Wednesday, November 26, 2014

RTE's Genealogy Tutorial Contest with Ancestor Network!

WIN a genealogy tutorial with @AncestorNetwork To enter follow @RTE & @RTEOne + @_BigMountain and @GeneRoadshow Sunday, 7pm

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sustainability Conference in Dublin's Royal Irish Academy, November 20th. Jeremy Irons is a key sponsor and may well be there. Free admission

Ancestor Network. Ireland's Leading Probate Genealogy Services Provider, exhibiting at Law Dublin event at the Gresham Hotel on 11th and 12th November 2014

Ancestor Network Ltd, Ireland’s leading probate genealogy services provider with the largest panel of consultant genealogists in Ireland, will be exhibiting at the Law Dublin event at the Gresham Hotel on 11th & 12th November. Please call by and see us at Stand 3 and find out how we can help you...more

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Launch of Tracing Your Kildare Ancestors next week

Our new publishing arm, Flyleaf Press, will publish 'A Guide to Tracing your Kildare Ancestors' next week. The authors are Karel Kiely, Mario Corrigan & James Durney (ISBN: 978-1-907990-07-6, Retail: €13.00, 160 pages). It is a comprehensive guide to researching ancestors in County Kildare.
Specialising in guides for Irish family history research, with guides for Cork, Dublin, Mayo, Donegal, Kerry, and Longford, as well as Ireland in general.

Tracing your Kildare Ancestors

Mario CorriganJames DurneyKarel Kiely

  • ISBN13: 978-1-907990-07-6
  • 160 pages
  • illustrated (b/w)
  • 227 x 145  mm
  • softcover
  • Price: €13.00 · The following prices include Post and Packing:£14.50 to UK; $22 to USA; CAD$23; AUD$23; NZ$30
This book will be published in November 2014 

This new title is a guide for family research in County Kildare.   It provides a comprehensive account of all of the many genealogical sources available for those tracing ancestors from this county.  These sources include websites,  birth,  marriage and other personal records, public records.  books, journals and manuscripts.   County Kildare has a diverse population including farmers,  soldiers and horsemen.  The county has had a long association with the military including the major Curragh camp. It is also the centre of the Irish equine industry and is one of the richest counties outside Dublin. Large estates, military barracks, stud farms and horse racing establishments still feature in the county which has a current population of 210,000. Common names in the county include Byrne, O'Toole, Cullen, Dowling, Dunne, Nolan, Lawlor, Farrell, McKelly, Birmingham, Sutton, FItzgerald, Eustace, OKelly, Murphy, Doyle, Walsh, Dowling, Connor, Neill, Brennan, Moore and Kavanagh. 

Ancestor Network - Ireland's Leading Probate Genealogy Services Provider

Ancestor Network - Ireland's Leading Probate Genealogy Services Provider with the largest team of qualified professional genealogists in Ireland.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Back to Our Past Photos on Sunday 18 October 2014 at the Ancestor Network stand

                                       Maura Flood and Aiden Feerick of Ancestor Network

                                       A customer with Derek Neilson of Ancestor Network

        John Hamrock of Ancestor Network, Dr Tyrone Bowes of Irish Origenes and a visiting customer
                               Giorgia Maghelli and John Hamrock of Ancestor Network

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ancestor Network Stand at Dublin 'Back to Our Past' Show RDS Dublin Saturday 18 October 2014

 Brian Donovan, CEO of Eneclann Ltd, Mary Beglan, Chairperson of Irish Family History Society, and John Hamrock, Managing Director of Ancestor Network Ltd

Hilary Tulloch of Ancestor Network, Pamela Bradley, Professional Genealogist, and John Hamrock, Managing Director of Ancestor Network Ltd.

