Monday, December 31, 2012

Ancestor Network Takes Part in Kilkenny Over 50s Event, December 1st and 2nd 2012

Ancestor Network hosted a stand at the Kilkenny Over 50s Show at the Lyrath Convention Centre on Saturday and Sunday, December 1st and 2nd, 2012.

We would like to thank all the visitors to our stand.  John Hamrock gave a presentation on 'How to Go About Tracing Your Ancestors in Ireland' on each of the two days.  On the second day, John teamed up with Mary Flood of Rothe House, Kilkenny and the Irish Family History Foundation,, to provide a talk on local and national genealogical records as well as interet research.

Poster of The Kilkenny Over 50s Show.

Aiden Feerick and John Hamrock at the Ancestor Network stand.

A visitor to the Ancestor Network stand learning about online genealogical research with John Hamrock

Three Students Awarded with Certificates after Successful Completion of Irish Genealogy Weekend Course

Congratulations are in order for Agatha Langan, Jimmy Howe and Brian Redmond who recently completed the Genealogical Society of Ireland's Weekend Genealogy Course.  The certificates were awarded at the Society's monthly evening meeting held on 11 December 2012 at the Dun Laoghaire College of Further Education.

Pictured above are the Weekend Genealogy Course Tutor, John Hamrock of Ancestor Network, Agatha Langan, and the Genealogical Society of Ireland President, Rory Stanley.

Pictured above are the Weekend Genealogy Course Tutor, John Hamrock of Ancestor Network, Jimmy Howe, and the Genealogical Society of Ireland President, Rory Stanley.

 Pictured above are the Weekend Genealogy Course Tutor, John Hamrock of Ancestor Network, Brian Redmond, and the Genealogical Society of Ireland President, Rory Stanley.

Pictured above from left to right are the Weekend Genealogy Course Awardee, Brian redmond, Course Tutor John Hamrock of Ancestor Network, Jimmy Howe, Agatha Langan, and the Genealogical Society of Ireland President, Rory Stanley.

A special thanks to Aiden Feerick, Director of Genealogical Research at Ancestor Network, for the photos.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

John Hamrock and Aiden Feerick's description of the NUI Maynooth & The Gathering Conference held at NUI Maynooth on Saturday, 24 November 2012

Study Day at Maynooth

Organised by the Department of History, the National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM), the study day was called The Gathering: Local History, Heritage and Diaspora

The Gathering: Local History, Heritage & Diaspora

Saturday 24 November 2012 (9:30am – 4:00pm)

Renehan Hall, Maynooth University (south campus)

Organised by the Department of History, National University of Ireland Maynooth

The conference was of interest to local historians, librarians, heritage officers, genealogists, and all with an interest in studying and or researching Irish emigration.  It was a cold day.  I would say there were about a hundred people who attended the event.  Aiden Feerick and I represented Ancestor Network Limited and the Genealogical Society of Ireland.  I recognised a number of faces from Dublin - many genealogists.  I also recognised a collection of people from Roscommon and East Galway.     

9:15am                                    Registration

9:30am                                    Welcome & Introduction
                                    Professor Marian Lyons (Department of History, NUI Maynooth)

9:35am                                   Opening address: The Gathering 2013
                                    Tim O’Connor (Chairman, Board of the Gathering)

Tim O’Connor, the Chair of the Board of the Gathering and former diplomat, spoke of the event as a kind of open house for the next year where the people of Ireland have issued an invitation to the whole world to come and experience the national and local events which are all being expanded next year to welcome our visitors.

Key points: Culture is the link between Irish America and Diaspora and the Irish.  Culture is what maintains the bonds between the irish Americans and Ireland even if it is several generations apart.  Stubborness in holding onto culture is a key Irish trait. The cultural heart of New York is Broadway where the Irish have always punched above their weight.  The key is to bridge the gap between Broadway and Wall Street, the financial capital of the world where many Irish Americans hold power and influence.        

Ulster Scots tradition should not be overlooked as that is largest segment of Irish America.  They migrated earlier so have been forgotten for the most part by Ireland.  They have produced 17 US presidents. 

What is The Gathering?  It is an Open House of Ireland in 2013.  It will take peoples’ efforts to make it successful.  County Steering Groups are being established. 

