites: every resource is set in context and the result is an excellent guide to Irish research in general. Read it for: A concise but detailed guide to Irish research online."

Australia's Inside History Magazine states "This guide... is well worth adding to your collection if you’re searching for Irish ancestors... Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is well set out and easy to follow. It covers historical sources across both the north and south of Ireland, from the earliest times to the present day. This detailed book includes help on finding vital records such as civil registration, adoption, parish registers, burials and probate, land records, census data and occupations to name just a few. There is also a chapter devoted to the Irish diaspora. Plus each category is supported with case studies that are sure to help you with your own research."

Peter Calver stated in his Lost Cousins newsletter of June 20th 2013 that "Whilst the 19th century Irish censuses may not have survived, there are an amazing number of records that are not only available, but online - if only you know where to look. And that's precisely why this book is so invaluable - at less than the price of one BMD certificate it's a real bargain for anyone with Irish ancestry!"

Irish Lives Remembered notes that "As well as providing an in depth exploration of the various categories of records that the family historian can turn to, the author explored holdings from both the north and the south, but equally points out what has yet to be made available online, as well as problems found within some of the material that is online. In addition he demonstrates the value of resources for Irish research to be found in Britain, and from within the worldwide diaspora, from Argentina to Australia. A genealogical revolution is currently underway in Ireland, and in “Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet’, Chris Paton will safely guide you through the many exciting developments now allowing us an opportunity to reclaim our ancestral past."

Irish Roots magazine also notes that "Given that many records have been available online for some time, and that many more are being put there, it is surprising that this is the first book dedicated to such sources....The nine chapters cover all aspects of the available records from census returns to parish registers with information on how to find and use them to uncover family history." It also comments on the "thorough nature of the content".

Judith Eccles Wight of Irish Genealogy Internet Book Reviews did a dual review of my book and one other free beginner's guide to Ireland, and noted my book was "directed specifically to Ireland" and that it "discusses gateways, institutions and networks for Ireland including many not mentioned in The Genealogist’s Internet... Chapters 5 through 8, the most important in my opinion, cover web sites for the provinces of Ulster, Munster, Connacht, and Leinster. The discussion of each province includes online information for the various counties found within these provinces. The databases listed are not always name oriented. Background information about various topics is supplied such the Allihies Copper Mine Museum in County Cork. Local libraries and historical or genealogical societies are also identified and web site addresses listed.... The last chapter deals with the Irish diaspora, emigrants and their descendants who went to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South America and Europe. Paton also describes the “Ireland Reaching Out” project. I was very impressed with both books, particularly Paton’s. It was my reading material during a 14 hour plane ride to China and is highly recommended for people engaged in tracing their Irish ancestors."

FindmyPast Ireland, one of the many vendors featured within the book, promoted the book to its user by describing it as "...a book that will be of great use for finding your Irish ancestors. Tracing your Irish Family History on the Internet is a practical guide to researching Irish genealogy online. It covers the whole of Ireland, north and south and contains case studies demonstrating how online records can be integrated with other research."

American reader Mary J. Lohl notes on Amazon that it is "...an excellent guide and resource for conducting Irish research online. This is much more than a superficial list of obvious websites... Don't expect a quick survey of what's available. This work is filled with a plethora of Irish websites and history, all described with clarity and purpose. This book is for the researcher who wants to leverage the tools of online research. I recommend this title if you are willing to do some serious Irish research on your ancestors."

From Glasgow and West of Scotland FHS: "Scots/Irish genealogist and writer Christopher Paton has a new book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet which I cannot recommend highly enough. Published by Pen and Sword..it is stuffed full of tips and hints - some of which will save you money... it is not simply a list of websites but a really handy research aid with detailed instructions about how to make use of the most of them"

The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (www.ihgs.ac.uk) made the title its book of the month in June 2013: "This book describes the variety of Irish records available online and how to get the best from them. The book is not merely a listing of useful websites but acts as a guide to the records and addresses the difficulties and pitfalls of Irish research and how to overcome them. A useful reference book for anyone with Irish ancestry, as well as a step by step guide. "

The Federation of Family History Societies (www.ffhs.org.uk) has also given it a huge thumbs up: "The author prefaces it with a very relevant health warning: "The internet is most definitely not the be all and end all of your research .... but be in no doubt, the internet will certainly help provide you with one heck of a starting point". The contents are laid out in a logical and approachable manner... It would be an extremely unfortunate researcher who couldn't find some leads from this range of sources....This book is a veritable quarry for the family researcher into family branches in Ireland and there is little to criticise... the multiplicity of references will greatly assist researchers and, undoubtedly, result in many of them carrying their quest over the water to the Island itself."

If you have yet to obtain a copy, it can be purchased from Pen and Sword at www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-History-on-the-Internet/p/3889/ or in a Kindle edition at www.amazon.co.uk/Tracing-Family-History-Internet-ebook/dp/B00C4YTUYM/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1369751272&sr=8-1

It was great fun to write - I hope it helps with your research!


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/scotland-1750-1850-beyond-oprs-starts.html. Time to smash a few brick walls...!

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