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Family History, Genealogy, etc. In association with Amazon.com

Irish Family Names Map with Coats of Arms

Historical Map of Scotland

Historical Map of England and Wales

Clans Map Of Scotland

Irish Book of Arms Poster

Tartan Map of Scotland

Castles Map of Scotland

Scotland of Old Clan Names Map

The Surnames of Ireland by Edward MacLysaght
MacLysaght is probably the foremost authority on Irish surnames this century and was the first Chief Herald of Ireland. If you are looking for a detailed family history, this is not the book for you. But it does list thousands of surnames found in Ireland along with three or four lines summarizing origin and location. It also includes many rare and exotic sounding names which you will not find in any other book. This book is a starting point only and the serious researcher should also have "Irish Families" and "More Irish Families" by the same author if looking for detailed information.
The Surnames of Ireland

Irish Families : Their Names, Arms, and Origins by Edward MacLysaght
MacLysaght is probably the foremost authority on Irish surnames this century and was the first Chief Herald of Ireland. "Irish Families" is the best and most up to date reference of Irish Family surnames, their origin, history and in many cases their coat of arms (colour illustrations). MacLysaght corrects many of the errors that appeared in older publications on this subject, including those of Woulfe and O'Hart. Along with "More Irish Families" by the same author, this is a "must have" if you are interested in Irish surnames.
Irish Families

More Irish Families : by Edward MacLysaght
MacLysaght is probably the foremost authority on Irish surnames this century and was the first Chief Herald of Ireland. This is a follow up to "Irish Families" by the same author. While the first book list a deal of information about the most common Irish surnames, this one picks up from where Irish Families finished and includes quite good detail about the less common names. While "Irish Families" includes colour plates of coats of arms, "More Irish Families" does not. My advice - buy both!
More Irish Families

Clans and Families of Ireland : The Heritage and Heraldry of Irish Clans and Families by John Grenham
John Grenham is a professional genealogist as was formerly with the Genealogical Office in Dublin. "Clans and Families of Ireland" provides a fascinating account of the origin of the Irish people from prehistoric times to the present, with particular emphasis on placenames and surnames. It focuses on the 200 most common Irish surnames and includes information on their origin, distribution, prominent family members and coat of arms (in many cases). The book starts with the earliest people and works it's way to modern times through Christianity, Newcomers and Immigrants, Emigration, Heraldry and the Clans and Families of Ireland. My view: better illustrated but not as much detail in the text as in MacLysaght's work.
Clans and Families of Ireland

The Little Book of Irish Clans by John Grenham
John Grenham is a professional genealogist as was formerly with the Genealogical Office in Dublin. This book is like a mini version of "Clans and Families of Ireland". It includes a short account of the origin, distribution and coat of arms of about 100 of the commonest surnames in Ireland. My view, only buy if you are to mean to spend the extra money on "Clans and Families of Ireland".
The Little Book of Irish Clans

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors : The Complete Guide by John Grenham
John Grenham is a professional genealogist as was formerly with the Genealogical Office in Dublin. Anyone who has tried to trace their Irish ancestors will verify that this book is the most helpful starting point available.
Tracing Your Irish Ancestors

Irish Family Histories by Ida Grehan
Ida Grehan's background is in journalism and broadcasting. I'm not sure where her interest in family history comes from but her lack of formal training in the area does show through in several of her books and I am not a great fan of her writing. However, in "Irish Family Histories" we have an excellent addition to the literature in the field. Concentrating on just 80 surnames, she provides several pages of most interesting information on each. Also included is a black and white coat of arms for each surname, but don't expect too much from them - they are pretty basic. My view - great, if your name is included (mine is not).
Irish Family Histories

Irish Names and Surnames by Patrick Woulfe
"Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall". Students of Irish History and of Irish Families need no introduction to this work. Often quoted from and cited by modern day experts, this volume is a classic reference source. For too long this book has been inaccessible, available only from used book dealers or in a few libraries scattered across the nation. Not only are Irish families covered here, there is as well an English-Irish dictionary of Names for Men and Women - from whence many base Irish names for children in the modern day. The Irish naming system and clan names are covered as well, and for those wishing to delve further, some of the basics of the Gaelic language are given in reference to the same. This important work, out of print too long, is once again available.
Irish Names and Surnames