The recent Notre Dame Navy football game was the real kick off of The Gathering where 35,000 Americans came over.  4 out of 5 of these 35,000 American visitors had never been to Ireland before.  It was a great opportunity to showcase Ireland on American television.

The Gathering in 2013 will officially start on New Year’s Eve in Dublin.  St. Patrick’s Day will have major celebrations and events, followed by the Galway Arts festival, the GAA World Championships, the Irish Jewish Community reunion, then the global reading of Ulysses with relatives and descendents of James Joyce, the Kennedy family gathering in New Ross, etc.

What is The Gathering?  It is an open source national platform to build and deepen the relationship between Ireland and the Diapora.

Gabriel Byrne has thrown enormous energy into his role as Cultural Ambassador to the USA.  He said what he said about The Gathering.  Tim O’Connor disagreed with Gabriel Byrne’s statements, but respected his views.  The good thing which have come from Gabriel Byrne’s statements is that is has launched the debate about The Gathering.

It all still comes down to Roots, Culture, Past, ands History. 

In less than 10 years, Ireland will be commemorating its centenary from 1916 to 2016 and enter into its second century of statehood.

The Gathering is about healing the breaches, particularly the breaches of emigration. 

Be part of it!

10:00-10:20am            ‘The global Irish family and its history’
                                    Patrick Fitzgerald (Mellon Centre for Migration Studies, Omagh)

                               Dr Paddy Fitzgerald from the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies, Omagh, Co Tyrone,      spoke about the global Irish family and how up to 80 million people worldwide claim Irish descent. He went on to contextualise the Irish Diaspora as part of the European Diaspora but with several characteristics which mark it apart. The Irish Diaspora has been persistent in that, from at least The Flight of the Earls in 1603 until today, the outward movement has been constant. Even the Irish local accent is persistent, from the Munster inflections of the people of Montserrat to the Westmeath lilt of the descendants of the Irish who migrated to Argentina. Unlike other countries, Ireland has had an even gender balance among its emigrants with the emigrating women going into domestic service. Again, unlike other countries there are low return rates; the Irish seem to have returned less frequently than other European populations; the tradition of the American Wake in some parts of the country meant that it was a journey of no return. And chain migration has also been a characteristic of our immigration with, for example, the people from Aran More, Co Donegal predominantly going to Beaver Island, Michigan.  But the greatest impact of emigration has been at home here in Ireland with the Great Famine being remembered as a defining moment in our nation’s life.

10:20-10:40am            ‘Working with the Irish abroad – a perspective from the Department of Foreign Affairs and trade’
                                    Niall Burgess (Department of Foreign Affairs)

                                  A serving diplomat, Niall Burgess, spoke about how we as a country see ourselves as a Diaspora. Even though the numbers emigrating to the US today are relatively small, our citizenship laws, whereby a person with an Irish-born grandparent can become an Irish citizen, explicitly acknowledge our links with our recent past. He went on to speak about the Famine as the foundation myth for Irish immigration into the US and how there is an official Famine Commemoration every year. He also stressed the importance of the availability of online genealogical resources as well as those about to go online and how these resources are under-utilised in America

10:40-11:00AM          ‘The Ireland Reaching Out Programme’
                                    John Joe Conwell (Community Liaison Officer for the Ireland Reaching Out Programme)

The Ireland Reaching Out Programme, brainchild of Galway entrepreneur Mike Feerick, has been successful since its beginning in attracting emigrants from East Galway to return and experience Ireland of the Welcomes. Local people meet and greet the returnees, take them around their parishes and show them where their folks lived and farmed and where they have been buried and help them answer any question they may have. The key to the success of the programme, according to its Community Liaison Officer, John Joe Conwell, has been the involvement of local people at every stage.

Q & A

There were none.  People needed their coffee.

This panel distributed an excellent bibliography called ‘Suggested readings on Irish transmigration studies’.

