If a researcher is able to contextualize his/her family history within world history — in this case the history of Ireland — it can make family history research a richer experience. Reading Irish history may aide us in developing a better understanding of the world in which our ancestors lived.
Although this list is by no means exhaustive, I have chosen the following from among those books on my own bookshelf, and have included those which may be of interest to family history researchers. You will notice there a number of general histories which focus on the Easter Rising and the War of Independence. I have included them since the outcome of those events shaped the island of Ireland as it is today.
As is often the case the so called "facts" of an event are sometimes affected by differing perspectives, so it is necessary to read as wide a range of sources as possible. My personal preference falls on the side of those volumes which have as their basis original records; however, even in those cases we have to think about what records the historian has chosen to use and which he/she has chosen to ignore. Also, although memoirs are by nature anecdotal, I have included several in this list, since they often present a more colourful side of history.
This list is in alphabetical order by author's surname, with the title of each book italicized and in bold print. Consult the WorldCat Catalogue to find a copy at a library near you.
Andrews, C. S. Dublin Made Me. Dublin: Lilliput, 2001. Print.
Augusteijn, Joost. From Public Defiance to Guerrilla Warfare: The Experience of Ordinary Volunteers in the Irish War of Independence, 1916-1921. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1996. Print.
Bartlett, Thomas. Ireland: A History. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. Print.
Barton, Brian. The Secret Court Martial Records of the Easter Rising. Stroud: History, 2010. Print.
Bew, Paul. Ireland: The Politics of Enmity, 1789-2006. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Print.
Brennan-Whitmore, W. J. With the Irish in Frongoch. Dublin: Talbot Press, 1917. Print.
Broderick, Marian. Wild Irish Women: Extraordinary Lives from History. Dublin: O'Brien, 2002. Print.
Bunreacht Na HÉireann = Constitution of Ireland. Dublin: Government Publications, 2006. Print.
Coleman, Marie. The Irish Sweep: A History of the Irish Hospitals Sweepstake, 1930-87. Dublin, Ireland: U College Dublin, 2009. Print.
Conlon, Lil. Cumann Na MBan and the Women of Ireland: 1913-25. Cork: L. Conlon, 1969. Print.
Connell, Joseph E. A., and Joseph Connell E. A. Dublin in Rebellion: A Directory, 1913-1923. Dublin: Lilliput, 2009. Print.
Corlett, Christiaan. Darkest Dublin: The Story of the Church Street Disaster and a Pictorial Account of the Slums of Dublin in 1913. Dublin: Wordwell in Association with the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 2008. Print.
Crowe, Catriona, Paul Rouse, Mark Duncan, William Murphy, and Rosie Duffy. Dublin 1911. Dublin: Prism, 2011. Print.
Crowley, John, William Smyth J., Michael Murphy, and Charlie Roche. Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, Washington Square, NY: New York UP, 2012. Print.
Dillon, Geraldine Plunkett, and Honor Brolchain O. All in the Blood: A Memoir. Dublin, Ireland: A. & A. Farmar, 2006. Print.
Dublin's Fighting Story, 1916-21: Told by the Men Who Made It ; with a Unique Pictorial Record of the Period. Cork: Mercier, 2009. Print.
Duffy, Peter. The Killing of Major Denis Mahon: A Mystery of Old Ireland. New York, NY: Harper, 2007. Print.
Ferriter, Diarmaid. The Transformation of Ireland, 1900-2000. London: Profile, 2004. Print.
Fitzpatrick, David. The Two Irelands, 1912-1939. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998. Print.
Finnegan, Frances. Do Penance or Perish: Magdalen Asylums in Ireland. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004. Print.
Foy, Michael, and Brian Barton. The Easter Rising. Stroud: History, 2011. Print.
Gonne, Maud, A. Jeffares Norman, Anna White MacBride., and Maud Gonne. The Autobiography of Maud Gonne: A Servant of the Queen, Chicago: U of Chicago, 1995. Print.
Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: The Complete Guide. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub., 2006. Print. (Fourth Edition available 2012)
Griffith, Kenneth, and Timothy O'Grady. Ireland's Unfinished Revolution: An Oral History. Boulder, CO: Roberts Rinehart, 1999. Print.
Hart, Peter. British Intelligence in Ireland, 1920-21: The Final Reports. Cork: Cork UP, 2002. Print.
Hart, Peter. The I.R.A. at War, 1916-1923. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005. Print.
