Galway county is Ireland’s second largest county. Galway covers 2,293 square miles; yet, a third of the population lives in Galway City alone. The city of Galway once served as the ancient trading port and home to the “14 Tribes” who inhabited the area. The western area bordered the sea and was supported mostly by fishing, while the eastern region holds rich farmland. The areas culture was diverse and so are its records of genealogical concern. Records for outlying areas are the most sporadic, with improved record survivability in and around Galway City. With over half the county’s population emigrating away after the Great Famine, people with Irish ancestry live in large numbers all over the world. To help researchers, both within and without the country, find and locate records for Galway, Peadar O’Dowd has written Tracing Your Galway Ancestors.
Unlike many areas in Ireland, Galway City was not founded by the Vikings; rather, the city was begun by Norman adventurers in the 1230s. The Normans were strangers and thus came the Gaelic title Gaillimh, from which Galway is derived, meaning “The Place of the Strangers.” The current population, according to the 2006 census, of Galway city is 72,414. The entire rest of the county only add about twice that number more, at 159,052. These population figures are probably a fraction of what they once were, as the entire country’s population if roughly two million fewer people than the county had in 1841. Mass emigration took its toll. So many people with family ties to Galway now live in other countries.
According the author, “it is the purpose of this book to help you trace your family roots, whatever your family’s place in the corridors of Galway history.” The author also makes note that the resources covered in this book are available to Galwegian descendants who now live in foreign lands (i.e. not Ireland). As suggested above, thousands emigrated from Galway through the port of Cobh in Cork County. Emigration began in the 1700s, increasing during the Great Famine, and continued into the early 1900s. Even into the 1930s as many as four ocean liners per week would stop in Galway Bay to collect passengers.
Family Roots Publishing is proud to bring Flyleaf Press books to a North American audience. In addition to Tracing Your Galway Ancestors, Family Roots Publishing carries a number of other titles, including other volumes in the Tracing Your [Irish County] Ancestors series.
Table of Contents
Tables and Illustration
Preface to Second Edition
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Getting Started
Chapter 3. Administrative Divisions
Chapter 4. Civil Registration
Chapter 5. Census and Census Substitutes
Chapter 6. Church Records
Chapter 7. Gravestone Inscriptions
Chapter 8. Land and Related Records
Chapter 9. Wills, Administration and Marriage Licences
Chapter 10. Commercial and Social Directions
Chapter 11. Newspapers
Chapter 12. Merchant Tribes and other Galway Families
Chapter 13. Further Reading and Useful Source
Chapter 14. Useful Addresses
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