11:40-12:00pm            Searching for your lost ancestors: using transmigration studies
                                    Dr. Gerard Moran (Department of History, NUI Maynooth)

Using transmigration studies as a tool in the search for our ancestors was the topic of Dr Gerry Moran’s presentation. He listed the number of sources that are available both in Ireland and in the US. He examined in detail the various assisted emigration schemes in the Famine and immediate post-Famine period and alerted researchers of passenger lists to the fact that over 90% of emigrants who left from Liverpool after 1851 were classed as English. More people, he said, left between 1845 and 1855 than in the previous 200 years. With regard to the immigration records of Irish Americans, he stressed the importance of Church records in the US like, for example The Church of the Transfiguration in New York or secular records like the Search for Missing Friends which appeared in the Boston Globe. 

A suggested reading list was supplied by NUIM’s History Department to enable the participants to become more au fait with recent and current research trends.

12:00-12:20pm            Entrepreneurs, innovators and philanthropists: the Irish imprint on the American Midwest, 1850-1900
                                    Ms Regina Donlon (Department of History, NUI Maynooth)

Following on from this presentation, Regina Donlon, a doctoral student in the NUIM’s History Department, explored Irish immigration to the American Midwest with particular emphasis on Fort Wayne, Illinois and St Louis, Missouri. She focussed on the Irish-born entrepreneurs, like Edward Fogerty who set up a blacksmithing business in Fort Wayne, and on Joseph Murphy, the maker of the famous Murphy Wagon of the American frontier, who operated out of St Louis. She also mentioned the social visionaries of the time, the Irish Sisters of Charity, and their work is setting up and managing hospitals and homes. The Irish philanthropist, John Mullanphy, was also mentioned in this context. After accumulating a fortune, Mullanphy, displayed both remarkable generosity and ethnic loyalty by founding homes in St Louis for fellow Irishmen who were down in their luck or were simply too old or ill to work. 

12:20-12:40pm            ‘In search of the Strokestown Famine emigrants’
                                    Dr Ciarán Reilly (Department of History, NUI Maynooth)

The Famine Emigrants from the Strokestown Estate were the subject of Dr Ciaran O’Reilly’s presentation. He discussed emigration from the Mahon estate and stated that up to 60% of the tenants on the Strokestown estate disappeared during the Famine, many of them assisted to emigrate by the Mahon family. 50,000 documents relevant to the Mahon estate have been stored in Castletown by the Office of Public Work (OPW) and the History Department of NUIM is actively studying them. According to the speaker, these documents contain information on at least 10,000 people. And last year there was a weeklong gathering of the descendants of those who left Strokestown during the Famine more than a century and a half ago. Dr O’Reilly also drew attention to the amount of Irish related material that exists and is relatively unused in the US from Passport Applications to Census data to the New York Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses 1830-1860. This, of course, is in addition to the wealth of material on the Irish who immigrated to Britain during and especially after the Famine and can be garnered from the UK Censuses. 

1:00pm                        Lunch & viewing of the Morpeth Roll

2:00-2:20pm                The Morpeth Roll: An Introduction
                                    Christopher Ridgway (Curator, Castle Howard, York & Adjunct Professor, Department of History, Maynooth)

2:20-3:00pm      ’s involvement in digitising and indexing the Morpeth Roll

3:00-3:40pm                Bringing the Morpeth Roll to life: a challenge for local historians
                                    Mario Corrigan (Executive Librarian, Kildare Library & Arts Services)

                                    Chairperson: Professor Raymond Gillespie (Department of History, NUI Maynooth)

3:40pm                        Plenary discussion led by Dr Patrick Fitzgerald

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

20 X 20 Irish Genealogy Talks Hosted by the National Library of ireland

20×20 talks material available online

In August 2012, the NLI hosted the “20x20” lunchtime series of talks on Irish family history.
Organised by Eneclann and Ancestor Network, the assembled experts included genealogists and broadcasters, librarians and archivists, writers and publishers, academics and a medical geneticist.  The wide range of expertise on show every day was a show-case of Irish genealogy at its best.
Each expert held the floor for 20 minutes, and spoke about an aspect of their own work and its relevance for Irish family history.  Each talk was followed by a Q&A session, which gave the audience direct accessto the speaker.
As the month progressed, it became clear that the lunchtime talks drew a regular home (Irish) audience in attendance every day, as well as overseas visitors attending two or more of the lectures while they stayed in Dublin.
The response from the audience at the end of the series in August was overwhelming, and the most frequently asked question was whether the speakers would provide notes on their talks, or otherwise make them available.
In response to the feedback that we received in August, we are now making available the overheads of each of the talks or a synopsis.  We hope that this will become an online resource for all those involved in Irish family history, and will promote knowledge and use of the main collections of historical records for research.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Photos of Ancestor Network and Flyleaf Press Stand at Dublin Over 50's Show at the RDS in October 2012

