- Samuel Lewis, Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 3 vols (1st Edition, 1837)
- Taylor & Skinner's Road Maps of Ireland (2nd ed. 1783)
- The Post Chaise Companion 1786
- The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1846
- Handran's Townlands in Poor Law Unions
These essential resources for Ireland's place names would normally retail for 159 (incl. VAT).
The Reverend William Henry's Upper Lough Erne was compiled by him in 1739 and until its publication in 1892 by William and McGee of Dublin, existed only in manuscript, which at that time was held at the British Museum amongst a collection of manuscripts relating to the Royal Society. As to the author: the Reverend William Henry was a Fellow of the Royal Society, who had graduated B.A., B.D., and D.D., from Trinity College, Dublin, before becoming Rectory of Killesher and Urney in 1761 and later Dean of Killoe. Rev. Henry died in Dublin in 1768.
Edited by Sir Charles King, Bart., the published manuscript of Henry's description of Lough Erne is, as the editor notes, imperfect missing at it is a description of the Lower Lough. However, inserted into the manuscript in its place and apparently by the same author are fragments of topographical noted for County Donegal.
Of great interest because of the early date of its compilation, Henry describes the purpose of the manuscript on the first folio page, namely to take a journey along the entire length of the Upper Lough from its source to the ocean making descriptions of the principal geographical features and gentlemen's seats as he went. This he did admirably and within the first three pages of the manuscript Henry encounters and records his observations of the Ballyhaise River, Rathkenny House and Farnham, which was described a century later as 'one of the noblest ornaments in the County'. As interesting as the original manuscript is, much of the credit and at least as much of the interest that can be derived from its publication must go to its editor Sir Charles King. At every opportunity in a plethora of footnoted, King provides detailed genealogies and biographical notices on all of the families mentioned by Henry.
Containing 95 printed pages with an alphabetical index, King's published edition also contains contains a number of useful appendices compiled by the editor. These include a description of Enniskillen in 1611, together with a list of the burgesses and provosts of the town the following year. The names of the townsmen of Enniskillen together with their arms dating from the 1630s as well as lists of officers of various Fermanagh Regiments at the time of their dissolution, together with annual pay received by the officers. These include William Wolsely's Regiment of Horse, Abraham Creighton's Regiment of Foot and Brigadier Tiffin's Regiment all dissolved in 1698. The appendices also include contemporary accounts of the Great Fire of Enniskillen in 1705 and a list of Crown Tenants in Fermanagh from 1678.
Republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom, Sir Charle King's edited and published version of William Henry's Upper Lough Erne is essential for anyone interested in County Fermanagh, Lough Erne and descriptions of these and its notable inhabitants in the early 18th century.
Born in Southampton in 1704 (d. 1765), Dr Richard Pococke, later bishop of Ossory (1756-65) and Meath (1765), is best known for his travel writings and diaries. Pococke had a passion for travelling, and travelled extensively through Ireland and Britain and further abroad. During the 1750s Pococke undertook a number of tours around various parts of Ireland, the longest of which occurred during the summer and autumn of 1752. In the course of that tour Pococke travelled in a circuit around Ireland, passing through twenty counties, and recording the details of his expedition. His diary of this remarkable tour remained in the library of Trinity College for almost a century and a half, until it was first published, edited by George Stokes, the noted antiquarian, in 1891.
Pococke's tour is a very important source for anybody interested in Irish society in the eighteenth century for two reasons. In the first instance, it is extremely detailed, providing a balanced account of his experiences during his extraordinary tour. Secondly, it provides descriptive accounts of parts of the country which rarely appear in eighteenth-century accounts, including remote parts of west Donegal and west Mayo.
Setting off from Dublin on 22 June, Pococke first travelled north, through Drogheda and County Down to Belfast. Belfast, which by the latter decades of the nineteenth century, had emerged as an economic rival to Dublin, consisted in 1752 of 'one long broad Street, and of several lanes in which the inferior people live' (p. 21). From Belfast, he travelled northwards to the Giant's Causeway, and then westwards, through Coleraine to Derry city. From Derry, he travelled to Letterkenny, via Inishowen, where his description of contemporary housing is notable - 'the houses are built with sods, supported within by a wooden frame, which the poor people sometimes leave with their effects, when the collector of the hearth money approaches' (p. 55). From Letterkenny, he travelled southwards, through Sligo and Mayo, arriving at Galway on 14 August, more than seven weeks into his tour.
Having rested at Galway for a few days, he travelled through Clare to Limerick, and on to Cork city, pleasantly situated, but with 'narrow and dirty' streets (p. 118). Readers may be confused by the details of the next stage of his journey, from Cork to Kilkenny, as he notes that he departed Cork on 4 September, and arrived at Cashel and Killenaule on 2 September, and onwards to Kilkenny. This confusing dating is not a mistake on Pococke's part, because in September 1752 Ireland and Britain adopted the new-style calendar, which involved an eleven-day shift in the calendar (p. 127). Thus, readers may observe that Pococke did not record the actual dates for his trip between Lismore and Villierstown, which coincided with the change in the calendar. In Waterford city by 15 September (new style), he travelled westwards through the county, via Ardmore and Dungarvan, to return again to the city.
He departed Waterford on 2 October, on the final leg of his journey. He travelled through south Wexford, through Bargy and Forth, with its distinctive dialect (p. 154), and on to Wexford town, with its narrow streets (p. 155). Departing Wexford on 6 October, he travelled northwards, through Arklow and Bray, arriving back in Dublin on 11 October, after 100 days travelling.
Like most of our CDs, Pococke's tour is fully searchable, and researchers with an interest in travel writing and social history will find this an extremely readable and useful account of eighteenth-century Ireland.
This remarkable and exceptionally rare publication was the second and corrected edition of the first road map of Ireland. Originally published in 1778, the authors felt it necessary to reissue the title quickly to correct deficiencies. The maps were commissioned by the House of Commons in Ireland, and contain 289 pages of maps. The index for these detailed maps shows distances in English and Irish miles. The maps themselves show copious topographical details, like forests, hills, farm land, mills, houses, churches, etc. The large houses also give the owners names. There is a personal name index at the back detailing every name recorded on the maps. This edition also contains a new large-scale 'accurate' map of Ireland.
Taylor and Skinner's road maps of Ireland (and their books for Scotland, England and the USA) were a phenomenal achievement for their day, and remains an essential research tool for the late eighteenth century.
