Tracing Your Limerick Ancestors

I first thought to introduce this book with a short poem of my own creation. However, I found the results to corny to share. So, in a far simpler introduction, let me just say this blog takes a look at a book specifically written to help genealogists find their Irish ancestors who lived in the county of Limerick. Yes, the poem was a limerick, a type of poetry named after the Irish county in question. The book, Tracing Your Limerick Ancestor by Margaret Franklin, is dedicated specifically to tracing one’s Limerick ancestors.

Within these pages the author covers many record types, but she also makes note of the main types most researchers will want to examine, as follows:

  • Records of Birth, Marriages, & Death (see Chapter 6: Civil Registration)
  • Church Records (see Chapter 5)
  • Tithe Applotment Books (1820s – 1830s)(see Chapter 3: Land Records)
  • Griffith’s Land Valuation (1852) (also Chapter 3)
  • The census of 1901 and 1911 (see Chapter 4: Census and Census Substitutes)

The author also notes, there are current publications that deal with genealogical records and research, which may prove useful. These are the Irish Genealogist Journal and Irish Roots.

Limerick is a large Irish county ranging from urban cities to rural agricultural areas. Genealogical resources can be found in all the varying areas in the county. This book provides a listing of the available records, where they can be accessed, and how they can be used. Limerick is the center county of the Munster province. When looking at Munster on the map, Limerick almost appears as the hub in a wheel.

The population of Limerick dropped by nearly 20% between 1841 and 1851, from approximately 330,000 to 262,000. The population continued to decline on through 1926. The population held steady for another 20 years then slid to an all time low of around 133,000 people in 1961. From there the population has begun to grow again. Like all areas in Ireland, there are more descendants of Irish blood living outside the country today than within. This is a major reason why this series of research guides can be so helpful to those outside of Ireland, as well as those living on the Emerald Isle.

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:


Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Getting Started

Chapter 2. Administrative Divisions

Chapter 3. Land Records

Chapter 4. Census and Census Substitutes

Chapter 5. Church Records

Chapter 6. Civil Registration

Chapter 7. Wills, Administration and Marriage Licenses

Chapter 8. Grave Records and Inscriptions

Chapter 9. Newspapers

Chapter 10. Commercial Directories

Chapter 11. Family Histories

Chapter 12. Further Reading & Useful Sources

Chapter 13. Archives, Services & Addresses



Order a copy of Tracing Your Limerick Ancestor, or any of the other books in the series, from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: FLP013, Price: $18.95.

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