 John Hamrock, Managing Director of Ancestor Network Ltd, Rhona Murray, Acquisition Specialist at and Brian Hollinshead of Open Street Maps

John Hamrock, Managing Director of Ancestor Network Ltd and Dick Doherty of Celtic Quest visiting Ireland from Troy, Michigan

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Flyleaf Press Acquired By Ancestor Network: A New Chapter in Irish Genealogy Publishing Begins

19 September 2014

Dublin, Ireland, 19 September 2014Ancestor Network Ltd., the leading Irish family history services company, announced today that it has acquired Flyleaf Press, the specialist Irish genealogy publisher.
Ancestor Network, the leading probate and genealogy services provider, has been at the forefront of the Irish family history market for over five years. It has provided genealogy advisory services for public visitors to the National Archives of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, and the Kerry Genealogy Roadshow.  It was the primary genealogy researcher for RTE’s ‘The Genealogy Roadshow’ and has successfully managed popular genealogy educational courses and events across Ireland such as the Brian BorĂº Millennium Festival in Clare, Tipperary, Galway and Dublin, and the Monaghan Genealogy ‘Home to the Little Hills’ Training courses.
Founded by Dr. James Ryan in 1987, Flyleaf Press is Ireland’s major specialist publisher of family history and genealogy titles.  Flyleaf specialises in high-quality ‘how to’ guides for research in various counties of Ireland.  It also publishes reference works on Church Records, Census records and wills.  Flyleaf’s books are researched and written by highly qualified genealogists and they contain information vital to both amateur and professional genealogists and local history researchers.
This acquisition, coupled with the success of Ancestor Network’s research, probate, advisory, consultancy, educational and training services, forms an important part of the growth strategy set out by John Hamrock, Managing Director of Ancestor Network, and his board of directors.
Together Ancestor Network and Flyleaf Press will create one of the fastest growing Irish genealogy businesses. The two organisations will provide customers with easier access and more relevant information to help add colour and depth to Irish family history. 
Flyleaf Press will maintain its own brand identity and website, but the two organisations will enjoy greater economies of scale in marketing, sales, financial and operational functions. Transaction details were not disclosed. 
John Hamrock, Managing Director of Ancestor Network, said: “Ancestor Network’s strategy is about growth and the Irish Diaspora consumer and probate market sectors are key. Our purchase of Flyleaf Press, combined with our existing global Irish Diaspora customer base, gives us an excellent platform for expansion in the Irish family history market. Together we can provide a dynamic family history experience that offers customers the opportunity to make a real connection with their Irish family heritage.”
Dr. James Ryan, founder of Flyleaf Press, said: “We are thrilled to join forces with Ancestor Network and become a part of their family of Irish genealogy and family history services and products. The combination of our organisations will provide Irish family history enthusiasts with unprecedented access to the stories of their ancestors. Expect Flyleaf Press to grow stronger with Ancestor Network’s support and to continue to drive innovation in the Irish family history sector, particularly in the area of e-publishing.”

--- END ---


John Hamrock
Ancestor Network Ltd
Tel: +353 (0)87 0505296

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Free genealogy advisory service in the National Library of Ireland, Summer 2014

Press Release                                                    Saturday 31st May 2014

Free genealogy advisory service in the National Library of Ireland, Summer 2014.

Eneclann & Ancestor Network make it a hat trick!

The joint consortium of Eneclann and Ancestor Network are delighted to announce that they have been selected by the National Library of Ireland to enhance its provision of Summer genealogy services, following a competitive tendering process.

Speaking on behalf of the National Library of Ireland, Honora Faul said today:

“We’re delighted to welcome back Eneclann & Ancestor Network, to support and enhance our Summer genealogy service.  It’s an invaluable service for anyone tracing their family history.”

Fiona Fitzsimons, Eneclann:
“We’re very happy to have been chosen to provide the genealogy advisory service again this summer.  We look forward to working alongside Francis O’Carroll and Christina McDonnell, our professional colleagues from the Library.   In the Summers of 2012 and 2013 we saw a significant rise in the numbers that availed of the genealogy service.  We hope to welcome a record number of visitors to the Library this summer.” 

