The Irish Families Project explained (video)

From the Irish Roots Cafe Broadcast Network. Shownotes.
Video Shorts #7, The Irish Families Project explained
Filmed live at the Irish Roots Festival workshops this year.

Time: 2:49
The Irish Families Project
See the video here:

Learn More about volumes 1 – 8 here:

Learn More about volumes 9 – 34 here:

What is The Irish Families project ?
A 34 book set on Irish Family history and genealogy, the
largest collection ever in print. Research for this project began in
1978 by author/editor Michael O’Laughlin. The final volume was
published in 2009, with an final index appearing in 2009 -2010.
The complete set contains over 3,000 pages and 1,000 illustrations.
It is available as a set or as individual books from

What does it contain ?
Volume 1
The first volume, “The Book of Irish Families, great & small”,
contains three sections:  (see also video on this volume alone).
This book alone contains more names tied to specific locations
than any other book in print.  It also contains the master index
to the entire series. (see below for more).

Volumes 2 – 8.
These are hardbound volumes focusing exclusively on families
from one specific county in Ireland. They are for the following
counties: Kerry; Clare; Cork; Limerick; Galway; Dublin; and Donegal.
You will note that all of these counties have two books in the county
series, each with differing information. They are also found in the
spiral bound books in the series, described below.  They are titled:
“Families of County Kerry, Ireland” and so forth.

Volume 9 – 34
The final books to the series are spiral bound and contain more information
on every county in Ireland – by county.  They focus on real records and
repositories within the county. Real life records are included.  These focus
not as much on family histories as the earlier volumes. You will find arms
from the Irish Book of arms for families within the county, the census of
1659 for the county if it exists, maps of the counties, place name listings,
names and addresses of whom to write, and excerpts from different records
within the county. These books are to help you research within the county
and find your family.  All volumes contain a surname index for researchers.
We include records as we found them, sometimes  old and faded, but the
real thing never the less.
They are titled:  ‘Genealogy and Family History notes of County ———–’
For those who have not yet seen the blog or video on volume one,
Here are the 3 sections to volume one:

Section One of the Book of Irish Families
The first section contains family history from every county in
Ireland and Northern Ireland. This includes locations, coats of
arms, spellings of the name, and family history.  This material
in this book starts the family history collection in each county.
Several thousand families are found in this first section.
Later volumes continue the story on a county by county basis.

Section Two of the Book of Irish Families
The second section is the master location index.  It is included
to help research rare family names, variant spellings and locations.
Included are all the names from the 1659 census, the Birth Index,
and from special reports in our files. Many names are tied to a
specific Poor Law Union in Ireland. Most are tied simply to a county.
Section one contained family history, this section is strictly for locating
a county or Poor Law Union in Ireland connected to the name, and
possible variant spellings of the name.
There are some 18,000 families in this section, section two.

Section Three of the Book of Irish Families
This contains the Master Index to the entire Irish Families Project.
It will tell you if your surname, perhaps under several spellings, appears
in the other county books in the set. The volume number is given to
tell you which county book it is in.  There are over 45,000 family names
in this section, each tied to a specific county book. This book, which
includes all three sections is titled:
“The Book of Irish Families, great and small” by O’Laughlin
Note from the author
When we started out in 1978, I did not imagine that this Irish family research
project would span 5 decades.  After many years of research in private
and public repositories, in Ireland and America, we have the final
set published in 2009, and final index published independently in 2010.

Our aim was to help people find and research their Irish family history.
Experienced researchers know that to include the family history of every
family in every county would take a book as big as a railroad car. This obviously
is impossible in printed form.
We have, however, managed to amass the first collection of its kind in print.
There are more names, illustrated arms and locations in this source than
in any before it.
I hope it will start many on their way to more complete Irish family history.

Listen to  the Irish Roots Cafe History and Genealogy Broadcast here:
You can get all of our broadcasts on our web page at

You can also see all of our broadcasts on iTunes, just click the link below:
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You can participate
Yes, I am always looking for interviews with experts and with
everyday Irish.  Drop me a note from my web page anytime.
Feel free to send your Irish related book for review, or to request
an interview as an author or historian of any sort.

Upcoming Free Videos in this series include:

8. The Plantation of settlers in Ireland & The Wild Geese
9. Irish Coats of Arms and Tartans
10. Timeline of old Irish Books
11. Irish Family Names and spellings
12. Kansas City Irish History
13. St. Louis Irish History
14. Thanks from the Cafe
15. Missouri Irish Song and History

– End of Season One –
Please do send your comments and suggestions for our next episodes !
Phone 816-256-3360 to leave your thoughts on my recorder
All items mentioned here are found on our web page at

About the Cafe
The Irish Roots Cafe is the leading publisher of Irish Books, Podcasts
and Videos for Historians and Family Researchers.  See all of our
offerings at
A leader in online genealogy – we created the first weekly podcast on
Irish Genealogy in 2006, and are the sole publisher of rare Irish works.

Among our free audio and video broadcast series are:
1) Irish Families, genealogy and history podcast (audio broadcast )
2) Irish Families (photo enhanced podcast)
3) The Irish in America (audio broadcast)
4) The Irish Song and Recitation Festival (audio broadcast)
5) Irish Roots Cafe Videos  (video podcast )

We also publish books, for example:
The Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters
The Irish Book of Arms.  (Coats of Arms and Heraldry)
The Book of Irish Families, great & small.
The Irish Families 34 book genealogy set by county.

Want to become a member of the Irish Roots Cafe ? ( click here )

About Mike

Mike is the worlds most published author in his field, with over 40 books, 700 articles, two newsletters, a blog, 200 podcasts and 170 videos. He also publishes rare books like "The Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters" and Keatings "History of Ireland". Mike also sings in the Irish (Gaeilge) Language, with 3 albums to his credit. Mike descends from the O’Loughlins of Kilfenora, County Clare, and the O’Donahues of Glenflesk, County Kerry and also bears Sullivan, Buckley, Kilmartin, Llewellyn and Kelliher roots. He has led tours to Ireland and maintains a 3,000 volume Irish library.
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