Visitors at Ancestor Network Stand
Hilary McDonagh, Aiden Feerick, and Mary Beglan
Noel Jenkins and Jim Ryan with visitors
Gerry Hayden and John Hamrock
Mary Beglan, John Hamrock and Hilary McDonagh

Ancestor Network to host a stand and John Hamrock to speak on 'How to Trace Your Ancestors' at Kilkenny Over 50s Show at Lyrath Convention Centre on 1st and 2nd December 2012

Enhanced genealogy advisory service at the National Archives of Ireland

The enhanced genealogy service is available to all visitors to the National Archives of Ireland.  Everyone is welcome to avail of this free service.

Genealogy Advisory Service
National Archives of Ireland ( Monday to Friday, 10am to 1.30pm
The National Archives is located in Bishop Street, Dublin 8, close to the city centre and within ten minutes’ walk of the St Stephen’s Green Luas line.

Professional genealogists are available for each week day session on Mondays to Fridays.  The service entails providing visitors with invaluable information about how to begin or to continue family history research.  This includes advice about using the sources available such as oral history information within the family, census returns, civil birth, marriage and death records, church parish records, land records and many other sources such as trade and street directories, newspaper archives, and manuscript sources.  

Feedback from overseas and Irish visitors has been very positive since the new enhanced service commenced in June 2012.

The consortium has increased the number of genealogy experts delivering the service and provides a wide and comprehensive range of expertise to anyone looking for help and advice in tracing their family history. 

 “We take great pleasure in assisting Irish people and overseas visitors alike in tracing their roots especially in the coming year of the Gathering,” said Fiona Fitzsimons, Research Director of Eneclann.     

Aiden Feerick, Director of Research at Ancestor Network added, “We provide a world class genealogy advisory service and we enjoy sharing our expertise and knowledge to those tracing their Irish ancestors.  We also very much enjoy working with the staff of the archives in adding value to their genealogical services.”

The enhanced genealogy service has a greater number of panel experts, with a wide range of expertise.  The team consists of 14 members.  Each of the panellists has extensive experience in working as a professional in Irish genealogical research.

About Eneclann Limited
Eneclann Ltd. is a Trinity College Campus company, incorporated in 1998.  Since then it has become the largest historical and genealogical research and consultancy service in Ireland, with tens of thousands of clients worldwide.

The company is probably best known internationally for its research for the hit T.V. series WDYTYA, as well as the successful T.V. series Faces of America (2010), and Finding Your Roots (2012) presented by Prof. Henry Louis Gates.  Eneclann has traced the Irish roots of President Barack Obama, Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons, Harry Connick Jr., Steve Colbert, and Graham Norton. 

Since 1998 Eneclann has also developed significant skills in archival management, and expertise in digital technology. The company was instrumental in the founding of the online service in 2003, and more recently launched the web service with their Scottish partner Brightsolid. To date the company has brought over 12 million new genealogical records online, and has acted as a trusted partner of several archives, libraries and other public institutions in making their historic records available to a wide audience.

Eneclann’s clients include the National Museum of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, the National Archives of Ireland, Trinity College Library, the Military Archives, the OPW, the National College of Art & Design, the GAA archives, Dublin City Library & Archives, Cork City & County Archives, Clare County Archives, and the RDS.

About Ancestor Network Ltd
Ancestor Network Limited was established in May 2009 to help promote knowledge and learning of genealogy (family history) and heraldry in Ireland.   Ancestor Network is a professional genealogy organisation that helps people search for their Irish ancestry and discover their family history and surname origin.  The company is focused on Irish Family History or Genealogical Services including; professional research and advice, teaching, tours, DNA testing, and book sales.  Ancestor Network also advises on DNA tests for genealogy, heraldry, and adoption searches.  The company websites are and

For further information please contact:

Fiona Fitzsimons, Research Director, Eneclann Ltd.
Telephone: +353 (01) 671 0338

John Hamrock, Managing Director, Ancestor Network Ltd.
Telephone: +353 (0)87 0505296

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mount Merrion Historical Society Genealogy Evening, Tuesday, 21 August 2012

As part of Heritage Week, Mount Merrion Historical Society hosted a genealogy evening in conjunction with the Genealogical Society of Ireland and Ancestor Network on Thursday evening, 21st August.  This was held at the Community Centre on North Avenue, Mount Merrion.  The evening was a great success.  Over 100 people participated.  There were information stands hosted by the Genealogical Society of Ireland, the Guild of One Name Studies, and Ancestor Network.

