The history of Ireland is one that was long dominated by the question of land ownership, with complex and often distressing tales over the centuries of dispossession and colonisation, religious tensions, absentee landlordism, subsistence farming, and considerably more to sadden the heart. Yet with the destruction of much of Ireland's historic record during the Irish Civil War, and with the discriminatory Penal Laws in place in earlier times, it is often within land records that we can find evidence of our ancestors' existence, in some cases the only evidence, where the relevant vital records for an area may never have been kept or may not have survived. In Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records, genealogist and best-selling author Chris Paton explores how the surviving records can help with our ancestral research, but also tell the stories of the communities from within which our ancestors emerged.
He explores the often controversial history of ownership of land across the island, the rights granted to those who held estates and the plights of the dispossessed, and identifies the various surviving records which can help to tease out the stories of many of Ireland's forgotten generations. Along the way Chris Paton identifies the various ways to access the records, whether in Ireland's many archives, local and national, and increasingly through a variety of online platforms.