Irish Roots

John Grenham


June 1st

Genealogy can sometimes be a bit solitary. The resulting need for company is one of the reasons, Iím sure, why there are so many genealogy periodicals. Almost all of them are produced by genealogical organisations or societies and are generally excellent, but they are published annually, which does little to relieve the solitude, and most focus on the research interests of their members, which can be fairly academic. You wonít find them in a newsagentís. What you will find there is a plethora of glossy English magazines - Ancestry, Who Do you Think You Are?, Your Family Tree and others - published monthly or bi-monthly and full of problem pages, advice articles, details of forthcoming databases and so on. Unfortunately, when they do treat Irish research, it is from the narrow perspective of a British researcher.

There is really only one publication in any way comparable with these English magazines. Irish Roots is a 36-page glossy published four times a year, often enough to have the chance of being topical, sometimes even gossipy, and provides information and advice on all aspects of constructing Irish family trees. It was started in Cork in 1992 by the redoubtable Tony McCarthy, in the teeth of withering scepticism from most people involved in Irish genealogy, myself included. Tony retired in 2007 and the magazine has since been taken over by the equally redoubtable Julie Phibbs. Over the last 16 years it has won itself a large and enthusiastic readership, not only among those involved in genealogy, but also in the larger field of Irish heritage and among the descendants of the Irish Diaspora in America and Australia. Itís available from most large newsagents, or online at www.irishrootsmedia.com and is well worth a look. And a plug.

Sample articles from most Irish genealogy publications are available at www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/magazine.


Comments and suggestions are welcome, to irishrootsatirishtimes.com.

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