As part of the evening, John Hamrock provided a presentation called, 'Tracing your Ancestors in Ireland' and spoke for 45 minutes and then fielded questions from an enthusiastic audience.  Copies of this presentation can be obtained by contacting John Hamrock at

Who Do You Think You Are? TV show leads to bounce in tourist numbers

Louise McBride, reports in the Independent on Sunday, 26 August 2012 that the hit TV show Who Do You Think You Are? in which the US actor Martin Sheen recently traced his roots to Dublin's Kilmainham Gaol, has helped to boost the number of tourists coming to Ireland, according to the state tourism body, Failte Ireland.
Almost 90,000 overseas visitors came to Ireland last year to trace their Irish roots, spending as much as €61m in doing so, according to Failte Ireland. More than half of those visiting the country to trace their Irish heritage are from North America.
"The proliferation of programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are? has sparked renewed interest in genealogy," said a spokesman for Failte Ireland. "Programmes like that can have as much an influence on roots tourism here as the likes of the visit of President Obama to Moneygall last year."
RTE is currently showing 'Who Do You Think You Are? (USA). Among those who have traced their roots on the show are Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall and The Sopranos star Steve Buscemi.
Failte Ireland expects that more overseas visitors will come to the country to trace their Irish roots next year once 'The Gathering' kicks off. 'The Gathering' is a series of events and festivals where people can trace their heritage.
Meanwhile Irish people and tourists could soon be able to visit a centre similar to Ellis Island in New York -- albeit one where you can trace your Irish roots rather than where you immigrated to.
Failte Ireland is examining how and where a National DiasporaCentre could be built in Ireland, after being requested to do so by the Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Genealogical Society of Ireland Weekend Genealogy Course

Recent awardees of the Genealogical Society of Ireland's Weekend Irish Genealogy Course Certificate were Claire Gilnagh and Michael Flynn. 

Pictured above from left to right are John Hamrock, Ancestor Network Course Tutor, Claire Gilnagh, Rory Staley, President of the Genealogical Society of Ireland and Padraic Ingoldsby, Chairman of the Genealogical Society of Ireland.

Pictured above from left to right are John Hamrock, Ancestor Network Course Tutor, Michael Flynn, Rory Staley, President of the Genealogical Society of Ireland and Padraic Ingoldsby, Chairman of the Genealogical Society of Ireland.

Summer Lunchtime Irish Genealogy Workshop Series at the National Library of Ireland

Summer Lunchtime Irish Genealogy Workshop Series at the National Library of Ireland

Due to the fact that the first talk in the series, Sean Murphy of UCD speaking on ‘Getting Started in Irish Genealogy’, opened to a capacity crowd today (1st August), the lunchtime series has been moved to the larger Seminar Room with effect from tomorrow (Thursday 2nd August) **

This August, the National Library of Ireland presents its Summer Lunchtime Series 2012 offering audiences a unique programme of short talks on Irish family history. Twenty of the foremost experts – genealogists, broadcasters, writers and academics – will deliver a series of free talks on aspects of Irish family history.

The series brings together the talent and skill of some of Ireland’s best genealogists, who feature strongly in this uniquely devised series which starts on the 1st August 2012.  The workshops are taking place in the Seminar Room at 1pm.  No booking is required, but seats are on a first come, first served basis.

The daily lunchtime genealogy workshops will be held every week day from August 1st to the 29th of August at the National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin.

These workshops have been organised by Ancestor Network and Eneclann (the consortium companies providing the Genealogy Advisory Service at both the National Archives of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland.