Hilary Mc Donagh of Ancestor Network:

“We are delighted to be part of this wonderful role for a third year running.  It’s a privilege for us to assist visitors to the Library and to help them trace their family history.  Being part of the Library’s genealogy service allows us to share our expertise, but it means we come face to face with the ordinary Joe or Josephine, and learn what they are most interested in.  We love to team up with our friends in Eneclann: both organisations can work together to help the public with all their research needs”

Summer hours for the genealogy advisory service in the National Library of Ireland commences Tuesday 2nd June 2014. 

The service is free to all visitors to the Library. 
9.30 a.m. to 4.45 p.m. Monday to Friday,
9.30 a.m. to 12.45 on Saturday.

Notes to the Editor.

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, Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Jeremy Irons, Steve Colbert, and Graham Norton. 

Since 1998 Eneclann has also developed significant expertise in digital technology. To date the company has brought over 75 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 collective of some of Ireland’s most experienced genealogical experts. Our genealogy services can be provided flexibly, to almost any scale, and with the broadest possible range of heritage skills. From personal and probate genealogy to group training, we can provide the expertise needed to search and identify ancestry for single or multiple clients. We offer considerable expertise in establishing and marketing heritage tourism products, and can supply a team on the ground to provide these services. This expertise is backed up with practical knowledge in mapping, digitizing records, and DNA matching.

For further information please contact:

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

Aiden Feerick, Director, Ancestor Network Ltd.
Telephone: +353 (0)87 0505296


Tel: +353 1 671 0338   Fax: +353 1 671 0281
Email:         Web:


1 Hyde Park Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Tel: +353 (0)87 0505296

Book Launch of Kay Moloney Caball's The Kerry Girls in Listowel at 2:00pm 31 May 2014

Photos from the National Conference on the Workhouse System in Ireland in Portumna, Co Galway

A National Conference on the Workhouse system in Ireland took place in Portumna last weekend, May 17 and 18 2014.

Many aspects of the Workhouse system were discussed. The number of papers read was wide ranging; from the history of the Workhouse system in Ireland
to the archaeological evidence from workhouse cemeteries. Many salient aspects of the workhouse system were analyzed by experts both from academia and from those practically engaged in running workhouses in different parts of the country where they are put to new uses.

A photo of some of the speakers at the forum; Bill Marwick told the story of his ancestor, Mary Ann Taylor, who left Ireland from Castleblakeney and lived a long and interesting life in Western Australia.

Emer Brannigan was one of the speakers about workhouse buildings and is currently a guide at the Portumna Workhouse Center. Her grandfather had been the Master in a nearby Workhouse.

The Portumna Workhouse
Peter Higginbotham, Dr Laurence Geary, Dr Gerard Moran, Bill Marwick
Maura Flood, Aiden Feerick, Sister De Lourdes
Aiden Feerick, Yvonne Marren, Kevin Gartland

Aiden Feerick, Emer Brannigan
Mary Beglan, Aiden Feerick, Maura Flood

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tonight! Don't forget to watch the Genealogy Roadshow on RTE One at 7:00pm this evening!

Don't forget to watch the first of three episodes this evening of The Genealogy Roadshow - all genealogy research was conducted by Ancestor Network

Photos of A Galway Perspective of the Battle of Clontarf

 Seminar speakers, (from left to right) John Hamrock of Ancestor Network, Dr Joe O'Mannion, Professor of History at NUI Galway, Dr Cathy Swift of Mary Immaculate College, Grete Odegaard, Deputy Head of Mission, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Dr Darren McGettigan, author of 'The Battle of Clontarf, Good Friday 1014'
 Seminar speakers with local Castleblakeney Vikings and Children 
 Seminar speakers with local Castleblakeney Vikings and Children
 John Hamrock of Ancestor Network speaking on the genealogies of the Hy-Maine
John Hamrock of Ancestor Network and Valerie Kinsella of Castleblakeney Heritage Centre

Friday, May 9, 2014

Photos of the Sons of the American Revolution Genealogy Seminar at the Davenport Hotel, Dublin on 9 May 2014