This title is a DOWNLOAD. Please click the link on the receipt to initiate the download. If you would prefer a version on CD-ROM to be posted to you, please select the option below. It will cost an additional 6.00 (ex VAT) which includes all postage charges.
The Post-Chaise Companion of Ireland was published by W. Wilson in 1786. Although a number of companions of this kind were published for Irish use before and after Wilson's edition, this represents one of the most complete guides of its type and all of which were to be relegated to history less than fifty years later with the advent of the railway. Prior to mechanisation, the post-chaise was the most familiar and widely used means of road transport. This commonly took the form of a closed-body travelling carriage, which together with a pair or four horses and postilion driver was hired from stage to stage. Containing more than five hundred pages, the Post-Chaise Companion has far more to offer than merely as a directory of distances and also describes gentlemen's seats, sites of antiquity, manufactures and the rural landscape through which the post-chaise roads pass. Post-dating Taylor & Skinner's Maps of the Roads of Ireland and pre-dating many less-adequate Irish travel companions and directories, the Post-Chaise Companion has much to recommend it. The current CD-Rom publication is fully searchable and is a good addition to any historical library.
Published in 1794 this book was a companion to the map produced by Alexander Taylor. Tyner's companion gives "The distance by the great roads from Dublin to every town in the Kingdom, the cross roads, and descriptions of the gentlemen's seats near the road". Not only are the directions and mileages included but also detailed descriptions of the journey, which also include many observations on the surrounding countryside and buildings. Included at the end are the great and direct roads from London to Holyhead. George Tyner had added his own map of Ireland to enhance the publication.
Much like Taylor and Skinner's Road Maps of Ireland this is a remarkable and rare publication. In place of the maps are detailed written directions. As a companion to Alexander Taylor's Map of Ireland this is an essential research tool for anyone studying late 18th century Irish history.
Originally published in French in Brunswick as Promenade d'un Français dans l'Irlande, A Frenchman's Walk Through Ireland is an important source for researchers, interested in Irish society at the close of the eighteenth century. This fascinating travelogue, which took place during 1796-7 is packed full of witty and keen observations on all levels of Irish Society on the eve of the 1798 Rebellion. At ease when receiving hospitality from the elite of Irish society, the author can also be found mixing with the peasantry, taking shelter with a beggar woman and her family and watching the conduct of hedge schools, turf cutting and potato planting. This is a fascinating and very readable social commentary, and is recommended for anyone interested in societal organisation at this crucial period in Irish history.
James Solas Dodds Travellers Director is a less well known guide to Ireland, published in 1801 to cater for English people wishing to holiday in Ireland.
The book begins with a description of Dublin city, including a detailed engraved map. He then tours the country following all the main roads throughout the island. For each place he describes the topography, economy, public buildings, gentlemens houses, religious buildings, antiquities, curiosities, and gives a lot of historical information.
The book concludes with a section on the major natural curiosities in Ireland (e.g. the Giants Causeway), and a guide to getting to Ireland from England.
The book contains an excellent map of Ireland by Stockdale.
The closing decades of the eighteenth century witnessed considerable improvements in the quality of the communications infrastructure in Ireland, and consequent increases in economic activity and trade. These developments and improvements enhanced the demand for directories, travel guides and topographical accounts. To meet this demand, new road atlases and descriptive accounts began to appear. Notable among these were the Maps of the roads of Ireland by George Taylor and Andrew Skinner, William Wilson's Post-chaise companion and James Solas Dodd's Topographical director through Ireland, versions of each of which are available from us on CD-ROM.
Ambrose Leet's Directory to the market towns, villages and gentlemen's seats and other noted places in Ireland was one of the first nineteenth century Irish directories to appear in print, and provides alternative information and additional details to that presented in the various earlier publications. Leet's directory was compiled under the authority of the General Post Office, for the purpose of encouraging trade, communications and 'public correspondence'. First published in 1812, a second edition, with corrections and additions, appeared in 1814. It is the second, corrected, edition that has been published here.
This is an impressive publication of more than 450 pages, and is packed with vital information for the historian and genealogist, researching early nineteenth-century Ireland. The information is presented in convenient, columnar fashion, listing, in alphabetical order, the names of approximately 20,000 locations throughout Ireland, including towns, villages, estates and gentlemen's seats. For each location, the county in which it is situated and the nearest post town is listed, but additional information is also provided, which varies, depending on the character of the particular location.
Villages and market towns are conveniently noted, and in many case, the ecclesiastical diocese is also recorded. Researchers interested in identifying the distribution of estate houses and gentleman's seats will be pleased to see that these are particularly well covered by Leet, with the then proprietor of each listed seat recorded. A detailed index of persons' names is also provided.
Since the publication was undertaken under the authority of the Post Office, it concludes with a listing of postage rates from all post towns to Dublin, and from the principal postage ports (Dublin, Waterford and Donaghadee) to Britain, Europe and the Empire.
The alphabetical presentation of the information makes this an easy source to use. For the added convenience of users, this version of Leet's directory, like most of our CDs, is fully searchable. Consequently, it is strongly recommended to researchers as an important research tool, either in its own right, or as a convenient complement to the various other directories and topographical accounts available from Eneclann.
He visited the majority of counties in Ireland, and provides a wealth of information on the social conditions he observed in each location. Even though he travelled in a non-Famine year, the depth of poverty he witnessed was acute. For social historians and genealogists his work is especially useful, providing a eye-witness account of the real life conditions experienced by the general population of Ireland at that time. He also has a lot to say about the consequences of Catholic emancipation, and religion in general.
His book is essential reading for anyone trying to understand Ireland in the 1830s.
This title is a DOWNLOAD. Please click the link on the receipt to initiate the download. If you would prefer a version on CD-ROM to be posted to you, please select the option below. It will cost an additional 6.00 (ex VAT) which includes all postage charges.
First printed and published in Dublin in 1835 and republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom is the Rev. George Hansbrow's Topographical and Historical Hibernian Gazetteer. Containing some 426 printed pages, the full title of this publication reads as follows: An Improved Topographical and Historical Hibernian Gazetteer; Describing the Various Boroughs, Baronies, Buildings, Cities, Counties, Collieries, Castles,, Churches, Curiosities, Fisheries, Glens, Harbours, Lakes, Mines, Mountains, Provinces, Parishes, Rivers, Spas, Seats, Towers, Towns, Villages, Waterfalls, etc., Scientifically Arranged, with an Appendix of Ancient Names. To which is Added, An Introduction to the Ancient and Modern History of Ireland by The Rev. G. Hansbrow.
