Irish History

This page contains Irish history and genealogy resources, with particular interest in late 17th century to early 18th century and County Westmeath.
Contents: "My Bookshelf," online social history links, genealogy resources, online maps, and free eBooks.

My Bookshelf

(* for recommended books)

*A History of Everyday Things in England — Although it's not set in Ireland, this series presents tons of fun details and pictures. Organized rather randomly by century.
English Social History (green book) — No pictures, rather boring.
The two skinny books are touristy history of Tudor times. Lots of photos, but too early for my century of interest.
-William Penn's My Irish Journal (I haven't read it yet.)
*The Quakers of Mountmellick (book and museum website) — Good resource for history and genealogy in County Offaly
*Quaker Homespuns —short stories, simple fiction set in the same era and location as my (draft) novel, written by an Irish Quaker historian
*A History of Ireland in 250 Episodes — This book makes learning Irish history fun! Roughly chronological, with short-story length anecdotes (based on a radio show)
A Timeline of Irish History - Nice color pictures, but only lists the big events (ie. wars or famous people).
Pamphlets and booklets that I picked up in Ireland, from the Moate Cemetery to a map with local flowers on it.
(Scottish research books)
Fodor's See It Ireland — Nice color photos with brief, basic history.
(Not in the photo)
*Irish Life in the Seventeenth Century by Edward MacLysaght
Tracing Your Irish Ancestors by John Grenham, Fourth Edition — During my 2009 trip to Ireland, the Librarian at the National Library of Ireland referred to Grenham's third edition frequently. Yes, I meant that capital L — other employees kept directing me to "the Librarian," a woman with her own desk off the grand reading room, who seemed to have all the answers (many of them from this well worn book).
* A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland — Counties and parishes
* Arctic Ireland — Everybody's heard of the so-called Great Famine of the 19th century. But my ancestors (and others') survived the Bliain an Áir, the forgotten famine of 1740-41. Ireland suffered a little ice age — rivers and harbors froze — combined with drought that devastated the population, with an even higher percentage of deaths.

More Social History
Here's a 1788 essay (eBook) about historical Irish dress, armour and weapons.
Irish Historical Textiles — a blog about authentic Irish clothing

Genealogy resources
The National Archives of Ireland and their Genealogy page with tithe applotment books and soldiers' wills. Download their pdf guide to Family History Research on this page.
The National Library of Ireland
The Public Records Office (Northern Ireland)
Peter J. Clarke has compiled a great list of free Irish Genealogy eBooks.
The Ireland Genealogy Project, with resources by county.
Beginners' tips and links for Irish genealogy at The Armchair Genealogist

The Down Survey maps, measured off in 1656-1658, contain wonderful information about property owners, landmarks and rough descriptions (bog or forest). Property values (from rents, improvements, and market fairs) were taken from previous surveys in the 1630-40s. Here is the Detailed User Guide.
Irish Ordnance Survey maps — Highly detailed maps, from 19th-century triangulation to 21st-century aerial data. Click "Explore Map" at the top to zoom in on an area. You can choose "Historical" on the right side to switch from modern street maps to old maps.

The Grand Juries of the County of Westmeath (free pdf) — Volume II is full of surname histories
Annals of Westmeath, Ancient and Modern by James Woods (free pdf) — Lots of history, no index

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