Ancestor Network Stand at the Davenport Hotel in Dublin at the site of the and Sons of the American Revolution Genealogy Day

John Hamrock providing a presentation on undertaking Irish genealogy research at the Davenport Hotel in Dublin at the site of the and Sons of the American Revolution Genealogy Day, 9 May 2014

An attentive audience at the site of the and Sons of the American Revolution Genealogy Day, 9 May 2014
John Hamrock providing a presentation on undertaking Irish genealogy research at the Davenport Hotel in Dublin at the site of the and Sons of the American Revolution Genealogy Day, 9 May 2014
The Irish logo
John Hamrock providing advice on Irish genealogy research to a visitor at the Davenport Hotel in Dublin at the site of the and Sons of the American Revolution Genealogy Day, 9 May 2014
The Songs of the American Revolution logo

Ancestor Network logo

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Galway Perspective on the Battle of Clontarf Saturday 10 May Castleblakeney, Ballinasloe

The New Series of RTE's The Genealogy Roadshow Starts this Sunday 11 May at 7pm on RTE One

The Genealogy Roadshow is back for a brand new series! 

The international hit show produced by Big Mountain Productions criss-crossed the nation in search of ordinary people with extraordinary stories

RTE’s The Genealogy Roadshow is now an international hit series. PBS in
America has already broadcast a US version of the show shot in Detroit, San
Francisco, Nashville and Austin, Texas. Season 2 of the US show is on the

The original Irish programme is returning to screens on May 11th with a brand new series full of amazing stories. Once again the people of Ireland are the stars of the show. The series will be presented again by Derek Mooney. The Roadshow’s crack historical and genealogical team (in the form of Ancestor Network, help people trace their family’s roots and discover surprising stories from the past. People from all four provinces got to know the truth about tragic events, infamous ancestors and famous cousins.

Thousands of people contacted the show with questions. Some wanted to know
if they were related to someone famous. Others wanted to solve mysteries
going back generations. Others had heart-breaking adoption stories and
tales of families ravaged by war.

Our team set out to help these people fill in the blanks. The mission is to
answer the questions, solve the riddles and uncover the truth. Some people
get the news they want but not every tale has a happy ending. In this
series, there are tears of pride and joy, as well as fantastic surprises.

*The Genealogy Roadshow* also sheds light on the people history has
forgotten. We look at local and national events and ask who didn’t get the
credit they deserve? We also take a look at people and events you think you
know, but tell the stories you haven’t heard before.

This year the show has added technology to the bag of tricks. Historians
and witnesses from around the world are able to beam in directly to the
roadshow to give expert testimony and corroborate evidence.

Some of the stories involve Irish people in far flung places:

Irish immigrants starting a new life in Argentina were part of an
international crisis as thousands were scammed out of their life savings
and left stranded in a strange land;

An innocent Irish girl was gunned down in a Canadian frontier town, caught
up in a local blood feud;

A Wexford man was spared a terrible fate at Custer’s Last Stand, only to be
forgotten by history, until now;

A Longford woman went to America and became a notorious criminal in the era
of Al Capone.

Some of the stories are closer to home:

After years of listening to his father’s stories, a Dundalk man finds out
once and for all if he is related to St. Oliver Plunkett;

A Cork man discovers that his relatives were saved from the gallows by none
other than Daniel O’Connell in a famous trial;

We hear the tale of an Orangeman’s wife who kept her Catholic identity a
secret, even from her family, for her whole life;

And there’s even some myth-busting in this series as we delve into the
mystery of ‘The Lost Village of Audleystown’ to see if there’s any evidence
to back up the story of a village full of families who were forcibly
migrated to the USA by a wicked land owner who levelled their homes.

This original Irish programme is back on your screens from Sunday 11th May
at 7pm on RTE One.

Raising Standards in Irish family history through Continuous Professional Development

Family History is very much a "one-man-band", and opportunities for 
Continuous Professional Development are hard to come by.
With this in mind, Eneclann and Ancestor Network have partnered, to 
create a regular series of expert workshops on key topics.

