skip to content

William Smith O'Brien Petition (Ireland)

Nature of Source

A list of over 80,000 names of those who called for the release of William Smith O'Brien, the man who instigated a nationalist revolt during the great famine.

The petition provides a credible census substitute and can be used to cross check names found in the Griffith's Valuation. The petition includes around 10,000 names from England.

The petition remained largely unknown and unused until genealogist Ruth Lawler began a project in the 1990s to transcribe the information from the petition. As a result of her endeavours the transcriptions are available online and on CD.

See Also

Surname Origins and Distribution

Where Found

Period Covered

1848 - 1849

Genealogical Value

Names, addresses and occupations of those that signed the petition.

Further References

William Smith O'Brien Specific
 
Davis, Richard & Davis, Marianne. Rebel in His Family: Selected Papers of William Smith O'Brien: Cork University Press, 1998 Buy Now on Amazon
Sloan, Robert. William Smith O'Brien and the Young Ireland Rebellion of 1848: Four Courts Press, 2001 Buy Now on Amazon
Family History Guides  

Adolph, Anthony. Collins Tracing Your Irish Family History: HarperCollins, 2007

Buy Now on Amazon

Begley, Donal. Handbook on Irish Genealogy: How to Trace Your Ancestors and Relatives: Heraldic Artists, 1984

Buy Now on Amazon
Connell, Gretta. Tracing Your Westmeath Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2012 Buy Now on Amazon
Corrigan, Mario &  Durney, James & Kiely, Karel. Tracing your Kildare Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon

Davis, Bill. Irish Ancestry - A Beginner's Guide: FFHS, 2001

Buy Now on Amazon

Falley, Margaret Dickson. Irish and Scottish-Irish Ancestral Research: GPC, 1981 (1962)

Buy Now on Amazon
Franklin, Margaret. Tracing your Limerick Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon

Grenham, John. Irish Ancestors, A Pocket Guide to Your Family History: Gill & Macmillan, 2004

Buy Now on Amazon

Grenham, John. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors: Gill & Macmillan, 2011

Buy Now on Amazon
Hamrock, John. Tracing your Roscommon Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2007 Buy Now on Amazon

Kinealy, Christine. Tracing Your Irish Roots: Appletree Press, 2009

Buy Now on Amazon

McCarthy, Tony. The Irish Roots Guide. Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 1991

Buy Now on Amazon
McCarthy, Tony & Cadogan, Tim. Tracing Your Cork Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2011 Buy Now on Amazon

Maxwell, Ian. Tracing Your Ancestors in Northern Ireland: A Guide to Ancestry Research in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland: Stationery Office, 1997

Buy Now on Amazon
Maxwell, Ian. Researching Armagh Ancestors: A Practical Guide for the Family and Local Historian: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon
Maxwell, Ian. Researching Down Ancestors: A Practical Guide for the Family and Local Historian: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon

Maxwell, Ian. How To Trace Your Irish Ancestors: How To Books, 2009

Buy Now on Amazon

Maxwell, Ian. Your Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword, 2008

Maxwell, Ian. Tracing Your Northern Irish Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword, 2010

Buy Now on Amazon
Meehan, Helen & Duffy, Godfrey. Tracing Your Donegal Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2008 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. Basic Guide to Irish Records for Family History: Clearfield Company, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Mitchell, Brian. Tracing Derry-Londonderry Roots: Clearfield Company, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon
O'Connor, Michael H. Tracing your Kerry Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 1994 Buy Now on Amazon
O'Dowd, Peadar. Tracing your Galway Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2010 Buy Now on Amazon

Ouimette, David. Finding Your Irish Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide: Ancestry.com, 2005

Buy Now on Amazon
Paton, Chris. Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet: A Guide For Family Historians: Pen & Sword Books, 2013

Prochaska, Alice, Irish History from 1700: A Guide to Sources in the Public Record Office: British Records Association, 1986

Buy Now on Amazon

Raymond, Stuart. Irish Family History on the Web: The Family History Partnership, 2007

Buy Now on Amazon

Roulston, William. Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors: The Essential Genealogical Guide to Early Modern Ulster, 1600-1800: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2005

Buy Now on Amazon

Ryan, James. Irish Records: Sources for Family & Local History: Flyleaf Press, 1997

