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South Leitrim Roots Book: Exploring Family Origins and Old Carrick-on-Shannon by Noel Farrell, Park Road, Longford, Ireland. c. 1994 $10. Paperback with maps, illustrations and photographs, 48 pages.

Here in the US we hear about how the Irish Heritage Centers are helping the youth of Ireland develop marketable job skills. This is one excellent example of such a process. Noel was part of a 4-member youth heritage project to compile old records of Kiltoghert (Carrick-on-Shannon Electoral Division) for the local libraries. The project was well received and sponsorship was obtained to compile a booklet. Noel compiled the resource and it was published by his father. It is not stated, but we assume that he works for the Longford Leader, the area newspaper.

The book provides for the Roman Catholic parish of Kiltoghert name indexes for the 1901 and 1911 census returns, Griffith’s Primary Valuation of Tenements from 1854-1864, electoral lists for 1940/1, extracts from Thom's directories for 1933 and 1953, Slater's directory for 1894, and a listing of pubs in the area from 1889. For the communities of Carrick-on-Shannon, Keshcarrigan and Leitrim village copies of the detailed maps from Griffith’s valuation are included, listing all the inhabitants and identifying which house they lived in.

County Leitrim is the only county in Ireland to show a decrease in population every year since 1841. From 1841 to 1851 the population fell from 155,297 to 111,897, a decrease of almost 28%. By 1991, the last census, the population had fallen to 25,297. A lot of people leave this county. It is these people that provide our ancestors.

For anyone with ancestors in Kiltoghert parish this book is a must. It is also useful for those with Leitrim ancestors. There are numerous references throughout the book to the resources and services available through the Leitrim Genealogy Centre and the Leitrim County Library. I hope we get to see more publications like this coming out of Ireland.

The author also has similar books for Longford and Cavan but the parishes involved are not named.

Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.3 no.1, 1996