Hart, Peter. Mick: The Real Michael Collins. New York: Penguin, 2007. Print.
Hart, Peter [not the same Peter Hart as above]. The Somme, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005. Print.
Hill, Myrtle. Women in Ireland, 1900-2000, Belfast: Blackstaff, 2003. Print.
Hopkinson, Michael. The Irish War of Independence. Montreal: McGill-Queen's UP, 2002. Print.
Horne, John. Our War: Ireland and the Great War, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 2008. Print.
Jackson, Alvin. Ireland, 1798-1998: War, Peace and beyond. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Print.
Kearns, Kevin Corrigan. Dublin Tenement Life: An Oral History. New York: Penguin, 2000. Print.
Kettle, Thomas M. The Day's Burden: Studies, Literary and Political and Miscellandeous Essays. Dublin: Browe and Nolan, 1937. Print.
Kettle, Tom, and Mary Sheehy Kettle. The Ways of War. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1917. Print.
Kiberd, Declan. Inventing Ireland, Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1996. Print.
Mac Lochlainn, Piaras F.. Last Words: Letters and Statements of the Leaders Executed after the Rising at Easter 1916. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1990. Print.
Martin, F. X. The Howth Gun-running and the Kilcoole Gun-running, 1914. Recollections and Documents. Edited by F.X. Martin, Etc. Pp. Xxvi. 201. Browne & Nolan: Dublin, 1964. Print.
Martin, F. X. The Irish Volunteers, 1913-1915: Recollections and Documents. Dublin: J. Duffy, 1963. Print.
McCarthy, Cal. Cumann Na MBan and the Irish Revolution. Cork: Collins, 2007. Print.
McCoole, Sinéad. Guns & Chiffon: Women Revolutionaries and Kilmainham Gaol, 1916-1923. Dublin: Stationery Office, 1997. Print.
McCoole, Sinéad. No Ordinary Women: Irish Female Activists in the Revolutionary Years, 1900-23. Madison, WI: U of Wisconsin, 2003. Print.
McGarry, Fearghal. Rebels: Voices from the Easter Rising. Dublin: Penguin Ireland, 2011. Print.
Mitchell, Brian. A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub., 2002. Print.
Molony, Senan. The Irish aboard Titanic. Dublin: Mercier, 2012. Print.
Moran, Gerard P. The Mayo Evictions of 1860. Dublin, Ireland: Nonsuch, 2007. Print.
1916 Rebellion Handbook. Dublin, Ireland: Mourne River, 1998. Print.
O'Connor, Aoife. Small Lives: Photographs of Irish Childhood, 1860-1970. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 2012. Print.
O'Connor, John. The Workhouses of Ireland: The Fate of Ireland's Poor. Dublin: Anvil, 1995. Print.
O'Gallagher, Marianna. Grosse Île: Gateway to Canada, 1832-1937. Ste-Foy, Québec: Carraig, 1984. Print.
O'Laughlin, Michael C. The Families of County Dublin, Ireland: Over Four Thousand Entries from the Archives of the Irish Genealogical Foundation. Kansas City, MO: Irish Genealogical Foundation, 1999. Print.
O'Malley, Ernie. On Another Man's Wound: A Personal History of Ireland's War of Independence. Boulder, CO: Roberts Rinehart, 1999. Print.
O'Sullivan, Niamh, and Sinéad McCoole. Every Dark Hour: A History of Kilmainham Jail. Dublin: Liberties, 2007. Print.
Ohlmeyer, Jane H. Making Ireland English: The Irish Aristocracy in the Seventeenth Century. New Haven: Yale UP, 2012. Print.
Taillon, Ruth. The Women of 1916: When History Was Made, Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications, 1996. Print.
Tuathaigh, Gearóid Ó. Ireland before the Famine, 1798-1848. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 2007. Print.
Walsh, Brendan. The Pedagogy of Protest: The Educational Thought and Work of Patrick H. Pearse. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2007. Print.
Ward, Margaret. Unmanageable Revolutionaries: Women and Irish Nationalism. London: Pluto, 1995. Print.
Wills, Clair. Dublin 1916: The Siege of the GPO. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2009. Print.
Woulfe, Patrick. Sloinnte Gaeḋeal Is Gall = Irish Names and Surnames. Baile Áṫa Cliaṫ: M.H. Mac an Ġoill, 1922. Print.