I just wanted to warn anyone doing Irish genealogical research that they should NOT buy anything from a company called Irish Families, located in Kansas City, Missouri (Irishroots.com).
They sell several volumes of books that, in their advertising, appear to be valuable and useful collections of genealogical data on the families of Ireland. In fact, these are merely cheaply produced spiral-bound booklets that contain absolutely nothing of any genealogical value whatsoever.
I recently discovered this the hard way, having purchased, for $25, their 54-page book (and that includes the front and back covers), "County Down Genealogy & Family History." The ad for this book has a long list of surnames that are supposedly mentioned in this book. In fact, what I found was that the surname index refers the reader to another page where the same names are listed again, under the heading "Families Names Connected with 'Down' in the Book of Irish Families, Great & Small"!!!!!! This second book title is also one of theirs, selling for $36. So, in effect, the surname index merely directs the reader to what amounts to nothing more than a teaser for another book!!! Nowhere in the entire book is anyone having any of these surnames ever mentioned at all! Not only that, but just beneath the above mentioned heading is the subheading, in parentheses, "(That is, the word ['Down'] appears in the listing for this family in the above noted book)."
The remainder of this useless book is taken up with a list of books they are selling, the contents page, lists of general and Irish genealogy sources (that I could have culled from Cyndi's List, myself), and other information that any of us probably already has.
The bulk of the book's pages is taken up by what they have called "Census Returns Showing the Original 17th Century Spellings of Familiy Names and Place Names." This so-called "census" doesn't contain any genealogically useful information, though, and only lists 118 names of individuals, but says nothing about them except what townland they lived in. It doesn't, however, tell the reader WHEN they lived there, as there are no dates whatsoever.
The rest of the book is a series of illustrations of a few coats of arms, and a rather difficult to read historical map of County Down. The illustraions of arms are useless to anyone whose ancestor wasn't named Alexander, Andrews, Annesley, Barcroft, Blacker, Blackwood, Blundel, McCance, Dawnay, Dawson, De La Cherois, Dixon, Dolling, Dunbar, Echlin, Fitzgerald, Garnet, Hamilton, Higginson, Houston, Innes, Kingan, Leslie, Maxwell, Meade, Montgomery, Nicholson, Nugent, Perceval, Price, Rawdon, Richardson, Ross, Sharman, Smythe, Stewart, Vaughan, Vernon, Ward, or Wilman. If you see the name you're looking for in this list, and you think paying $25 to get a small black and white illustration of your ancestor's coat of arms is worth it, then knock yourself out. However, be advised that anyone could easily find the same arms illustrated online, and perhaps in color, as well.
Suffice to say, I won't be doing any further business with Irish Families or Irish Roots.com, and I'd advise all of you to stay away from them, as well.