The Book of Irish Families : Great & Small by Michael C. O'Laughlin, A. O'Neilan
I have to say that I found this book a bit of a disappointment especially having read the author's comment "if you were to purchase just one book on Irish Families, I have written this work for you". In fact if this the only book you consult on Irish families you will be most upset. The book makes the mistake of trying to reinvent the wheel by cataloging families from old data sources. This has already been done, much better, by several other authors. For the most prominent families, this publication adds nothing to the existing knowledge base. It's attempt to include rare names is honorable, but the amount of information provided is scant, at best. For example, "The family of Mulvey is traditionally linked to Co. Leitrim and it has remained so in modern times" hardly does justice to this once great sept. The entries are also inconsistent, for some the Irish form of the name is included and for others it is not. I would have expected all of the old Gaelic names to have their Irish form included. The coats of arms are a real let down, not only are they in monochrome (colour is the essence of heraldry), but the quality of reproduction is poor. It would have been better to leave them out altogether. There are also quite a few errors and omissions (though the author does admit this at the start). The book claims Flaherty and Laverty as the same name and while this is true in terms of their root word origin in Irish, the names are racially quite distinct. In another case the book fails to link the two names Haughey and Haffey. I found the book too heavily reliant on "Keating's History", which while excellent, is far from the only source available. Another off-putting aspect is the fact that the names are not listed in proper alphabetical order and names beginning with "B" crop up among the "A's" and so on. On the plus side, the book does include a lot of information and it is not expensive as such publications go. In short, this is not a book for one-name researchers but should be on the shelves of all with a general interest in Irish names.
The Book of Irish Families

The The Book of Irish Families : Great & Small is also a master index of several other books published and in preparation. For some families they do offer a more in depth analysis, but again, I was dissappointed. The currently published works in the series include.
Families of Co. Clare, Ireland
Families of County Cork, Ireland
Families of County Galway, Ireland
Families of County Kerry, Ireland
Families of County Limerick Ireland
Families of County Dublin, Ireland
Families of County Donegal, Ireland
Families of Counties Kildare, Wicklow and Carlow

Atlas of Irish History by Sean Duffy (Editor)
Explore the story of Ireland, a nation and people of powerful independence, pride, and culture. Forty-five double-page spreads frame all major events in the islands history with authoritative but accessible text, period art and photos, and definitive maps. From Celtic times to the Viking Wars to Cromwell to the Great Famine, Ireland's distinctive past comes alive on these pages. Thomas Crean, Sean Duffy, Raymond Gillespie, James Kelly, Colm Lennon, and Brendon Smith are all noted experts on various periods of Irish history, and Cartographer Malcolm Swanston is renowned as a leading thematic map maker.
Atlas of Irish History

Book of Scots-Irish Family Names by Robert Bell
Robert Bell is an acknowledged expert on Ulster surnames. This title, published in Europe as "The Book of Ulster Surnames" is one of my standard references and I love it!
The Book of Scots-Irish Family Names

Scottish Clan and Family Names : Their Arms, Origins and Tartans by Roddy Martine
This is an invaluble resource for anyone looking for information relating to the Scottish Clans. It includes colour pictures of coats of arms and tartans for each as well as information relating to their history and origins. The book is also liberally illustrated with excellent colour photographs of places of significance to the names under consideration. The introuction includes first rate information regarding coats of arms in Scotland, tartans, the Clan system, Scottish royalty and so on. Slightly dissappointing is the brevity of the histories for some of the Clans, for example Macrae only merits seventy words.
Scottish Clan and Family Names

Scottish Surnames by David Dorward
This is a cheap and cheerful introduction to Scottish surnames. No colour, no illustrations, except for some black and white cartoon style drawings, but nonetheless and inexpensive place to start studying the subject.
Scottish Surnames

Dictionary of English Surnames by R. M. Wilson, Percy H. Reaney
First was published in 1958 as "A dictionary of British surnames". This third edition gives the meaning of over 16,000 English surnames and their variants, together with early forms and their sources and dates. Arranged alphabetically, with a cross-reference system for variant spellings. Another of my standard references.
Dictionary of English Surnames

The Surnames of Wales : For Family Historians and Others by John Rowlands, Sheila Rowlands
This is not quite as detailed in the area of family history as would suit my needs. Still, it is a useful reference for anyone with a general interest in Wales and its surnames. The major thrust of the work is to map the distribution of names by area.
The Surnames of Wales

Hispanic Surnames and Family History by Lyman De Platt, Lymyan D. Platt
Hispanic Surnames and Family History

A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Kingdom of Poland by Alexander Beider
A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Poland

A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire by Alexander Beider
A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Russia

