Selected primary and secondary sources to assist genealogical and historical research

Selected Secondary Sources for Initial Enquiries:

  • Rev. Patrick Woulfe, Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall: Irish names and surnames (Dublin, 1922)
  • Edward MacLysaght, Irish families, their names, arms, and origins (Dublin 1972)
  • Seán de Bhulbh, Sloinnte Uile Éireann – All Ireland Surnames (2002)
  • John O’Hart, Irish Pedigrees: Or, The Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation – Volume 1 & 2 (1892)
  • Richard F. Cronnelly, Irish family history: being an historical and genealogical account of the Gaedhals, from the earliest period to the present time, compiled from authentic sources [3 Parts] (Dublin, 1864)

Selected bibliography of Primary Sources for Irish clan and family genealogical research

13th century

  • Database of Gaelic Bardic Poetry – from 1200-1700. Link.
  • Irish Chancery Rolls, 1244-1509. Link.
  • The Annals of the Four Masters Link.
  • Annals of Inisfallen. Link.
  • Annals of Connacht. Link.
  • Annals of Ulster, AD 431-1201. Link.   
  • Annals of Ulster 1202-1378. Link.
  • Annals of Ulster 1379-1541. Link.
  • Annals of Tigernach. Link.

14th century

  • James Hardiman, ‘Ancient Irish Deeds, and Writings’, Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, Volume 15 (1826). This includes Irish brehon deeds for Co. Clare families. Link
  • The rentals of O’Brien and McNamara (Co. Clare) are part of the above publication. Link.
  • Seán mac Ruaidhrí Mhic Craith, Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh, translated by Standish Hayes O’Grady (London, 1929). Link. See appendices Caithréim Thoirdhealbhaigh, under the titles Senchas Buitlérach[Genealogical history of the Butlers], Senchas Búrcach [Genealogical history of the Burkes], Senchas Síl Bhriain [Genealogical history of the O’Briens], and Senchas Geraltach [Genealogical history of the Fitzgeralds].
  • Brendan Smith, The Register of Milo Sweetman, Archbishop of Armagh, 1361–1380(1996).
Clans Map of Ireland (1)

15th century

  • Calendar of Papal Registers (primarily for the period 1400-1530s). Link.
  • Seosamh Ó Dufaigh, ‘Cíos Mhic Mhathghamhna’,(Rental of MacMahon of Ulster): Clogher Record, 4:3 (1962), pp 125-134. Link
  • Nessa Ní Shéaghdha, ‘The Rights of Mac Diarmada’, Celtica, 6, (1963), pp 156–172.

16th century

  • The Calendar of Tudor Fiants. Link
  • Martin Freeman (ed) ‘The Compossicion Booke of Conought of Connacht’ (1936)
  • 1570 list of castles in Co. Clare. Link.
  • 1574 list of castles in Clare [‘A Description of Thomond in 1574 by Edward White’]. Link
  • Gearoid MacNiocaill, Crown surveys of lands 1540–41 with the Kildare Rental begun in 1518(1992)
  • John McCafferty(ed), The Act Book of the diocese of Armagh 1518-1522 (2020)
  • Irish Manuscript Commission, The Calendar of Ormond deeds 1172-1603 (6 vols). Link.
  • Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, Tudor period, 1509–1547
  • W. Nicholls, (ed), The O Doyne (Ó Duinn) manuscript (1983)
  • W. Nicholls, ‘The register of Clogher’, Clogher Record7:3, pp 361–431. Link.
  • Calendar of the state papers, relating to Ireland: of the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth, preserved in the State Paper Dept. of Her Majesty’s Public Record Office (8 vols London, 1860-1912). Link.
  • John A. Murphy (ed), The Desmond Survey. Link.
  • Éamon Ó Doibhlin ‘Ceart Uí Néill’,Seanchas Ardmhacha, 5 (1970), pp. 324-58 (An Ulster rental copied in 16th century but arguably some element might originally date from 1340s. Manuscript which survives dates from 1540s). Link