Hansbrow dedicated his Gazetteer to the resident nobility, clergy and gentry of Ireland who had patronised the author in brining the Gazetteer to fruition a labour which he hoped would need no apology when presenting it to a candid and learned public. While Hansbrow believed that the utility of such a history and topography was self-evident the preface to the publication is somewhat strange for such a publication at such a time. While Hansbrow believed that the 'patriot reader' would find much to please him in the history and topography of Ireland so would the 'ungrateful and tasteless absentee gentry' who would have been better employed spending more of their time and money on ill-fated Ireland than in 'foreign parts', which all suggest that the Rev. Hansbrow was somewhat of a nationalist and probably a supporter of O'Connell's repeal Campaign. These things aside, the Topographical & Historical Hibernian Gazetteer is introduced by a lengthy History of Ireland. This is detailed in twenty-seven sections. These detail, amongst other things, the geography of Ireland; how Ireland got its name; the first settlers; the ancient learning and religion of the country as well as its ancient laws and governance before the arrival of the Normans and English; the 'insurrection' of 1641 and Rebellion of 1689; the origins of the Irish Constitution; the Irish Volunteers and Rebellion of 1798; tithes, the Poor Laws, the economy and the curiosities of Ireland. While it is true that all of these things are pertinent to the general history of the country, it would appear that Hansbrow was writing more for the present than the past and all of his sections of history were brought to bear on where he believed Ireland stood in 1835 and how Ireland should progress in the future. To this end, the introductory section of the Gazetteer, amounting to some 100 pages is concluded by Hansbrow's thoughts on the 'prospects and progress of Ireland'.
The Gazetteer proper, alphabetically arranged extends to some 300 printed pages, beginning with Abbaccy otherwise Ardquin and ending with Youghal. Of the former Hansbrow wrote that this was the seat of the Echlin family, which they had occupied under lease from the bishop since at lease the Rebellion of 1641. Situated on Strangford Lord, Ardquin was a corruption of the Irish Ard Cuan. Of the Echlins seat, or house, Hansbrow has little to report. Written very much in the manner, but with less detail than the work the immediately superseded the Hibernian Gazetteer, namely Samuel Lewis's monumental two-volume Topographical Dictionary of Ireland published in London in 1837, Hansbrow's Hibernian Gazetteer still deserves a place on the bookshelf of discerning Irish readers.
Lewis gives details about every parish, town and village in Ireland, including numbers of inhabitants, the economy, history, topography, religion and parish structures, administration and courts, schools, and much more. He also gives the names of the principal inhabitants (generally landlords, merchants and professionals).
This Dictionary is in four parts:
· Preface & Subscribers
· Volume 1: A-G
· Volume 2: H-Z
· Volume 3: Maps
The Maps are in full colour, making this source one of the most important for research on Ireland.
Written by the Scottish writer Leitch Ritchie, and published in 1838, Ireland Picturesque and Romantic is a welcome addition to the collection of travelogues on Ireland. Accompanied by several high quality engravings, from drawings by D. McClise and T. Creswick, this volume is an attempt to "render as complete a picture as possible of the country and its inhabitants".
To further this aim this Ritchie does not shy away from political commentary. Which is how he begins the book, with a discussion on the condition of the people of Ireland, and how hunger is the driving force behind most of their actions. Drawing on his extensive travels and knowledge of other countries, Ritchie is able to draw comparisons with the condition of the peoples and how the struggled to better themselves.
The travel part of the books begins north of Dublin, travelling through Drogheda, Dundalk and Newry Continuing his travels across the northern counties, Ritchie then makes his way down the through the western counties to the midlands and then back to the coastal counties again and to the South of the country. All the time we get Ritchie's keen observations on both the landscape and the people, as well as his insights in to the political system in Ireland, as well as the necessity for an individual and unique Irish poor relief scheme.
Overall this is an important addition to the collection of Irish travel writings. Ritchie's experience, insights, knowledge and understanding give this particular travelogue its own unique flavour and a must have for anyone interested in Ireland in the years just prior to the famine.
First published in 1832 and republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom is the 1838 London edition of Wild Sports of the West. With Legendary Tales and Local Sketches. Containing some 414 printed pages as recently as 2006 The Sunday Post in its review of Rough Shooting of Ireland declared that Wild Sports of the West remained one of the classics of Irish rural life of the nineteenth-century in a world in which gentlemen revelled in their privileges and peasants understood that their role in life was to help them enjoy those luxuries. It was here that Wild Sports of the West portrayed the delights of wild fowling where peasant gamekeepers made sure that there was always sufficient wildlife to provide entertainment 'and tasty dishes for gentlemen'.
Written by William Hamilton Maxwell (1792-1850), Maxwell was born in Newry and had inherited from his grandfather, murdered in 1798, a love of the military. As a boy it is told that Maxwell was was preoccupied with arms and he later claimed that as a child he had witnessed more than twenty duels. Educated at Trinity College, Maxwell's preferred career path was that of a soldier, but forced by circumstances and the direction of his benefactor he undertook holy orders, a career by all accounts that he had no vocation for. Ordained in 1813 he was initially appointed to the poor curacy of Clonallon overlooking Carlingford Bay. However, his fortunes changed when he married in 1817 the daughter of Leonard Dobbin, MP for Armagh City and was soon given that valuable living of the Rectory of Balla in Co. Mayo worth some £400 a year. While here Maxwell took advantage of the rent free cottage given to him by the Marquis of Sligo from where he pursued his much-loved hunting and fishing expeditions. He was also a regular visitor to the garrison at Castlebar becoming an honorary member of the officers mess where he overheard many of the war stories from veterans of the Napoleonic Wars that were to embellish his highly popular works of fiction.
His first effort was the unsuccessful O'Hara (1825), but during the periods when hunting was poor he wrote the highly successful Wild Sports of the West (1832) followed by the military novels Stories from Waterloo (1834) and the Life of the Duke of Wellington (1839-41). These are credited with starting the school of rollicking military fiction, which culminated in the novels of Charles Lever. Maxwell also wrote, amongst other things, a History of the Irish Rebellion (1845) a refutation of Madden's Lives of the United Irishmen. Removed from his benefice in 1844 Maxwell became a full-time man of letters with many of his writings becoming standard texts of British military history, leading some to rumour that he was a military veteran.
