Griffith’s Valuation

Original Griffith's map of Monkstown, Co. Cork

How to fill in some gaps in missing Irish census records: Griffith’s Valuation Census records are the principal source of genealogical data in modern times. Unfortunately in Ireland almost all census records before 1901 were destroyed at various times, some because of government policy, some as a result of the destruction of the Irish Public […]

Have you Cavan or Leitrim roots? If so this should interest you.

cavan h and s 001

The latest volume of the Irish county history series, on County Cavan, is just published by Geography Publications ( . This contains a chapter by me on the early history of the kingdom of Breifne, more or less the modern counties of Cavan and Leitrim. In it I examine the history of the kingdom down […]

The Genealogy Radio Show

Genealogy Radio Show

          This is a new radio talk show about Irish genealogy hosted by Raidió Corca Baiscinn. Visit to see lists of speakers and subjects, as well as listen to podcasts of the various shows. Raidió Corca Baiscinn is based in West Clare (Cliffs of Moher country). The show has been […]

Book Launch – Medieval Ireland Territorial, political and economic divisions

medieval ireland

See below for details of the launch of a paperback edition of my book on land organisation in Early Ireland. The book has been out of print for several years and this is a very welcome reprint from Four Courts Press Medieval Ireland Territorial, political and economic divisions Paul MacCotter New in Paperback Describes, for […]

Genealogy conferring in Cork, early November


The School of Adult and Continuing Education in University College Cork, in co-operation with the Irish Ancestry Research Centre, Limerick, offers a two year diploma in genealogy, family history and local history, with corresponding employment potential. I enjoy lecturing and providing tutorials on this course, working closely with course director Dr. David Butler, a leading […]

Records of Death: cemetery and headstone records


Death records always interest genealogists: many of you find it hard to pass a cemetery without parking and wandering in for a look at some headstones. What I want to do in this blog is give some useful background for researchers. Burial registers There are several categories of cemeteries and graveyards in Ireland. To understand […]

A bit of everything, the Four Courts fire, O’Mahers, O’Carrolls, Tipperary, and the National Archives

The deliberate destruction of the Irish Public Record Office in 1922

I had a busy weekend recently in Limerick and Roscrea. First stop was to the Strand Hotel in Limerick to speak at The Genealogy Event, jointly organized by American genealogy event organizer Bridget Bray, the Irish Ancestry Research Centre and Merriman Research. Several leading genealogists presented interesting papers. In my limited time there I was […]

UCC Genealogy Summer-school, July 2014

UCC genealogy summer school 2014

     The second UCC Genealogy Summer-school was held recently in Cork. I was heavily involved in lecturing and fieldwork. There were over fifty students enrolled, and these were treated to a feast of genealogy speakers and related heritage and fieldwork visits. Students hailed from America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Britain and Ireland, giving […]

The Tithe Applotment Books Online: a health warning

title applotment books

I will start by giving a little history of the Tithe Books, before going on to discuss the problems with the new website. Skip the history if you want to go directly to the genealogy. Most of the Irish census records of the nineteenth century were destroyed. Accordingly, a number of land-tax records were identified […]

McCarthy, Riordan, Kelleher, Barrett, O’Mahony, Murphy, Flynn and O’Callaghan. Irish ethnic cleansing!

Blarney Castle

Part of my research as a medieval historian is to examine in detail local events of long ago and how they pertain to Irish clans. The Norman conquest and settlement of part of Ireland happened after 1170, but by the early 1300s something historians call the ‘Gaelic Resurgance’ was occurring. This was where the Irish […]