The monthly workshops take place in Trinity College Dublin, and the 
National Library of Ireland.

These are *free events*, open to all family historians and independent 
To ensure we can provide an appropriate workshop environment, numbers 
are limited, and these are ticketed events.
To apply email

To date, the following workshops have taken place:
April 2014, 

Fiona Fitzsimons, Eneclann: How to trace records of children 
raised in care from the 1840s to the 1990s.
Dr. Liz Rushen, Monash University, Melbourne 
Australia: The migration of Irish Women to New South Wales before the 
great Famine.

May 2014, 

Dr. James Ryan, Flyleaf Press: Ghosts of the estates - using 
estate records for family history rsearch.

June 2014, 

Maeve Mullen, Ancestor Network:
Noel Jennkins, Ancestor Network: Visit to the library & archive of the Society of Friends (Quakers), Stocking Lane.

Monday, May 5, 2014

“Where there’s a will, there’s a tax”

The Sunday Times, Money Section, page 13, 4 May 2014-05-05
“Where there’s a will, there’s a tax”
by Mark Canning

Irish families can take some simple measures to avoid the crippling cost of passing on wealth.
IRELAND has the highest death taxes in the world, according to research by accountancy firm UHY.  It found that taxes in Ireland would reduce the value of a $3 million (€2.2 million) inheritance by 26% compared with a global average of 7.7%.

            The report’s authors say low tax-free thresholds mean inheritance tax is becoming an increasing problem for middle-class families.
            Thresholds in Ireland have been slashed over recent years.  In 2009 a child could inherent up to €542,544 tax-free from a parent.  Today it is less than half that at €225,000.

            Meanwhile, the rate of capital acquisitions tax (CAT) paid on inheritances and gifts has gone from 20% before November 2008 to 33% today.

            According to financial planning experts there has been a surge in the number of people wanting to know how they can ease the burden.  Eamon Dwyer, managing director of City Life Wealth Advisors in Cork, said: “We have had more inquiries on this issue in the past three months than at any time in the past five years.”

            Oonagh Casey, tax partner with tax adviser Fagan & Partners, said it was becoming a particular problem for Dublin-based clients whose properties had gone up in value.  “People are suddenly getting worried their son or daughter might have to sell the family home to pay the tax,” she said.

So what can you do to beat death taxes?

Under current thresholds, you can inherit up to €225,000 from a parent, €30,150 from a sibling, grandparent or aunt/uncle, and €15,075 from anyone else without paying tax.

            Using these thresholds efficiently where possible can maximise the amount of your estate that remains tax-free.

            “You should look at the overall picture,” said Casey.  “If your children are married, we would suggest giving some to your child, some to your son- or daughter-in-law and some to your grandchildren with a view to using up their thresholds.”

            Suppose your estate is worth €1 million and you intend dividing it between four married children with each inheriting €250,000. On this basis, each child would have to pay CAT of 33% on €25,000 – the excess over their tax-free threshold of €225,000.

            The inheritance would be tax-free, saving €33,000 in tax, by dividing the estate per family, leaving €225,000 to each of your children, €15,000 to each of their spouses and the remainder to their children.


Not enough people take advantage of the small gift exemption which allows you to make gifts of up to €3,000 a year tax-free to any individual, say tax advisers.

            Danny Mansergh, principal in Mercer’s financial planning department, said: “The small gift exemption is a powerful tool to pass on wealth tax-free, provided you have the liquid assets to be able to use it.

            “People see the headline figure of €3,000 and think it doesn’t sound like much, but cumulatively it can have a big impact.”    

            Couples, for example, can gift each of their children up to €6,000 a year each tax-free.

            The savings can be significant.  For example, a couple with an estate of €500,000 would trigger an inheritance tax bill of €90,750 at current rates by leaving it to a single child.  If they gifted their child €6,000 a year over 10 years using the small gift exemption there would be an inheritance tax saving of €19,800.


According to Alan Murray, tax partner with accountants Mazars, it can make sense to transfer assets that have fallen in value by way of a gift to avoid higher taxes in the future when values recover.

