Tel: (353 -1) 628 8347
Areas of research: All of Ireland
Special interests: minor gentry; merchant families
Henry McDowell worked in publishing in London before returning to Ireland to become a full-time genealogist. His early interest in the subject was encouraged by an uncle who was a member of the Royal Irish Academy. While in London, he spent many hours at the Society of Genealogists Library, which was then housed not far from where he lived with his young family in Chelsea. Back in Ireland, Henry was delighted to find that Dr. Edward MacLysaght, former Chief Herald of Ireland, was, as always, ready to share his great knowledge of Irish families. His successor as Chief Herald, Gerard Slevin, became a friend, and kindly suggested that Henry should take his place at the XIIIth International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences in London in 1976. As a result, Henry was invited to speak at the very first Australasian Genealogical Congress.
The McDowells settled at Celbridge Lodge, once a miller’s house standing in a little park, in the historic village of Celbridge, twelve miles upstream from Dublin on the River Liffey. Soon clients began to visit Henry in his genealogical library, and now, almost forty years later, they still come. Celbridge Lodge has featured in Sybil Connolly’s In an Irish House and more recently in Living in Ireland by Barbara and Rene Stoeltie, published by Taschen.
Henry McDowell served on the editorial committee of the Irish Genealogist and contributed to the American edition of Burke’s Irish Family Records. He is a longstanding member of AGRA (the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives) and a founder member of . In 1989 he was elected a Fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, and he served as President of the Kildare Archaeological Society for five years, 2000-2004. Henry is a life member of the Society of Genealogists, and his interests also include the Irish Country Furniture Society.
He served as an consultant in the Genealogical Advisory Service at the Genealogical Office, and he was President of AGI for 2001-2003. Future plans include genealogical publications from Dundalgan Press, a company founded by his grandfather, William Tempest, in 1859.
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