The workshops will be held at the Seminar Room at 1:00pm.  Each workshop is scheduled for 20 minutes giving people working in or visiting Dublin a chance to pop in and learn from the leading genealogy experts in the country.   The impressive programme of workshops and the profiles of the genealogy experts follow:

Wednesday 1 August, Getting started in Irish genealogy, Sean Murphy, UCD

Sean Murphy (MA) is a graduate in history of University College Dublin and is a genealogy teacher with the college’s Adult Education Centre, giving courses which run from introductory to certificate level. In addition to teaching work, he is also a professional genealogist and consultant, has published widely, given talks to societies and groups and participated in radio and television programmes. Among his publications are Twilight of the Chiefs (2004) and A Primer in Irish Genealogy (2011 edition, freely available online as a PDF file).

Thursday 2 August, Irish church records, Mary Sullivan, Irish Family History Foundation

Mary Sullivan is a librarian who worked for a number of years in various public and special libraries. She has been manager of Cavan Genealogy since its foundation in 1987 and serves as a director on the board of the Irish Family History Foundation, the umbrella body for the county genealogy centres. She has contributed articles to a number of publications and in 1998 compiledThe Graveyards of County Cavan A Survey. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Science from Queen’s University, Belfast and has delivered a Diploma in Family and Community History for NUI Maynooth. Her main interests are in aspects of Irish migration.

Friday 3 August, Irish genealogy online, Brian Donovan, Eneclann

Brian Donovan is the CEO of Eneclann Ltd., the leading genealogical and historical company in Ireland. He trained as an Irish historian at Trinity College Dublin and has a number of academic publications. In 1998 he jointly established Eneclann, with responsibility for the company’s digitisation and electronic publishing programme. Since then he has played a key role in a main online resource for Irish genealogical records, and also many Eneclann and Archive CD Books Ireland titles on CD, DVD and online. To date he has overseen the publication of over 1,000 individual titles, and over 12 million records online. Brian was also the technical advisor for the landmark Trinity College project to digitise the 1641 Depositions, as well as many other cultural and educational initiatives.

Tuesday 7 August, Why are Irish surnames so weird?, John Grenham, author of "Tracing Your Irish Ancestors"

John Grenham came to professional genealogy in 1981, as one of the panel of Genealogical Office researchers and later worked for Hibernian Research. As in-house researcher for the Genealogical Office in 1990-91, he was instrumental in setting up the GO Consultation Service, the forerunner of the current Advisory Services in the National Library and National Archives. He was Project Manager with the Irish Genealogical Project from 1991 to 1995 and later went on to develop and market his own genealogical software, Grenham’s Irish Recordfinder. Since 1998, he has run the Irish Times Irish Ancestors website. In 2005, he was the first Genealogist-in-Residence at Dublin City Library. In 2007, he was awarded a fellowship of The Irish Genealogical Research Society. Among his publications are the standard guide to Irish genealogy, Tracing your Irish Ancestors (4th ed. 2012),Clans and Families of Ireland (1995), Generations (1996), “The Genealogical Office and its Records” in The Genealogical Office, (1999), Grenham’s Irish Surnames (CD-ROM, 2003) and numerous articles and columns in the UK magazine Your Family Tree. He has written the “Irish Roots” column in The Irish Times since February 2009. In 2011 he was co-presenter of the RTE television programme “The Genealogy Roadshow”.  His website is

Wednesday 8 August, Connecting with the Diaspora, Anne Rodda, Genealogist

Anne Rodda, Certified Genealogist, has a Doctor of Letters degree in Irish Studies from Drew University in New Jersey.  For more than twenty years, Anne has been tracing back to the European birthplaces of American immigrant families, starting with her own Danish, German and Irish ancestors, leading to specializing in tracing Irish ancestry.  Her first book has just been published:Trespassers in Time: Genealogists and Microhistorians.

Thursday 9 August, Irish genes and ancestry, Gianpiero Cavallieri, Royal College of Surgeons

Dr. Gianpiero Cavalleri is a Biomedical Research Lecturer at the Royal College of Surgeons and founder of IrelandsDNA. His research is in population genetics, understanding how the nature of genetic variation in the Irish population and how this variation has been shaped by historical events.