17th century

  • Nollaig Ó Muraíle, (ed.) The Great Book of Irish Genealogies or Leabhar Mór na nGenealach: compiled (1645-66) by Dubhaltach Mac Firbhisigh, edited with translation and indexes by Nollaig Ó Muraíle (Dublin, 2003-4).
  • Inchiquin Manuscripts (primarily Co. Clare but also Cos. Limerick and Tipperary). Link.
  • Luke McInerney, ‘A List of Freeholders of Kilfenora Diocese in 1601’. Link.
  • Luke McInerney, ‘The Earl of Thomond’s 1615 Survey of Ibrickan, County Clare’. Link
  • Martin Breen, ‘The 1626 Rental of Thomond Property’. Link.
  • Irish Manuscript Commission, Books of Survey and Distribution. Available for Cos. Roscommon, Mayo, Galway, Clare. Link.
  • Seamus Pender, A Census of Ireland circa 1659 census of Ireland. Link.
  • 1660s Hearth Money Rolls. Link shows availability by county.
  • 1641 Depositions (Ireland-wide resource). Link.
  • Seamus Pender (published), O’Clery Book of Genealogies.
  • An Leabhar Muimhneach– this compilation has many genealogies for Thomond and Desmond. Link.
  • Bríd McGrath, Acts of the Corporation of Coleraine, 1623–1669(2017).
  • Bríd McGrath, The minute book of the Corporation of Clonmel, 1608–1649 (2006).
  • Mark Empey, Early Stuart Irish warrants 1623–1639: the Falkland and Wentworth administrations(2016).
  • Margaret Curtis Clayton, The council book for the Province of Munster, c. 1599–1649 (2008).
  • K Egan, ‘The Royal Visitation of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh,  1615’, Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol. 35 (1976), pp. 67-76. Link.
DSC_0013 (1)
Irish kern saffron and pipes
  • S. Brewer & William Bullen (eds), Calendar of the Carew manuscripts: preserved in the Archiepiscopal library at Lambeth (6 vols. London 1867-73). Link to volume I.
  • Richard Caulfield (ed), The council book of the Corporation of the city of Cork, from 1609 to 1643, and from 1690 to 1800 (1876). Link.
  • F. T. Butler, Gleanings from Irish history(1925) – with detail concerning Desmond families.
  • Irish Manuscript Commission, Irish patent rolls of James I(1966).
  • The Calendar of the Patent and Close Rolls of Chancery in Ireland, of the Reign of Charles the First: First to Eighth Year, Inclusiveedited by James Morrin (Dublin, 1863). Covers the period from 1625 to 1633. Link.
  • NLI, Ms 1777, Rev. James B. Leslie, ‘Typescript copy of a survey of lands in the diocese of Killaloe made for bishop Worth’s, 1661’.
  • Index to Marriage Licence Bonds 1667-1855
  • Calendar of Orrery PapersLink.
  • Roderic O’Flaherty, A Chronological Description of West or H-Iar ConnaughtLink.
  • Irish Manuscript Commission, The 1654-55 Civil SurveyLink to Volume I.
  • Abstracts from the Registry of Deeds 1708-1760
  • Index to the Prerogative Court Wills & Administration Bonds 1536-1857
  • Index to the Consistorial Wills & Administration Bonds 1536-1857
  • Court of Chancery Bill Books 1627-1884 [also see Salvaged Chancery Pleadings in the National Archives, Dublin and their unpublished abstracts made by K.W. Nicholls.]
  • Muster Rolls of Ulster c.1630
  • The Great Parchment Book, 1639 [survey of estates in Derry and Coleraine]. Link

18th century

  • Sir James Terry Book of ArmsLink.
  • Linea Antiqua– genealogies in English, from earlier Irish sources. Compiled by Roger Farrell in c.1709 [NLI, Genealogical Office MS 155]
  • P Nolan, ‘Galway Castles and owners in 1574’, JGAHSVol. I, No.2 (1900-1901), pp 109-123. Link. Registration to JSTOR required, but free to use.
  • J. O’Doherty, ‘Students of the Irish College, Salamanca’, Archivium HibernicumVol. 6 (1917), pp. 1-26. Link.
  • Eileen O’Byrne, Convert Rolls: the Calendar of the Convert Rolls 1703-1838(2005).
  • Marie-Louise Legg (ed), The census of Elphin 1749(2004). Link.
  • Protestant Householder’s Lists of 1740
  • The royal visitations of the Diocese of Killaloe of 1615, 1622 and 1633 printed in Philip Dwyer, The Diocese of Killaloe from the Reformation to the close of the Eighteenth Century(1878). Link.
  • Edward MacLysaght, (ed.), The Kenmare Manuscripts(1942). Link.
  • Religious Census of 1766. Link.
  • Flax Growers of Ireland 1796. Link