The fifth edition of Tracing your Irish Ancestors

The fifth edition of Tracing your Irish Ancestors is published today. At least I presume it’s published today, because Amazon have started selling it today.

Launch party? You’re looking at the launch party. Only one edition actually had a formal launch, the third I think, and that was just because I wanted to impress my teenage son. The effect lasted about twenty minutes but it was worth it. He’s now well beyond impressing.

Featuring three of my four grandparents

So why another edition? My late father’s comment after the second was a laconic “Could you not get it right the first time?” Three editions later I can imagine what he’d say.

Part of the impetus is certainly from the publisher, hoping to get everyone who bought the last edition to cough up again. Such ignoble motives are beneath me, of course. When the first edition came out back in 1991, I thought “That’s that, job done”. What quieter, more stable backwater could there be than Irish genealogy?

And of course Irish genealogy has been non-stop, hell-for-leather breakneck action ever since.

Hell-for-leather breakneck action

The pace of change has actually accelerated since edition four in 2012 and that alone is a good reason for an update. Just think about a few of the resources online since then: the GRO record images on IrishGenealogy, a revolution on its own; the National Library Catholic parish register images; the huge increase in digitised newspaper archives in Britain and Ireland; the amazing LDS Registry of Deeds collection; and the flood of new Irish digitisation produced by the competition between Ancestry and

I could go on. And I have, in the book. It’s grown from 580 pages to 690. Bring a wheelbarrow.

I’ll be speaking at the National Archives on April 16 next and at the National Genealogical Society conference in St Louis between May 7 and 12 and I’ll be happy to sign copies then. The North American edition is due out from the Genealogical Publishing Company shortly. In the meantime …

23 thoughts on “The fifth edition of Tracing your Irish Ancestors”

  1. John – Unfortunately it has not arrived at Amazon in the United States yet… Do you know if there will also be a Kindle Edition?

  2. Congratulations! Another massive project completed. But a question. You say ‘North American edition’. I assume it is the identical book, just different publishers? Could you clarify?

      1. Thanks for that response. I thought I would need to wait for the North American edition but will order it now since there is no difference.

  3. It was on sale in Wexford on Tuesday however they managed that. I had a quick flick through, didn’t have time for more, and was surprised that there was no advance publicity. Looking forward to a good browse now.

  4. Not to judge a book by its cover, but…I like the new cover!

    My current (4th ed.) Grenham is embellished by loads of colour-coded sticky notes (green for “Moran,” blue for “McGlade,” pink for “Lahey,” and etc.). Which is kind of damaging to the book, I freely admit, but which maybe gives me the excuse to upgrade? I don’t generally upgrade to the latest edition, but in this case I think I want to make an exception. I could especially use some help with I know that this site now houses a truly impressive range of sources, but I find the interface and search functions a bit confusing and cumbersome to use.

    Congrats on your new edition (690 pages? Wow!).

  5. John….there are very positive reviews about your latest edition on Ancestry saying that there have been very valuable additions to your last edition. Needless to say, I bought it.

  6. Great news John – thank you!

    Like M.C. Moran’s, my copy of the 4th edition is embellished with post-its and scribbled notes, and stuffed with used envelopes as acting bookmarks

  7. Looking forward to getting a copy in May at the National Genealogical Society Conference. One of the main reasons i signed up is I saw you were one of the presenters and I didn’t want to miss.

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