Friday 10 August, Sources for genealogy at the Military Archives, Capt. Stephen MacEoin, Military Archives

Captain Stephen MacEoin is currently staff officer in charge of the Military Archives. He served with the United Nations Forces in Kosovo in 2006-2007 as a platoon commander and on his return was selected for an appointment to the Military Archives in Dublin and promoted to captain. He proceeded to undertake the MA in Archives & Records Management at UCD, and took an internship at the City of Vancouver Archives in 2008. He is currently overseeing the publication online of the Bureau of Military History records, including the important Witness statements detailing the recollections of over 1,700 participants in 1916 and the War of Independence.

Monday 13 August, Records for genealogical research at the Representative Church Body Library, Susan Hood, RCBL

Susan Hood is Assistant Librarian, Archivist and Publications Officer for the Church of Ireland at the Representative Church Body, the principal repository for Church of Ireland records.

Tuesday 14 August, Genealogical resources of ‘Big House’ families, Turtle Bunbury, author of “Vanishing Ireland”

Turtle Bunbury is a best-selling author and historian based in Co. Carlow.  His published books include the best-selling Vanishing Ireland series, Sporting Legends of Ireland and The Irish Pub, while his historical work has been published in magazines as diverse as Playboy and The World of Interiors, as well as newspapers such as the Financial Times, The Guardian, The New York Post, The Australian, The Mail & Guardian (South Africa) and The Irish Daily Mail. Turtle is a co-presenter of ‘The Genealogy Roadshow’ series, which recently aired on RTE One. He was also curator of the inaugural History Festival of Ireland in June 2012.

Wednesday 15 August, Using newspapers to trace your family history, Jennifer Doyle, Eneclann

Jennifer Doyle is a Dublin native who initially began studying science before transferring to history in Trinity College, Dublin, and has never looked back.  Her historical interests are varied, to say the least.  Her undergraduate thesis studied the three criminal jurisdictions of medieval Dublin while her Masters thesis, obtained from King’s College, London in 2011, focused on the concept of respectability, constructing her thesis on the themes of eggs, butter and patriotism, which she hopes will be published in the near future.  It was through her masters that she developed a fascination for newspapers as historical documents and believes that they are an overlooked source.  Since working for Eneclann, she has been using newspapers as a source of genealogical information and as a tool for researching family stories.

Thursday 16 August, Irish placenames – tracing where your ancestors came from, Brian Mitchell, author of “A guide to Irish Parish Registers”

Brian Mitchell has been involved in local, family and emigration research in the wider Derry area since 1982. The database whose construction he supervised from 1982 to 2007, containing one million records (dating from 1642 to 1922) extracted from the major civil and church registers of County Derry, can now be accessed at Brian is an accredited member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (M.A.P.G.I.) and the author of a number of Irish genealogy reference books such as A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland, A Guide to Irish Parish Registers, Irish Passenger Lists 1847-1871, and Genealogy at a glance: Irish Genealogy Research.  He is currently contracted to Derry City Council as their Genealogist where visitors and locals alike are encouraged, at no charge, to forward any queries they may have concerning their family history; by contacting him in person at the Foyle Valley Railway Museum, by telephone (028 7136 5151 ext. 8254) or by email (

Friday 17 August, Irish births, marriages and deaths for beginners, Eileen O’Duill, Genealogist

Eileen O ÓDúill, CG, a professional Irish genealogist since 1990, specialises in probate genealogical research in Ireland. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland and serves as Trustee for Britain and Ireland of the Association of Professional Genealogists, U.S.A., (2007-2012).  Eileen has lectured at conferences in Ireland, Great Britain and the USA (999 to 2012). She lectures on the Diploma in Family History (Genealogy), at Independent College Dublin and served as a director of Irish Genealogy Ltd. for 9 years. In 2011, Eileen teamed with Lou Szucs to provide a webinar on Irish genealogy for Eileen currently is the only Certified Genealogist in Ireland.

Monday 20 August, Using Valuation Office records to trace your family, Carmel Gilbride, Eneclann

Carmel Gilbride graduated from the Masters in Family History at the University of Limerick, then working as an intern in the Genealogical Office in the National Library of Ireland. Following this internship, Carmel took up an appointment with Eneclann.  As Research Manager, her role is to ensure that available historical sources are used to deliver maximum results for clients wishing to accurately trace their Irish ancestry.   Combining twin passions for family and history, Carmel has traced her father’s side of the family back to the 1700s in Dublin using a strong family oral history tradition.  On her maternal side, she is one quarter American, which gives her a particular perspective on the Irish diaspora.

