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[Bann Valley] Tracing your Irish Family History by Anthony Adolph

Whenever I run out of ideas on sources to trace my Bann Valley ancestors, I often turn to published books. Not many general books on Irish genealogy are published and I came across a new one and would like to share a few thoughts on it.

First impressions are that it's beautifully illustrated and a good deal more compact in size than the Grenham and Ryan books which most of us will have read. Chapter 1 begins with some very good advice on getting started. In general the tone is chatty and informative but less comprehensive than Grenham or Ryan. It covers areas that they don't, a new one to me being emigrants to Argentina. I had no idea that 45,000 Irish people migrated to Argentina in the 19th century. There are useful chapters on countries to which Irish people migrated including a four-page chapter on New Zealand! You will find many web addresses mentioned which inevitably go out of date quickly.

One statement I found a little misleading when it comes to Bann Valley people was on page 112 where it states that virtually all Presbyterians were buried in C of I cemeteries. Clearly not true in Garvagh, Kilrea or Aghadowey. I suspect Mr Adolph has specialised in another part of Ireland.

At the end of the book we are told that Mr Adolph is a "professional genealogist, writer and broadcaster". That last word explains a lot about how the book is presented.

To summarise, this book will not replace Grenham or James G. Ryan as "the" Irish genealogy book, but if you already have one of these two, it's well worth a look and you could well find some new ideas for your research.

John in New Zealand