Wild Sports of the West is comprised of forty-four chapters, which take the form of letters of the writer's - Maxwell's - adventures to his friends and acquaintances. These portray in vivid accounts some of the wild and in some instances not a little fantastical adventures of the writer as he hunted, fished and poached in the west of Ireland and retold the local stories and anecdotes of the west relayed to him by his local guides and gamekeepers. Wild Sports of the West was and remains a classic of Irish outdoor pursuits and will greatly appeal to anyone interested in the outdoor pursuits real and fantastical portrayed by a very entertaining storyteller.
The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland was published in Dublin, London and Edinburgh by A Fullerton & Co., in 1846 and remains the only parliamentary gazetteer that wholly and perhaps uniquely treats on the thirty-two counties of Ireland. The Gazetteer happily combines more than 2,200 pages of statistical, topographical and anecdotal material on many of Ireland's smaller villages and hamlets as well as the country's larger towns and cities. While Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, published in 1837, is for many a more accessible and identifiable topographical dictionary of Ireland, The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland provides more substantive statistical information and is perhaps a superior publication in both and breadth, drawing as it does from the statistics of the 1831 and 1841 Censuses of Ireland. Unlike Lewis, which treated on the cities, civil parishes and main post towns of Ireland in some 1,500 pages, The Gazetteer also treats on minor geographical features, such as small streams and manmade structures, such as bridges, harbours and ferries; some of the latter were only in their developmental stages and never actually came to fruition.
The Parliamentary Gazetteer is presented in an alphabetical format and includes a thorough index. The current CD-ROM version is fully-searchable and allows that reader to search for names of individuals - such as the occupants of gentlemen's seats, parish priests and the like - as well as smaller geographical and manmade structures not recorded in the original's index.
This edition of William Carleton's Traits & Stories of the Irish Peasantry was published in London in 1853 and is republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom. Containing the stories The Party Fight & Funeral; the Hedge School and The Station, this edition includes two illustrations by Phiz, Halbot Knight Browne (1815-82), best-known as the illustrator of the works of Charles Dickens.
William Carleton, now memorialised by the numerous summer schools that bear his name and contemporary literature by no less than Seamus Heany in his epic poem, The Station, was born in Co. Tyrone in 1794, one of fourteen children of a small tenant farmer. Educated at various hedge schools Carleton had initially entertained ideas of entering the Church, but after undertaking a pilgrimage he gave up any notions of becoming a priest and eventually became a Protestant. Carleton arrived in Dublin in the late 1820s virtually penniless and after failing to secure jobs as a bird-stuffer and soldier amongst others, he obtained a teaching job in a Sunday School and began to contribute stories to journals. Asked to write a sketch of Lough Derg, this was published by the editor of the Christian Examiner, Reverend Caesar Otway and within two years Carleton had published more than thirty sketches in the same periodical. These were collected and published as Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry, published in five volumes between 1830 and 1833 by William Curry and before Carleton's death in 1869 had gone through more than fifty editions. This was followed by Tales of Ireland published in 1833, which placed Carleton in the first rank of Irish novelists.
Between 1833 and his death in 1869 Carleton wrote and was published continuously and some of his other works include Valentine McClutchy, the Irish Agent, or Chronicles of the Castle Cumber Property; Willy Reilly and his dear Cooleen Bawn; The Black Prophet, a Tale of Irish Famine and The Squanders of Castle Squander. Carleton wrote from the personal experiences he had with the scenes he described, especially in his short stories such as the Hedge School and The Station and in these he 'described, and drew with a sure hand a series of pictures of peasant life, unsurpassed for their appreciation of the passionate tenderness of Irish home life, of the buoyant humour and the domestic virtues which would, under better circumstances, bring prosperity and happiness'. It is for these reasons that the Traits of the Irish Peasantry has undergone so many editions and why it is still to be recommended to a contemporary readership.
First published in 1859 under the author title of "An Oxonian" this is version is a "new edition" published in 1892. The original release had a very limited print run and there were many calls for a second version to meet demand. Much of this demand was generated by a desire to see the illustrations that accompany the text. Indeed, even the illustrator himself, John Leech, had asked for a new edition to be produced. Leech had died by the time this edition was published. The Oxonian's journey took him from Dublin to Galway, then to Limerick, Killarney, Cork and finally back to Dublin. In-between he visited towns such as Clifden, Kylemore, Glengarriff and Blarney. Also included is a chapter on the famine and it effects in Galway in particular, as told by a local waiter. The author concludes with a trip to Donnybrook Fair and seeing some of the sights before retiring to Morrisson's.
The illustrations, both scenic and humours in nature, are sprinkled liberally throughout the 260 pages adding greatly to its value. This is a worthy addition to the travel writings on Ireland.
Originally published in London 1899 by MacMillan & Co., Ltd., this first edition of the Highways and Byways in Donegal and Antrim, is republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom. Macmillan began publishing the Highways and Byways series in 1899, this being one of the earliest in the series, and by 1909 had completed nineteen publications in the series, which extended across the length and breadth of England, Scotland and Wales, with one publication on France (on Normandy) and this the only one in the series on Ireland. This highly popular series continued until the beginning of the Second World War. In May 2009 Pan Macmillan reissued a one-volume collection of the best of the Highways and Byways series offering a glimpse of the very best of Britain.
The original publication contains more than three-hundred printed pages and a colour map of the route taken by its author, Stephen Gwynn and illustrator, Hugh Thomson. The Donegal Tourist Agency stated of the Highways and Byways in Donegal and Antrim that that it was a wonderful mix of topography, local history and folklore and Gwynn's late nineteenth century tour, most of which he undertook on foot or by bicycle, allows a modern readership to rediscover Donegal and Antrim through this travelogue. Containing twenty chapters detailing a dozen or more tours, Gwynn begins his tour with advice to the reader on both the Ulster dialect and to the cyclist, both of which could prove tricky, before commencing at Enniskillen and Lough Erne and taking a roughly circular route along the coasts of Donegal and Antrim before finishing his journey in Belfast.
Tours covered by Gwynn and Thomson include: Enniskillen - Lough Erne; Ballyshannon - Donegal; Killybegs; Carrick - Slieve League - Glencolumkille; Glenties - Ardara; Burton Port - Dungloe - Glenveagh; Gartan - Doon Well; Glenveagh - Gweedore; Dunfanaghy - Horn Head - Tory Island; Rosapenna - Mulroy Bay - Port Salon; Rathmullen; Gap of Mamore - Malin Head - Moville; Derry; Coleraine - Portstewart - Portrush - The Causeway. Ballycastle - Carrick-A-Rede; Rathlin - Fair Head - Glendun; Glenariff - Larne - Carrickfergus - Belfast.