Buy Now on Amazon
Ryan, James & Smith, Brian. Tracing Your Dublin Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2009 Buy Now on Amazon
Ryan, James. Tracing your Sligo Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2012 Buy Now on Amazon
Smith, Brian. Tracing your Mayo Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2010 Buy Now on Amazon
Smith, Brian & Kennedy, Gerry. Tracing Your Clare Ancestors: Flyleaf Press, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon

Stewart, Alan. My Ancestor Was Irish: A Guide to Sources for Family Historians: Society of Genealogists, 2012

Buy Now on Amazon
Other  
Bradshaw's Railway Map Great Britain and Ireland 1852: Mapseeker Publishing, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Connolly, S.J. The Oxford Companion to Irish History: Oxford University Press, 2007 Buy Now on Amazon
Coogan, Tim, Pat. The Famine Plot: England's Role in Ireland's Greatest Tragedy: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013 Buy Now on Amazon
Dickson, R.J. Ulster Emigration to Colonial America, 1718-1775: Ulster Historical Foundation, 1976 Buy Now on Amazon
Grenham, John. The Little Book of Irish Clans and Tartans: Book Sales, 1995 Buy Now on Amazon
Robinson, Philip. Plantation of Ulster: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2000 Buy Now on Amazon
Smith, Paul & Turner, Keith. Railway Atlas of Ireland Then & Now: Ian Allan Publishing, 2014 Buy Now on Amazon

Websites

www.findmypast.ie/content/william-smithobrien-petition-1848-49 (findmypast Ireland: William Smith O'Brien Petition 1848)
www.ancestry.com/learn/library/article.aspx?article=3964 (Dick Eastman Online: The William Smith O'Brien Petition on CD-ROM)
www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/index.html (Irish Genealogy Toolkit will guide you to your Irish ancestors)
www.irishtimestraining.com (Online Tracing your Irish Ancestors Course designed and presented by the genealogist John Grenham. The 11 modules will give you the tools and techniques to comprehensively trace your Irish family history. The online tutorials will provide you with a wide-ranging guide to all the records, resources and research techniques you will need)
www.irishcentral.com/roots/Searching-your-Irish-roots-online---Genealogy-sites-101-128100108.html (A guide to Irish genealogy websites and how to search on them, by Kate Hickey & Jordana Kozupsky)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse (A county-by-county listing of relevant records)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/browse/counties/civilmaps/index.cfm (Interactive map of Civil parishes for Irish counties with a summary of sources covering each civil parish)
www.rootsweb.com/~nirwgw (Information on Northern Irish counties and available resources)
www.iar.ie (Irish Archives Resource: The site contains information about archival collections open for public research in Ireland from many organisations, societies, political organisations and businesses)
https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/lesson/getting-started-in-irish-genealogy/594
(FamilySearch.org: Learning Center Online Genealogy Course: Getting Started in Irish Genealogy. Lecture designed to acquaint beginning genealogist with strategies and sources for getting started in Irish genealogy)
www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/irish-records-what-is-available/church-records (Irish Genealogy: Research in Ireland: Irish Records: What Is Available?)
www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/irish-genealogical-research-getting-started/how-to-start-your-family-history (Irish Genealogy: How To Start Your Family History)
www.cyndislist.com/ireland.htm (Ireland genealogy links)
www.irelandgenweb.com (Information on Irish counties and available resources)
www.rootsweb.com/~fianna (Fianna Guide to Irish Genealogy)
www.seanruad.com (IreAtlas Townland database)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/placenames (1851 General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, parishes and Baronies of Ireland)

Online Databases

www.findmypast.ie (Findmypast Ireland a partnership between Eneclann and findmypast: The William Smith O'Brien Petition 1848-49. The William Smith O'Brien Petition is a list of over 80,000 names and places from 1848/9, the time of the Great Famine. It is a valuable census substitute for that time)
www.irishancestors.ie/?page_id=5392
(Irish Genealogical Research Society: Index of Townlands, 1901: Searchable database of over 64,000 townlands in Ireland which are ancient land divisions measuring from just a few acres to several hundred and still in use today)

CD Roms

S & N Genealogy Supplies (William Smith O'Brien 1848 Petition)
Archive CD Books (The William Smith O'Brien Petition 1848-49, compiled and edited by Ruth Lawler)