New edition of a guide to help trace your Limerick ancestors

Donal O’Regan


Donal O’Regan

Brendan Reynolds, Joan O Callaghan, Josephine Cotter, Nel Aherne, Hannah Reynolds and  Kay Campbell with their copies of Tracing Your Limerick Ancestors [Picture: Gareth Williams]
NEARLY every week the Limerick Leader receives a letter or e-mail from a person at home or abroad looking for help to trace their ancestors.

NEARLY every week the Limerick Leader receives a letter or e-mail from a person at home or abroad looking for help to trace their ancestors.

There is a huge appetite to find out more on our own families’ history. To help sate that demand Margaret Franklin and Flyleaf Press have published the second edition of a guide to Tracing Your Limerick Ancestors.

Ms Franklin wrote the first edition in 2003 and with the all the developments in genealogy over the last decade the time was ripe for an updated version. It was launched in The Granary library.

The Cappamore lady is well versed in the area of tracing one’s past as she worked with the county library service for almost 30 years and has an MA in Local History. She would be a familiar face to many as she worked in libraries in O’Connell Street, Lissanalta House, Newcastle West, Adare, Foynes, Rathkeale, Kilmallock and the mobile service.

Ms Franklin describes the book as a “how to guide”.

“If you are tracing your ancestors you need to look at several different sources. There isn’t unfortunately one blueprint that you can go to - there is no one-stop shop. A lot of it is hide and seek, you might be lucky and find one lead in one source and then you might find a dead end in another,” explained Ms Franklin.

One big addition is thanks to Mike Maguire, of Limerick city library, who has scanned all the obituaries in the Limerick Chronicle going back to the 1700s.

“You can search under your name and if there are obituaries they will be listed and that will then give you genealogical information,” she adds. Jackie Hayes, city archivist, has put a lot of material on-line, as has Brian Hodkinson, of Limerick City Museum, says Ms Franklin.

This revision of Tracing Your Limerick Ancestors is greatly expanded and updated and is a comprehensive guide to all of the records available for tracing families in the county. The new edition is filled with information on what the records contain, and how and where they can be accessed.

It is well illustrated with maps of the various administrative divisions, with examples of the types of records to be found and with other relevant material. It also provides background on the social history of the county and how this history has affected the keeping and survival of records. There is also a comprehensive index.

“It is a guide to the different records in existence, where there are scans available and I give people the website addresses.

“It is a handbook, we hope it will be the central guide now for Limerick. With this book you can start off either in your own area or if you are abroad it will show the whole field of Irish records and how to access them,” said Ms Franklin.

With TV programmes like Who Do You Think You Are there is increased interest in genealogy and the book is selling well.

It is available in all good book shops, online at, retailing at €13.