Much of the charm and vigour of the Highways and Byways series which has stood the test of time is down to the travellers and in the case of Donegal and Antrim this is no exception. Stephen Gwynn (1864-1950) was an Irish journalist, biographer, author, poet and politician and member of a prodigious family and his tour of Highways and Byways of Donegal and Antrim truly records the love he had for his native Ireland, which was also the case of his lesser-known, but perhaps as illustrious illustrator, Hugh Thomson. The Highways and Byways of Donegal and Antrim are replete with more than eighty pen and ink sketches by Thomson. Born in Coleraine in 1860, by 1883 Thomson had moved to London and had begun working as the illustrator for Macmillan. Amongst his many credits are the illustrations for more than 70 novels, including those of Jane Austen and by the time he drew the illustrations for the Highways and Byways of Donegal and Antrim Thomson was the most popular and successful illustrator of his time. Much of Thomson's work was purchased by Derry City Council and when originals of his pen and ink sketches come up for sale they command high prices and for this reason alone the many books in the Highways and Byways series illustrated by Thomson - which are the majority - are well worth purchasing and this edition for Donegal and Antrim is no exception.
First published in 1905 in New York by Murphy and McCarthy and republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom is the Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland. A monumental publication, the Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland is divided into two distinct parts and as a whole contains more than seven hundred printed pages with many hundreds of maps, photographs and illustrations for all thirty-two counties of Ireland as well as a republication of A. M. Sullivan's Story of Ireland, continued past its original ending in 1867 through to 1900.
Part I of the Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland has the wordy title: A Comprehensive Delineation of the Thirty-two Counties, with a Beautifully Colored Map of Each, arranged Alphabetically, showing over 11,000 Cities, Towns, Villages, and Places of Public Interest. Embracing over Two Hundred Illustrations of the Natural Scenery, Public Buildings, Abbeys, Round Towers and other Romantic Places, reproduced by Eminent Artists from Photographs especially taken for this Work.
Part I is written by the eminent Irish historian and antiquary Patrick Weston Joyce (1827-1914), whose most enduring work was his pioneering The Origin and History of Irish Names and Places. Part I begins with the with the coats of arms of most of the leading Irish families, their mottoes as well as coloured plates of their coats of arms. However, the majority of Part I is taken-up with the topographical atlas of Ireland. Arranged alphabetically by county, each county is introduced with a coloured map and is followed by an account of the origin of t he county's name, its size and population as well as descriptions of its main geographical features, such as rivers, mountains, coastline, etc. Also included are brief descriptions of the main towns and cities contained within each county. However, the dominant feature of Part I of the Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland are the illustrations and the first part of the this publication contains some 200 black and white photographs of some of the best and most renowned areas of natural beauty in Ireland as well as many castles, houses and civic buildings that are perhaps not so well known.
Part I of the Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland is divided from Part II by a comprehensive index of place names that occur throughout and by photographs of the all the incumbent Roman Catholic Bishops of Ireland at the time of the book's initial publication in 1900.
Part II of the Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland is entitled The General History of Ireland as Told by A. M. Sullivan. This is in fact a republication of Alexander Martin Sullivan's (1830-1884) The Story of Ireland. An Irish politician, journalist and journalist, his intentions for writing and publishing The Story of Ireland were made manifest in his author's note to the first edition. In this he states that 'this little book is written for young people' 'who deserve more attention than has hitherto been paid them by our Irish book writers' and it was to them and 'the Irish nation of the future' that The Story of Ireland was dedicated. Sullivan does his 'little book' a disservice; packed with fascinating narrative accounts of the major political events in Irish history, from the the then earliest known periods of Irish history down to the failed Rising of 1867, Sullivan's style is both both personal and informative, which make for both an interesting and easy read. Containing eighty-eight chapters of narrative on such events as the arrival of the Danes, the Battle of Clontarf and the death of Brian Boru, the establishment of the Anglo-Normans in Ireland, the Rebellion of Silken Thomas, the Reformation, King James and King William in Ireland, the Battle of the Boyne, the Irish in Exile, 1798, the Union, the Rise of O'Connell, the Famine and 1867 are to name just a few. Sullivan's original publication is continued by P. D Numan to include the events of the Fenian Rising, the Home Rule Campaign, the Land War and the United Irish League. Included in Part II are are reproductions of a number of memorable portraits of the likes of John Mitchel, Daniel O'Connell, Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone to name but the a few.
Taken as a single publication, Atlas and Cyclopedia of Ireland is a very desirable and collectable publication and is an excellent acquisition for the illustrations alone.
Republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom is the 5th edition of Baddeley & Ward's Guide to Ireland, Part I, published by Dulau & Co., in London in 1902, together with their Guide to Ireland, Part II, published by Nelson & Sons in 1911. Published as part of Baddeley and Ward's 'Thorough Guide' Series, these editions collectively contain more than 700 printed pages. Part I, entitled Ireland (Part I). Northern Counties including Dublin and its Neighbourhood, includes 23 maps and town plans by J. Bartholomew; whereas, Part II carries the title, Ireland (Part II). East, West & South including Dublin and Howth and includes 27 maps and plans, again by J. Bartholomew.
Mountford John Byrde Baddeley (1843-1906) distinguished himself as a guide book writer of the late 19th early 20th centuries, with his first 'Thorough Guide', that to the Lake District, being published by Dulau in 1880. This publication alone went through 23 editions, the last being published by Hammond in 1978 illustrating the enduring appeal of the format of Baddeley's Thorough Guides, which encompassed twenty regions throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Ireland (Part I) was edited and unusually written by Baddeley. Written for the independent tourist travelling on foot, bicycle by coach or rail these guides were at the time of their publication particularly highly regarded and praised in the national newspapers for their accuracy, tasteful topographic descriptions and beautiful maps and these aspects of the Thorough Guides series was as true then as it is today. Ireland (Part I) includes 28 main destinations throughout the north of Ireland, including Donegal. Each of the destinations is accompanied by descriptions of how to get there be it by rail, bicycle or coach and on arrival where to stay. From these focal points the Thorough Guide provides notes for all the activities available in the area, such as notes for walkers, notes for cyclists, anglers, golfers and the like as well as learned topographical descriptions provided by Ward on the local buildings, places and sights of interest. From each stopping point the reader is offered a number of day trips or excursions, which are aimed walkers with varying levels of fitness to cyclists prepared to cycle more than 100 miles in a day!
