Dis­cover Ir­ish Land Records

By Chris Pa­ton

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - THE GUIDE -

( Un­lock the Past, 60 pages, £7.50) Con­fis­ca­tion, coloni­sa­tion, evic­tion and re­bel­lion. Un­der­stand­ing the his­tory of the Ir­ish­man’s re­la­tion­ship with his land is vi­tal for iden­ti­fy­ing and lo­cat­ing records that doc­u­ment Ir­ish ances­try.

This short but dense book­let starts with a de­tailed his­tory of the own­er­ship of land in Ire­land. Pa­ton’s per­spec­tive is that of an Ul­ster­man, with more fo­cus on the plan­ta­tion of Ul­ster (see page 20 for more in­for­ma­tion) and the 1798 Re­bel­lion than pre-famine sub­di­vi­sion of land and the found­ing prin­ci­ples of the Land League. Nev­er­the­less, he trans­ports the reader through Ire­land’s his­tory with ease and in­cludes a de­tailed ex­pla­na­tion of Ir­ish land divi­sions that will aid any­one re­search­ing th heir Ir­ish roots. In the ab­sence of other ge­nealog­i­cal sources, land records are em­ployed to doc­u­ment the ear­li­est gen­er­a­tions of an Ir­ish fam­ily.

Pa­ton has writ­ten a com­pre­hen­sive ac­count of the records avail­able for the north and south of Ire­land, from the 16th to the 20th cen­tury. I would have given Grif­fith’s Val­u­a­tion more promi­nence and per­haps a closer proof of the text, but the in-depth de­tail and ex­ten­sive we­blinks more than com­pen­sate for the mi­nor quib­bles of a pedan­tic ge­neal­o­gist. Ni­cola Mor­ris is the di­rec­tor of Time­line Ge­neal­ogy Ire­land

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