Having access to Irish research guides published in Ireland has been a great boon to English speaking genealogists living outside of Ireland but having at least one Irish ancestor. In particular, the Tracing Your [Irish] Ancestors provides a wealth of information regarding not only national resources for family information, but also unique and varied sources on a county by county level. Each book represents a different county and serves as a stand alone research guide. Here is a list of the book we have already reviewed on this site:
- Tracing Your Cork Ancestors
- Tracing Your Galway Ancestors
- Tracing Your Dublin Ancestors
- Tracing Your Donegal Ancestors
- Tracing Your Mayo Ancestors
In this blog we have the opportunity to examine another edition in this valuable series: Tracing Your Roscommon Ancestors, by John Hamrock. Roscommon county gets its name from Irish Ros Comáin, which means St. Coman’s Wood. Like so many areas in Ireland, Roscommon lost many people to death and migration as a result of the Great Famine. In fact, few counties saw as great a decline as Roscommon. From 253,591 in 1841 to 174,492 in 1851, Roscommon lost over 30% of its population.
Roscommon’s people were predominately Catholic, with an 1861 census showing a 77% Catholic population, and some church records dating back to the early 180os. Like its population, Roscommon is a small, mostly-flat, land-locked county, measuring only 40 miles wide and 60 long. The county does not have as many genealogically valuable resources as other counties, but it does have its records. Resources for these records are reliably noted in this volume. Also, the author notes that sometimes people lived in surrounding counties, but may have frequented and conducted business in towns of other counties. The author’s own paternal grandparents lived on a farm in Mayo county but were closer to a town in Roscommon. When they migrated they even claimed to be from Roscommon.
Author John Hamrock conducts Roscommon family research. He knows the area and knows the resources. When searching for Irish ancestry, having a guide to specific localized resources can provide a great help. Each book in this series takes an in depth look at a single county, what records are available, and how to access them.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Conducting Family Research
Chapter 3. Administrative Divisions
Chapter 4. Civil Registration
Chapter 5. Census and Census Substitutes
Chapter 6. Church Records
Chapter 7. Land Records
Chapter 8. Estate Records
Chapter 9. Grave Records and Inscriptions
Chapter 10. Wills, Administration and Marriage Licenses
Chapter 11. Directories and Occupational Sources
Chapter 12. Newspapers
Chapter 13. Educational Records
Chapter 14. Gaelic Genealogies
Chapter 15. Surnames and Family Histories
Chapter 16. Miscellaneous Sources
Chapter 17. Further Reading
Chapter 18. Useful Information
Order a copy of Tracing Your Roscommon Ancestors, or any of the other books in the series, from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: FLP016, Price: $18.95.