Ireland (Part II), was written by C. S. Ward and edited by W. Baxter and includes 25 main destinations, mainly in Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Limerick and Clare, with a large section on Galway and Connemara. One of the distinguishing features of the Thorough Guides series are the excellent maps and plans that accompany the guides and the two editions that cover Ireland are no exception. The nature of the maps, showing relief and gradient are akin to modern discovery series Ordnance Survey Maps all of which mark the routes described in throughout the text.
Issued here as one CD-Rom publication, the Thorough Guides to Ireland (Parts I & II) remain an excellent travel companion for the environs which they cover and all editions in this series have now become eminently desirable to collectors, the maps alone making this CD-Rom republication a worthy edition to anyone with an interest in independent travel.
First published in 1880 and republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom is the 7th edition of Ward Lock & Co's Illustrated Guide to Killarney and South-West Ireland dating from 1926-7, the complete title of which is A Pictorial and Descriptive Guide to Killarney, The Kerry Coast, Glengariff, Cork and the South-West of Ireland.
In 1854, Ebenezer Ward and George Lock starting a publishing concern and the partnership, not surprisingly, was called Ward and Lock. The business was originally based in Fleet Street, London but, by the 1870s, it had outgrown its premises and so in 1878 the business moved to Warwick House in Salisbury Square, London. In the early 1880s, the company became the proprietors of Shaw's widely-known and well-established series of tourist guides. In 1882, an office was opened in New York, America, and in 1884 a further office was opened in Melbourne, Australia. In the mid-1890s, the company opened an office in Toronto, Canada; however, this was closed in 1919. Ward Lock & Co., is now part of the Penguin Group
In a promotional statement from 1924 Ward Lock stated that 'The use of a reliable guide book doubles the pleasure and interest of a holiday. These well-known books are not dull, dry-as-dust compilations. but pleasant travelling companions, readable from cover to cover. Each volume contains the latest Maps and Plans and is lavishly illustrated. In all cases a much wider area is included than the title indicates, and it will be found that nearly every holiday and health resort of importance is described in one or more of the volumes'. This was no idle boast. By the 1950s Ward & Lock had published some 160 titles in their Illustrated Guides Series covering almost every holiday district and seaside resort of consequence in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Adopting their familiar red cloth covers in 1892, Ward & Lock employed a special staff of qualified editors and correspondents continually toured the land, compiling and revising material on all places and matters of interest to the holidaymaker and on such subjects as the local history, geology, botany and zoology of the areas concerned. The level of detail provided for the independent tourist in the so-called 'Red guides' was unsurpassed.
Containing some 299 printed pages Ward & Lock's Illustrated Guide to Killarney & South-West Ireland contains a number of fold-out district maps, plans of the Killarney and Cork and a further sixty illustrations, mostly photographs of the places illustrated in the guide. Beginning in Cork City, the Illustrated Guide provides descriptions of a series of excursions that the independent tourist could embark on around the city and its immediate environs, before heading to Killarney via Glengariff. From here the Guide provides information and strolling around Killarney Town and then to the Lakes where further tours and possible routes are provided.
Illustrated throughout with wonderful photographs, detailed maps, many hundreds of contemporary advertisements and wonderful descriptions of the places visited, the quality of Ward & Lock's Red Guides has meant that they have endured the test of time and have already become eminently collectable titles.
First published in 1925 and republished here on full-searchable CD-Rom is the first edition of Wallace Nutting's Ireland Beautiful. Published by Nutting's own company, the Old American Company at Framingham, Massachusetts, Ireland Beautiful was one ten books published by Wallace Nutting, the others being Vermont Beautiful (1922), New Hampshire Beautiful (1923), Connecticut Beautiful (1923), Massachusetts Beautiful (1923), Maine Beautiful (1924), Pennsylvania Beautiful (1924), Ireland Beautiful (1925), New York Beautiful (1927), England Beautiful (1928), and Virginia Beautiful (1930). All the publications in the series were renowned for their illustrations and Ireland Beautiful is no exception containing as it does 304 pictures of every county in Ireland.
Born in Massachusetts in 1861, Nutting was one of only two children. His sister Edith died when she was eighteen and Wallace's father was killed during the American Civil War when he was aged just four. Educated at Harvard, Nutting was an ordained Congregational Minister, but he is renowned as a photographer, artist, and antiquarian, who is most famous for his pictures. He also was an accomplished author, lecturer, furniture maker, antiques expert and collector. It is widely held that his photographs helped spur the Colonial Revival Style in America. Nutting started taking photographs in 1899 Wallace Nutting started taking pictures in 1899 while on long bicycle rides in the countryside. In 1904 he opened the Wallace Nutting Art Prints Studio on East 23rd Street in New York and his printing business flourished. It is estimated that at the peak of his success he employed some 200 colourists and by his own account he sold more than ten million pictures.
Ireland Beautiful is dedicated 'to those Americans who, from birth, have loved or who have learned to love old Ireland'. As with his publications in American states, Ireland Beautiful attempts to capture Ireland as it was and perhaps would never be again. Although not professing Ireland Beautiful to be a guide book in the strictest sense of the meaning, Nutting admitted to having travelled more than 7,000 miles and visited every county in Ireland between 1922 and 1925 in addition to having taken all 304 photographs to appear in the publication, which appear as 'half-tone engravings'. Nutting visited most of the traditional beauty spots of Ireland and photographs them all, however, Ireland Beautiful is replete with images of his greatest passion: the ordinary. To this end more than half of the illustrations in this publication are of a more humble and simple way of life, notably the rural cottage, the cottier and the labourer. It was these themes that made Nutting famous and have ensured that his photography and the subjects that he chose and have lone since passed, still endure.
Fully-indexed, the 302 pages of text accompanying Ireland Beautiful's 304 photographs are as the themes of the illustrations, beautiful in their simplicity. A lovely publication that should not be missed by lovers of Ireland and lovers of photography.
Originally published in London in 1930 by Methuen & Co., Ltd and republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom is John Gibbons' Tramping Through Ireland.
Having previously published My Own Queer Country and Tramping to Lourdes, this was Gibbons third travelogue to reach the public. In his Tramping Through Lourdes Gibbons became somewhat of a celebrity by walking the seven hundred miles from Calais to Lourdes armed only with a walking stick and knapsack and no knowledge of French. Gibbons' witty observations and exploits were serialised for the British Press before finding their way into book form and were so popular that he embarked on another 'tramp' this time through Ireland.