Jewish Surnames in Prague : 15th - 18th Centuries by Alexander Beider
Jewish Surnames in Prague

Our Italian Surnames by Joseph G. Fucilla
Our Italian Surnames covers every fact of Italian names and naming practices. It is here we discover, for example, that bussolari is Italian for compass, orsini means bear, and passalacqua stands for butterfly. In addition to sections on given names and the evolution of Italian surnames, the book contains chapters devoted to pet names, botanical names, geographical names, bird names, insect names, occupational names, and more. Our Italian Surnames is written for a popular audience, and each chapter of the book is a separate and informative unit in itself. Complete with a list of sources and an index of more than 7,500 names, Our Italian Surnames is a monument to the late Professor Fucilla's lifelong interest in the language and names of Italia.
Our Italian Surnames

Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings by William F. Hoffman
Designed to give non-Polish speakers insight into how Polish surnames originated, what they mean, and how other languages influenced them. It focuses on the general history of Polish surnames and the etymological roots from which they are derived. Gives basic derivations for some 30,000 common Polish surnames. Includes the history of surname development, suffixes common in Polish names, categories into which names can be classified, names of Polish Jews, and the relationship of Polish surnames to Czech, German, Lithuanian and Ukrainian.
Polish Surnames

Polish Roots/Korzenie Polskie by Rosemary A. Chorzempa
Rosemarie Chorzempa explains family history research for Polish descendants, with emphasis on Polish family, Polish history, and Polish research, both in North America and Europe. She clearly and concisely explains origins, customs and names (with English translations), and where and how to go for more information, in civil, church, and historical records. If you are interested in learning more about your Polish ancestry, buy this book!
Polish Roots

A Dictionary of Surnames by Patrick Hanks, Flavia Hodges
A survey of nearly 70,000 common surnames and many other rarer ones in the English speaking world that are of European derivation, including names of North and South America, Australasia, Southern Africa and other parts of the world where surnames are of European origin. Each entry gives information about the language or region in which the surname originated and the derivation or original meaning; lists any variant diminutives, and other derivative names, as well as cognate names in other languages; notes pecularities of regional distribution; and briefly, family history about early bearers.
A Dictionary of Surnames

Banished Babies : The Secret History of Ireland's Baby Export by Mike Milotte
A few years ago a researcher in the Irish National Archives discovered a cache of documents relating to the adoption of Irish children by US families in the 1940's and 50's. The book makes harrowing reading, but if you are Irish born and adopted in the US at that time, it is essential reading.
Banished Babies

How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe by Thomas Cahill
In this delightful and illuminating look into a crucial but little-known "hinge" of history, Thomas Cahill takes us to the "island of saints and scholars," the Ireland of St. Patrick and the Book of Kells. Here, far from the barbarian despoliation of the continent, monks and scribes laboriously, lovingly, even playfully preserved the West's written treasury. When stability returned in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning, becoming not only the conservators of civilization, but also the shapers of the medieval mind, putting their unique stamp on Western culture.
How the Irish Saved Civilization

Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape by F. H. A. Aalen, Kevin Whelan, Mathew Stout.
Don't be put off by the title. This is much, much more than an atlas. The book explores almost everything Irish thought the natural and man-made landscape. When asked to recommend one book about Ireland - this is the one!
Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape

Dog Heraldry; The Official Collection of Canine Coats-Of-Arms by Mia Martin
Dog lovers everywhere will be amused and entertained by this collection of unique dog coats-of-arms, spanning the history of 150 breeds of dogs. Martin uses traditional heraldic devices in the coats-of-arms to exemplify each dog's historical and current talents. A lighthearted tribute to the canine family. 75 full-color illustrations. Don't expect all the conventions of heraldry to be followed.
Dog Heraldry

Heir Apparently by Veronica Dolan ($20.23 from Amazon.Com). In Veronica's own words ...
I'm a Geoghegan clan member who has written a murder mystery whose heroine is a genealogist. Here's the scoop on the book. "Heir Apparently" is set in 1995 Colorado, USA, and involves a bizarre videotaped will left by a murdered practical joker who seems to have the last laugh from the grave. The will demands that eight apparent heirs complete four increasingly difficult (and unpleasant) assignments in order to inherit all or part of a $240 million estate.. The plot involves multiple murders, greed, missing persons, social climbers, a decades-old infanticide, vows of secrecy and revenge. The good guys win in the end, of course. "Heir Apparently" sounds grisly but it's really is a very genteel mystery. And I'm a very genteel grandmother of 72 years.
Heir Apparently

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