What if someone told you that there exists an Irish resource with over 3,000,000 names, most not duplicated, all indexed alphabetically? You probably would find it hard to believe if your ancestors didn’t live within the area covered in the O’Kief, Coshe Mang, Slieve Lougher and the Upper Blackwater in Ireland series, a collection of 16 enormous volumes of primary and secondary genealogical and historical records of Ireland.
You will have to start by casting aside the unusual (and unprounancable) name. It doesn’t help the image of what it contains, in fact it can put you off looking it up, in my view. Whatever about the name – Albert Casey found the almost incomprehensible title for his series on a 1605 map, it is a marvelous resource . While you will have to go to your local Library if you want to get actual records, there is an excellent index available online. (There are volumes in National, State and genealogical libraries throughout the U.S., Australia and the U.K.)
Albert E. Casey, an Alabama pathologist, created and compiled this fabulous collection in the course of researching his own family history and had it published between the years 1952-71 by the Amite and Knocknagree Historical Fund in Birmingham, Alabama. He went to this effort because by his calculations, he is related to everyone who ever lived there. Most of the original records were compiled by people in Ireland, for their own reasons, or for Casey. Casey hired typists, copiers, and most importantly, indexers, for the preparation of these volumes.
The area where Casey’s family came from is a small portion of NW Cork and E Kerry and the most recent records in his books pertain almost exclusively to that location, which is about 40 miles square in extent. The area is bounded roughly by Newcastle, Tralee, Killarney and Mallow.
The contents include Roman Catholic (RC), Church of Ireland (CofI) and Quaker births, marriages and death records, Tombstone inscriptions, newspaper abstracts, Civil Documents, Court Records and whole lot more on:
- 1. The primary area up until the year 1900 (and a bit beyond).
- 2. All of Cork and Kerry before 1825.
- 3. All of Munster before 1625.
- 4. All of Ireland before 1182. Some of the early records purport to go back right to Adam and Eve!
- 5. Some really arcane and jaundiced stuff on blood types, skull sizes (remember Casey was a pathologist), ancient writings and world pre-history.
- 6. Some very interesting maps, a few photographs and some culture, history and emigration pieces.
- 7. Copies of Tithe and Griffiths Valuations House-holder lists and maps for some areas.
- 8. Copies of some of the classic Irish histories, some with parallel translations from the Gaelic and Medieval Latin for the extremely serious genealogists among you.
(Ray Marshall shares this article he wrote for “The Septs”, the Quarterly Journal of the Irish Genealogical Society, International, located in Golden Valley, Minnesota)