Gibbons, was both a Catholic and an Englishman, which both the press and his publishers liked his readership to know. Gibbons exploits in Ireland were initially serialised in the Daily Express and later by Methuen in book form. Avoiding the tourist routes and always off the beaten track, Gibbons walked the length and breadth of post-partition Ireland, from Dublin to Galway and from Donegal to Waterford. His London publishers believed the results of Gibbons' observations, the first made by a traveller on Independent Ireland were 'interesting' and 'bound to be provocative', while the Irish press thought that his expressions were honest with a good deal to say that was interesting.
Containing some 168 printed pages, Tramping Through Ireland begins in Liverpool aboard the Lady Munster with a nervous traveller - Gibbons - embarking on his first trip to Ireland wondering what he will have to write for the waiting millions of readers of the Daily Express. He and his readers need not have fretted and his initially keen observations were that Dublin and especially Blackrock, Dalkey and Dun Laoghaire were just like England, 'just less commercialised'. Board, Gibbons embarks on a tour of Dublin's slums before being taken to a shebeen and on retiring Gibbons remarks that 'Dublin had had at last yielded something' From Dublin, Gibbons is persuaded that he should visit the most Irish thing in Ireland, Lough Derg in County Donegal. Gibbons remarks that properly one should tramp there barefoot, but it was suggested that although one could make the pilgrimage barefoot, some still did, this was the exception nowadays rather than the rule, as most people in a modern country took the train.
Witty, observant and most of all honest, John Gibbons' Tramping Through Ireland, will delight readers now as did over seventy years ago.
Published in 1931/32 and republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom is "Ireland", the official publication of the Irish Tourist Association and is one of the earliest efforts by the Irish State to actively promote Ireland as a tourist destination.
Containing 164 printed pages this publication covers the entire island of Ireland and represents for each province and county a snap-shot for the tourist of the some of the best-known attractions that Ireland had to offer. The Irish Tourist Association also published smaller editions of tourist information literature at about this time. Also issued in book form these editions offered a slightly more detailed examination of which county destination had to offer the independent tourist. The first Donegal edition, for example, was issued by the Irish Tourist Association in 1930, and contained a meagre twelve pages of text. A decade later, the sophistication of the Irish Tourist Association in attracting visitors to Ireland was witnessed by the inauguration of its Topographical and General Survey. Conducted after World War II, this entailed a detailed information gathering process by surveyors who visited each county and parish in Ireland collecting a recording information on five standard report cards. The information collected formed the basis for the county tourist associations as they are known today.
Ireland was published just eight years after the twenty-six counties had gained independence from Britain and can be seen as an early attempt to portray Ireland as a distinct tourist destination from Britain. This publication begins with a lengthy introduction. This introduces the prospective tourist to the delights that awaited them in Ireland: from its rugged geography, to its ancient remains, spectacular scenery and monuments. The introductory remarks are concluded with a glossary of Irish roots for place names.
The remainder of the guide is subdivided into travel sections based on the four provinces. Beginning with Leinster and the Irish capital, Dublin, Ireland proceeds to perambulate down the western coast of the province through Wicklow, Wexford and Kilkenny, briefly describing the history and delineating the main attractions for the tourist. The province of Munster begins with its capital, Cork, Connacht with Galway and Ulster with Belfast. Each chapter is illustrated by numerous contemporary sepia-coloured photographs illustrating the attractions described by the guide. The publication includes more than thirty-pages of advertisements by hotels and travel companies, notes and advise to tourists such as the rules and regulations for importing 'motor cars'.
Ireland can be seen as one of the earliest attempts of an independent Ireland to sell itself as a tourist destination, especially to America and represents a very interesting account of the how the newly-established Irish Tourist Association thought the rest of the world viewed Ireland and what tourists would find interesting.
First published in London by Ernest Benn Ltd., in 1932 and republished her on fully-searchable CD-Rom in the Blue Guide to Ireland, edited by Findlay Muirhead. Containing 386 printed pages with a complete atlas of Ireland and 13 addition maps and plans, the Blue Guides have set the standard for independent travellers since they were first published in 1918. The quality of the Blue Guides is witnessed by the fact that they are published to this day with the most recent edition being a reissue of the Blue Guide to Northern Italy.
Findlay Muirhead together with his brother James began their careers as the English language editors for Karl Baedeker's travel books, compiling editions for Britain, Canada and America. The Muirheads worked for Baedeker's for almost thirty years before becoming unemployed due to the outbreak of WWI. However, in 1915 they acquired the rights to John Murray's handbooks and in the same year established their company, Muirhead's Guidebooks Ltd. After agreement with the French publishing House of Hachette who published Guides Bleus, the Muirheads issued the first of the Blue Guide in 1918 to London & its Environs.
Compiled from the experience of the writer, L. R. Muirhead who travelled several thousand miles across the length and breadth of Ireland, the Blue Guide to Ireland differed from those that the Muirheads had previously published, in as much as it was organised by routes and tours taken by road rather than rail. While the editor opined that Ireland was coming to the forefront as a field for the pleasure-traveller, its rail system prevented a thorough exploration of all of the delights that this 'motorist's paradise' had to offer.
Beginning with an introduction outlining the history and antiquities of Ireland as well as a glossary of Irish place names and notes on the Irish language, the Blue Guide to Ireland then presents detailed information on many aspects of travel in Ireland ranging from money, to hotels, to rails travel, postal information and more than ten pages of angling. From here Blue Guide is divided into four sections arranging itineraries for the independent travel in the four provinces of Ireland. Most of the itineraries radiated from central basis, that of the province of Leinster includes many routes starting in Dublin, Ulster starting in Belfast and so on. The Blue Guide to Ireland provides the itineraries for forty-eight separate routes. Each is fully-referenced with details on distances, places to stay, costs, references to maps and atlases that are included in the publication as well as interesting observations and descriptions on what the traveller could expect to see
The Blue Guides are an excellent travelling companion whether the travel is conducted from the comfort of ones armchair, by car or by rail and the detail afforded the tourist then as now is incomparable and this, the first edition of the Blue Guide to Ireland is no exception.
Published by the Irish Tourist Association as part of the See Ireland First Series, Galway and Mayo is a small but extremely pretty publication. Included in the 37 pages are 10 pages of photographs of some of the most picturesque and beautiful sites of Galway and Mayo. The text itself covers many of the areas which would be of interest to tourists visiting the region. Beginning in Galway City and covering aspects of the city's history and places to visit the university the book moves out to the surrounding areas such as Slathill and Barna and beyond covering areas such as Cong, the Aran Islands, Connemara, Clifden, Roundstone, Leenane, Loughrea and Kilmaduagh.
