Irish Family History Society

CD-ROM Reviews

World War I Irish Soldiers Their Final Testament - An index to the Wills of Irish Soldiers who died 1914-1918

Compiled and edited by Kiara Gregory (#2552)

CD-ROM. Published by Eneclann. ISBN: 978-1-905118-07-4

Price: €29.90 including VAT

Over 200,000 Irish men served in the British armed forces during WWI. Soldiers sent to the front were encouraged to write their last will and testament and if they did not survive these wills were registered. 9,000 wills of Irishmen are deposited at the National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin. This CD is a first time publication of an index to these wills.

The CD is very user friendly and simple to navigate with the search window asking only to enter Christian name and surname or surname only to bring up a listing of the sought after name. The window also has a box for "free text "which gets you into listing. The listing page has a number of column headings such as: Surname, Forename, War-Office No., Record No., Regimental No., and Rank. When I clicked on the row containing my own ancestor's details the window which opened up displayed his place of death which I was previously unaware of. It also had a heading entitled "Property and effects received" which displayed his next of kin, his mother, and her address. All very helpful information to the researcher as it should indicate the soldier's place of residence on enlistment. The date of the will is also shown.

This CD is a useful tool if your soldier ancestor happens to be among the 9,000 recorded though it maybe somewhat of a lottery at €29.90 per copy.

Reviewed by Eddie Brennan,

1798 Rebellion, Claimants and Surrender

The uprising of 1798 and the 1916 rebellion are the two most significant revolutionary developments to have taken place in the history of Ireland over the last two hundred years or so. There is a wealth of recorded detail with many lists pertaining to the Easter Rising but not so many when it comes to documenting the insurrection of 1798. This CD goes some way towards correcting this by documenting many of the insurgents and their neighbours and adversaries using some of the remaining sources available.

The upheaval was a watershed in Irish history and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 people were killed during the uprising and as many wounded or maimed.

This CD brings together the few remaining sources and compiler Ian Cantwell has used them to good effect.

In total there are 8,000 names listed in this publication - those who took up arms and those who made claims for damage to their property. The surnames are listed alphabetically and by county and the place names by county and townland also alphabetically in each county. In all there are 20 counties covered although in many cases the lists are short as it was mainly in the East and South East of the country that the major encounters took place. The counties listed are: - Antrim, Clare, Cork, Down, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Kings’ ( Offaly), Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Meath, Queens (Laois ), Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow. The researcher can search by Surname or by county under each of the headings.

In the Introduction there is a heading “Analysis “ with three sub-headings i.e. “A, analysis of compensation ",“ B, “ Analysis of Coolock (Co. Dublin) Surrenders “ and C, “Analysis of Dublin Surrenders“

In the Coolock section there is an interesting list showing the frequency of recurring family names among those who surrendered. This should make interesting reading for researchers with similar names and who are searching for more detail of ancestor’s involvement. In “placenames “ or surrender points, surprisingly most were recorded at Howth with Baldoyle and Malahide coming in very close behind.

Under the heading of “Black humour of the Rebellion” there are a number of very amusing anecdotes culled from local publications of the time and which add in a taste of the cultural and social climate of the day.

The prime source of the information is from two volumes from the National Library entitled “ Ireland list of persons who have suffered loss of property 1798” Published 1800.

Other material came from “ The journals of the House of Commons Ireland, 1796 – 1800”

This CD is of fairly limited interest to researchers but will be of assistance to any who have direct knowledge of their ancestor’s participation during this period of upheaval.

The CD costs Euro 29.90

“The Irish Genealogist “ Vol. 1 – 8 1937 to 1993

This CD covers the publications from Vol., no. 1 1937 to Vol. 8 no.4, published 1993.

The editorial in the very first issue explains that there was a need for a society devoted exclusively to Irish genealogy and formed with this special object in view. It would have a wide appeal to those of Irish descent through the World who would be encouraged to contribute the results of their research. Those who guided its progress from inception have in the main kept to these ideals admirably.

An indication of the level of ambition set by the founders of the journal is their choice of first President of the Society who was non other than The Earl of Ossory who was the elder son of the Marques and 22nd. Earl of Ormonde and head of the illustrious house of Butler. The Vice. President was The rt. Hon. Sir Dunbar Plunkett Barton, Bart. P.C.

The entire work covers 5,000 pages and searching is not difficult as there is a search facility that can scan the entire 8 volumes. The journals are indexed in drop down lists by Volume Number and subsequently by issue number.

Clicking on a particular issue number drops down a list of article headings and a split screen then allows the viewer to see the facsimile of the front cover and the list of contents.

The opening article in the very first volume is entitled “King Henry the 8th. Irish army list.” By T.H. Blake Butler.

A cross-section of articles in the series has such headings as the following: -

  • Some notes on the high-sheriffs of Co. Longford 1701
  • Anglo-Irish medieval genealogy.
  • Monumental inscriptions from Termonfecin Cemetery Co.Louth.
  • Some inhabitants of the barony of Newcastle and Uppercross, Co. Dublin.
  • The Waterford Herald.. 1793, 1794, 1796.
  • Some Protestant settlers in Ireland 1662 – 1737.
  • There are a large number of articles on named families such as:
    • The Nagles of Garnavila
    • The Fitzmaurices of Duagh.
    • The Galbraiths of Cappard.
    • Barnwall of Rowestown Co.Meath

The importance of this CD is that it is making accessible much material which has been in the hands of private collectors and will help new researchers have access to some rare sources of ancestral lore.

The CD costs Euro 74.90 from Eneclann

Memorials of the Dead, the collected works. Edited by Brian Cantwell

Twenty-five years work went into recording 67,000 people from over 500 cemetery sites around the country.

This reproduction of the well-known memorials will add a new dimension to genealogy for researchers of Irish ancestors especially those living abroad. This painstaking and intensely detailed work was carried out between the years 1966 to 1990. Any one who has made an effort to trace a head stone in an overgrown graveyard can easily appreciate the toil and effort which was required to complete this “monumental” task.

What are displayed on the CD are scanned versions of the actual pages of Mr. Cantwell’s work.

The indexes include indexes of surnames, of occupations, professions and trades. There is also an index of locations and maps of the cemeteries. The Eastern region of the country is mainly featured covering the counties of, Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, with Galway (Kilmacduagh), Clare (West), Cork, Kildare and Sligo (St. John’s) also covered.

There are thirteen pages of database showing by County, the names of cemeteries and their page numbers for quick finding.

This CD is a valuable tool as well as a fine tribute to a man who devoted many years to his abiding love of family history research.

The cost is Euro 69.90 from Eneclann

Eneclann Ltd., Unit 1, Trinity College Enterprise Centre, Pearse Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.

Tel: +353 1 6710338 Fax: +353 1 6710281 e-mail:

Reviewed by Eddie Brennan, Hon. librarian IFHS

Contact the Irish Family History Society
Post: 17 Aubrey Park, Shankill, Dublin D18 CX64, Ireland.