Tuesday 21 August, Records of the RIC and DMP, Jim Herlihy, author of “The Royal Irish Constabulary”

Jim Herlihy, a member of the Garda Síochána, writes for historical society journals and is the author of The Royal Irish Constabulary: A Short History and Genealogical Guide with a Select List of Medal Awards and Casualties (Four Courts Press, 1997) and The Dublin Metropolitan Police: A Short History and Genealogical Guide.

Wednesday 22 August, Using Findmypast to trace your family history, Cliona Weldon, Findmypast

Cliona Weldon graduated from UCD in 1995 with a degree in Psychological Studies.  She spent years in the ICT industry working as a Senior Bid Manager before moving into the not-for-profit sector in 2006. With years of experience leading international & multi-functional teams, she’s successfully co-ordinated a variety of initiatives through development to execution. In her spare time she works with the SCOOP foundation (Save Children out of Poverty).  She joined as the General Manager in March 2011.

Thursday 23 August, Scots-Irish emigration, 17th – 19th centuries, William Roulston, Ulster Historical Foundation

Dr William Roulston is Research Director of the Ulster Historical Foundation. He is the author of several books, including Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors: the essential genealogical guide to early modern Ulster, 1600-1800. He has spoken widely on a range of historical and genealogical subjects in Ireland, the UK and North America.

Friday 24 August, National Archives of Ireland, sources online, Catriona Crowe, National Archives

Catriona Crowe is Head of Special Projects at the National Archives of Ireland. She is Manager of the Irish Census Online Project, which has placed the 1901 and 1911 censuses online free of charge over the last 4 years. She is an Editor of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, which published its seventh volume, covering the period 1941-45, in November 2010. She is editor of Dublin 1911, published by the Royal Irish Academy in late 2011. She is a member of the Royal Irish Academy.

Monday 27 August, A thousand years of Irish genealogy: how to use Gaelic pedigrees and family trees in your research, Prof. Nollaig Ó Muraíle, NUIG

Professor Nollaig Ó Muraile, a native of Mayo, obtained his Ph.D. from NUI Maynooth for a dissertation on the Co. Sligo genealogist Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh; this resulted in his book The Celebrated Antiquary: Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh, c 1600-1671 – His Lineage, Life and Learning(1996; revised ed., 2002).  In 2004 he published his edition, in five large volumes, of Leabhar Mór na nGenealach: The Great Book of Irish Genealogies, compiled (1645-66) by Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh.  Among numerous other publications – several on aspects of Irish place-names – are two substantial books: Irish Leaders and Learning through the Ages. Essays by Paul Walsh (Dublin, 2003: 636 pp), and Turas na dTaoiseach nUltach as Éirinn: From Ráth Maoláin to Rome. The Exile of Ulster’s Gaelic Lords, 1607-8 (‘The Flight of the Earls’) – Tadhg Ó Cianáin’s Contemporary Narrative (Rome, 2007: 700 pp).  A member of the Royal Irish Academy, he currently lectures in Modern Irish at NUI Galway.

Tuesday 28 August, The Registry of Deeds – records to trace your family history, Mary Beglan, Genealogist

Mary Beglan M.A.P.G.I. has been a professional genealogist since late 1990s and is based in Dublin. She has delivered many talks at conferences and to family history societies and is particularly interested in the use of Internet sources both Irish and overseas, in connection with Irish research. Mary is currently on the panel which provides the Genealogy Advisory Service in the National Library and National Archives. She is the current Editor of the Irish Family History Society.

Wednesday 29 August, Records for children in Care (pre-1952 adoptions), Fiona Fitzsimons, Eneclann

Fiona Fitzsimons provided research for many television programmes, including Who Do You Think You Are?, Faces of America and Finding Your Roots, as well as historical advice for film (most recently the Oscar nominated Albert Nobbs).  She is probably best known for her work tracing President Obama’s Irish family history, which in 2008 was picked up during the U.S. Presidential campaign and re-broadcast around the world.  She lives in Dublin with her husband and three sons.