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  • Gribbin Front Cover
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Gribbin: A Family History of Ulster

by John P. Gribbin


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This is a comprehensive history of the Gribbin (Gribben/Gribbon) family. The author traces his own family line back to the early nineteenth century, setting it within the context of the wider Gribbin family story. He then tracks back through time to pinpoint Gribbins wherever they appear in the record.

He has trawled the available sources, compiling the data in order to establish where all the Gribbins of the world were living during the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (mostly in Ulster is the short answer), what they were doing and their socio-economic status.

He is particularly keen to record any distinctive detail which might bring these Gribbin ancestors to life for the reader. In the process, we learn the history of Ulster and of those who emigrated from it; the politics, the wars, the tribulations and the daily lives of Gribbins down through the centuries. We trace their movements, their involvement in politics and how social/political change affected them. This is a rich tapestry which includes small Catholic farmers, Protestant industrialists, reforming doctors, learned scribes, soldiers and rebels, reformers and priests, all of them caught up in the turbulent whirlwind of Irish history.


“Part puzzle, part history, part family chronicle but always an engaging read. This exploration of the world of one Ulster family reveals the reality of life in Ulster from the seventeenth century to the present. Anyone even remotely interested in the history either of their own family or of the province will love this scholarly but highly readable book’’.

Raymond Gillespie, Professor of History, Maynooth University

“In this outstanding book, John Gribbin works heroically to reconstruct what we can learn of the history of a name and of the families that share it. Drawing evidence from DNA analysis, place-names, medieval manuscripts, census records and his own recollections, he shows how rarely these families impacted on wider society – but how much they have meant to each other.”

Crawford Gribben, Professor of History, Queen’s University Belfast

This book is beautifully produced, stylishly written - and illustrated superbly. Based on extensive research, a labour of love, it is more than a family history, but rather serves as a fascinating lens through which to view the momentous periods of our history. This will give Gribbin, A Family History of Ulster a universal appeal.

Kenneth Dawson, author of The Belfast Jacobin: Samuel Neilson and the United Irishmen.

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    280mm x 40mm x 220mm
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