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.