            “Inheritance tax and gift tax is dictated by the value of the assets which you are passing,” he said.  “When property and share values are low you should look at passing those assets on to the next generation to take advantage of those low values.”

            Murray said, in most cases, there would be a double benefit because the person giving the gift would not have to pay capital gains tax if the gift is worth less than what it cost.  Meanwhile, the person receiving the gift stands to benefit from any increase in the value of the asset over the following years.

            For example, if you gift a house worth €200,000 to a child, no tax is due as the value of the property is below the threshold of €225,000.  If the transfer occurs upon your death, by which time the property has risen in value to €400,000, your child would have to pay €57,750 in inheritance tax if their full tax-free threshold is available.

            You can minimise the CAT payable on a gift you intend to make in the future.

            Using a section 73 savings plan, you make regular contributions for at least eight years, after which time you must use the proceeds to pay the CAT on a gift such as property transfer.  The proceeds are not countered as part of the gift and are therefore tax-free.

“It buys you the right in eight years’ time to make a substantial cash gift to your kids or somebody else,” said Dwyer.  “There is no obligation at the end of the eight-year period to make the gift or use the savings to pay gift tax.”


If you know your family is going to be hit with a large inheritance tax bill on your death, a section 72 life insurance policy is an efficient way to set aside funds for the tax when it falls due.

            Normally the proceeds from a life insurance policy would form part of the overall estate and become liable for inheritance tax.  With a section 72 policy, however, the proceeds are not counted as part of the estate for tax purposes provided they are used to discharge the inheritance tax bill.

            As with a section 73 policy, you must make regular premium payments for at least eight years to qualify.  “if it’s an illiquid estate that is mostly tied up in one asset like the family home it can make sense for some life insurance to be put in place to avoid it having to be sold,” said Dwyer. Families face tight deadlines for paying inheritance tax so there is not much time to find the money involved.

            Dwyer said it is possible for children to take out insurance on their parents’ lives as long as the parents are willing to go through whatever medical underwriting might be needed.


In certain circumstances it is possible to inherit a home tax-free using dwelling house relief.

            In order to qualify, the recipient has to have occupied the houseas their main residence for at least three years immediately prior to the date of the inheritance and have no interest in any other property.

            The recipient also has to continue to occupy the house as their main residence for six years following the inheritance.  “It requires the receiver to commit themselves to the dwelling for nine years or more, because you don’t actually know when the giver is going to die,” said Mansergh. “It also requires the giver to be prepared to have the receiver living in their house,” he added.

            Dwelling house relief can also be claimed on gifts.  To qualify, the receiver must prove that, in the three years before the gift, they acted as carer because the giver was infirm or over 65.

‘Minimising the effect of these taxes isn’t hard’

Greg Canty from Cork, who has two children, has started to consider estate planning following a review of his finances by CityLife Wealth Advisors.

            “Everyone has been pushed to the pin of their collar for the past six or seven years, and not been able to put money aside for pensions, life assurance and things like that,” he said. “I’m at the point where I would like to get my finances in order.”

            As part of his financial review, Canty is looking at options to minimise the impact of inheritance taxes.  He intends to use the annual small-gift exemption, which allows gifts of up to €3,000 each year tax-free.

            “I can start putting something aside for my two kids every year, which is exempt from inheritance tax,” he said. 

            Canty is also considering taking out a Section 72 life insurance policy, which could be used by his family to pay an inheritance tax bill.

            “It’s a very simple thing to do and, if the worst happens, at least I know the tax will be taken care of,” he said.  “There are probably a lot of people who would like to leave property for their loved ones and be sure that they won’t end up being forced to sell it to pay the tax.”

            In Canty’s view, current inheritance thresholds are too low, particularly for those with small families.

            “I think the government has gone too far with reducing the thresholds, especially when it’s money that you have already paid tax on,” he said.  “You can’t change the taxation system, but there are things you can do to minimise how taxe has to be paid.”

Mark Channing