The second part of the book deals with Mayo, again covering areas like Westport, Croagh Patrick, Achill Island, Belmullet, Foxford and Castlebar. There are useful tips regarding transportation, areas to fish and particular sights to see. Despite this being a small publication is it a very attractive one covering a very picturesque part of Ireland.
First published in 1939 and republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom is Ulster: The Official Publication of the Ulster Tourist Development Association, Ltd. Containing some 286 printed pages, this publication was the complete tourist guide to the Province of Northern Ireland in the year that it was issued.
The forward to Ulster was written by The Right Hon. Viscount Craigavon, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, and in this he stated that he was confident that the entire world had heard of Ulster's shipyards, linen industry, thread and rope work factories, but remained largely ignorant of the many 'restful beauties' that the Province had to offer. The Province as a whole offered the prospective tourist and infinite variety and in its history and myths and legends many of which were still kept alive in the countryside, Ulster could offer every potential visitor something of interest.
The Tourist Guide to Ulster is introduced by a short general history of the Province together with the modes of transport available to the prospective visitor both to get to Northern Ireland and once arrived to travel around the province. All possible means of travel are included here from rail to car to ferry to motor cycle and by foot. At each junction the price and availability of travel options is given and this section is replete with advertisements that may be of interest to many readers.
From this point onward the Ulster Tourist Guide presents a plethora of facts, topographic, historical and archaeological facts on each of the six counties of the Province, making this something more than your average tourist guide. Beginning with Belfast, written by Alfred S. Moore, a picture of Belfast's origins and history is painted for the reader intended to both excite and to leave one in no doubt that this was a capital of considerable note. Accompanied by a large fold-out street map with sketches of some of the most notable sites in Belfast such as the Botanic Gardens and the Harland and Wolff ship and engine works, this chapter as all the others includes dozens of black and white photographs.
Chapter two, Antrim, was written by Alexander Riddell and is introduced by a brief historical sketch of the county before the reader is availed of the history and attractions of the county's chief resorts - both seaside and historical - of interest. Beginning with Carrickfergus, the Guide then travels around and across the county visiting such places of interest as Carrickfergus, Kilroot and Swift, Whitehead and Islandmagee, Larne, Ballygally, Glenarm, Carnlough, Cushendal, Cushendun, Ballycastle, Bushmills, The Giant's Causeway, Portballintrae, Dunluce Castle, Portrush - a child's paradise - Ballymoney, Ballymena, Antrim and Lisburn. The chapter is packed full of photographs of each destination and is once again jammed full of advertisements, poetry, historical interests and descriptions. This level of detail is present in the Guide for the remaining counties of the Province.
Ulster: A Tourist Guide is concluded with sections on the Province's archaeology and ancient monuments, and index to the numerous advertisements carried throughout the Guide as well as a detailed tourist map of the Province that illustrates and accompanies the text. At the time of publication this was the guide to Ulster and is now a rare and sort-after collectors item.
Republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom is the 2nd edition of Ward Lock & Co's Illustrated Guide to Northern Ireland the complete title of which is Guide to Northern Ireland, Belfast, the Mourne Mountains, Carlingford Lough, The Antrim Coast, Armagh, Londonderry, and the Erne Lakes.
Containing some 266 printed pages Ward & Lock's Guide to Northern Ireland contains a number of fold-out district maps, a detailed street plan of Belfast City and a further thirty-six illustrations, mostly photographs of the places illustrated in the guide. Starting with tours and descriptions in and around the environs of Belfast City, the Guide takes the independent traveller from here to Hollywood, Bangor, Donaghadee before moving on to the Ards Peninsula, Downpatrick, the Mourne Mountains, Armagh, Antrim and other destinations before terminating at Derry, Enniskillen and Lough Erne.
Illustrated throughout with wonderful photographs, detailed maps, many hundreds of contemporary advertisements and wonderful descriptions of the places visited, the quality of Ward & Lock's Red Guides has meant that they have endured the test of time and have already become eminently collectable titles.
For any Irish historical or genealogical researcher, the importance of Townlands in Poor Law Unions is immeasurable, and is one of only a small handful of must-have reference sources.
Originally published in Ireland in pamphlet-form throughout 1885 by the General Register Office by Alexander Thom for Her Majesty's Stationary Office, it is unlikely that the source came into the public domain until it was fortunately collected and privately published by George B. Handran in 1997. Few of Handran's small print-run ended up in private hands and the publication can in the main only be consulted in research libraries and public institutions.
The digital version of George Handran's Townlands in Poor Law Unions has to grace the shelf of anyone seriously researching their Irish ancestors.
Below you will find relevant Eneclann CD-ROMs, which we also supply. Eneclann is a partner in the Archive CD Books Ireland Project, and their CDs are essential resources for genealogists and historians alike.
Documents and commentaries from the National Archives of Ireland
The Counties in Time CD-ROM aims to introduce a sample of the records held in the National Archives of Ireland to a wide audience. The records chosen exist, in nearly all cases, for the 32 counties of Ireland, and cover the period from the late sixteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The National Archives is used extensively by local and family historians from all over the country and from abroad, as well as by political, economic, social and administrative historians. Local history is a growing area of interest for many people, and it is hoped that Counties in Time will alert them, and many others, to the rich archival heritage preserved in the National Archives.
The CD contains almost 1000 documents, including sixteenth century Chancery Pleadings, seventeenth century Books of Survey and Distribution, eighteenth century Proclamations, nineteenth century Famine papers, and twentieth century records of the first Dáil. There are scanned images for almost all of the documents, transcripts for those which are difficult to read, and explanatory introductions to all of the record classes. There are short illustrated county histories for each county, covering the period from the late sixteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. There is a glossary of terms, like "conacre", "Whiteboy" and "cess", and a timeline which provides a short chronology of Irish history since the sixteenth century, and gives details on several key national issues that are referred to in the county histories. There is a guide to using original records for historical research. The CD is easy to navigate and user-friendly, with an extensive "Help" section.
Counties in Time will be invaluable for local and family historians in Ireland and abroad, post-primary teachers and pupils, and individuals interested in Ireland's archival heritage. The variety of the documents included, ranging from proclamations against Catholics holding arms during the penal days to family returns for the 1901 and 1911 Censuses, from the records of seventeenth century land redistribution to police reports on 1930s IRA activity, and from mid-nineteenth century crime reports to 1867 photographs of Fenian suspects, is testimony to the riches in the custody of the National Archives of Ireland.
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