A Genealogist’s Dream…. or Nightmare? Rosaleen Underwood  M.A.G.I. Few of the clergy, many of whom appear to have hated record-keeping, were as considerate as the parish priest of the Roman Catholic parish of Tacumshane (also known as Our Lady’s Island) in Co. Wexford. While researching another family, I found the following note at the bottom of a page (spacing and punctuation changed for clarity) below the entry for 27th July 1848 (not necessarily related) : “For the guidance of my successor, it would be necessary to know the intermarriages in the families of Murphys of Reidstown and of Cardiffs of … Read More

Three Retired Members Elected Emeritus Members of AGI

On Friday, 15th February, at the end of the first day of the Back to Our Past family history event / 50-Plus Expo at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall, a short presentation was held to mark the election of three retired members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland to the status of Emeritus Members. All three retired members were delighted to be recognised for their contribution over many years to the world of Irish genealogy, particularly in relation to Ulster.  They played no small part in the early development of what is now known as Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI).  Hazel Ervine, Joan Petticrew and … Read More


A Grey-Headed Swindler from Brandy Lane John Grenham M.A.G.I.   The full entry reads: “Catherine of Denis Kelly, Soldier, Ellen Ford. Sponsors Edward Kelly a grey-headed Swindler from Brandy Lane, Mary McMullen”. Did Edward (Denis’s brother? cousin?) abscond with the money he was given to pay the priest? The cleric’s outrage is palpable, even two centuries later. And Edwards’ description and address make sure he’ll be spotted if he ever shows his face in St. Finbar’s again.

AGI to Offer Free Genealogy Advice Sessions at Back to Our Past in Belfast

This coming weekend Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) will be offering free genealogy advice sessions at its stand at Back to Our Past (BTOP) – the annual genealogy and family history experience. BTOP is part of the 50-Plus Expo being held at the Waterfront Hall on Friday and Saturday, 15th & 16th February. Doors open each of the two days at 10am through until 5pm. The Waterfront Hall is found at Lanyon Place, Belfast, BT1 3WH. Convenient car parking can be found at the adjacent Lanyon Car Park. The 50-Plus Expo is Ireland’s only dedicated national consumer event for the over-50s. … Read More


An Irish Soldier at rest in Portugal Aiden Feerick M.A.G.I. The gilded baroque Church of Saint Anthony in Lagos, southern Portugal, is a national monument. On the floor in front of the main altar is a solitary tomb; rather unexpectedly, it is in memory of an Irish-born soldier, Hugh Beatty. Hugh was born in Dublin in 1742 and joined the British Army in 1760, months short of his 18th birthday. He first served in an infantry regiment under Lord Blaney of Castleblaney and later in another regiment stationed in Germany. While there he answered the call of King George III … Read More


IMAGE OF THE MONTH – DECEMBER 2018 Five stay, five go. Ninety years later, cousins say “Hello”. Anne-Marie Smith, M.A.G.I. The photograph above was taken circa 1924 and shows my father Seamus (little boy in front) and his parents/siblings of Abbeyfield, Killester, Dublin. This was the last photograph taken of the family all together as five of them left Ireland for America shortly after. My grandfather had fought in WW1 and was in the British Army. Their daughter Maggie married a man who was a member of the IRA, which made for an interesting conversation at meal times!! Mary, Paddy, … Read More

David McElroy Elected to Fellowship of AGI

  On Friday, 7th December, at AGI’s 31st Annual General Meeting in Dublin the election was announced of David McElroy as a Fellow of the Association, recognising his decades’ long contribution to the pursuit and study of Irish genealogy. It was in 2004 that Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) established the status of Fellow of the Association to mark significant contributions by members to the world of Irish genealogy. Since then there have only been five elected, with David now being the sixth. Such contributions come in all shapes and sizes: some are very public, while others can be regarded as … Read More

Joan Sharkey Elected President of AGI

At last week’s Annual General Meeting Máire Mac Conghail completed three years as President of Accredited Genealogists Ireland. In the accompanying photograph she can be seen congratulating her successor, Joan Sharkey (left), as she begins her first term. The meeting also elected the following officers and other members of Council to serve for the coming year: Nicola Morris was elected to be the new Vice-President; Anne Rodda succeeds Sandra Doble as Hon. Treasurer, whose term of office has ended; and Georgina Scally was re-elected Hon. Secretary. In addition to the four officers, six ordinary members were also elected: Rob Davison, … Read More

New AGI Member Clare Doyle

Congratulations and welcome to our newest Member, Clare Doyle. Clare is no stranger to the AGI ‘family’ as she has been one of our Affiliates for almost two years. As well as being a genealogist, she is a qualified archivist and she holds an MA in local history. Before becoming an AGI Affiliate, Clare worked as Galway City Council Archivist and as genealogy manager for Ireland Reaching Out. She also contributed in a voluntary capacity to gravestone transcription and the parish history publication in Killererin, Co. Galway. Based near Tuam, Co. Galway, Clare runs her own practice as Wild Atlantic … Read More


Lest we forget Tony Hennessy, M.A.G.I.  Tom Burnell’s book The Waterford War Dead, from his important ‘War Dead’ series, lists some 1138 Waterford men and women who died in WW1.  Probably most well known of those listed is John Condon, the Boy Soldier.  His gravestone at Poelcappele, Belgium, among the most visited of all WWI graves, records his age as just 14 years old when he fell in 1915, making him the youngest British soldier of the Great War to die in battle.  We now know however from the record of his birth at Jenkins Lane in October 1896 and … Read More