AGI Welcomes New Member Kit Smyrl

Accredited Genealogists Ireland is pleased to introduce its newest Member,  Kit Smyrl, MAGI, who has worked in genealogy since the mid-1990s, when he joined the Irish probate research firm Massey & King.  Kit was based in England initially, managing research in Great Britain, but in 1998 he moved to Ireland permanently.  Kit operates the probate firm with his brother Steven, a past president of AGI.  Their work was the subject of the RTE television documentary series Dead Money, first broadcast in 2012. Two years ago Kit Smyrl was accepted into the AGI Affiliate programme, designed for genealogists working towards obtaining … Read More


THOMAS WILLIAMS. SOLDIER Sandra Doble MAGI When I first became interested in genealogy, along with researching my own family, I was very keen to research my husband’s family also. His mother knew little about her grandfather other than that he was called Thomas Williams and that he came from Wales to Dublin where he worked in the Smithfield markets. His Irish civil marriage record in 1898 and his death record in 1920 were readily identified as were birth records for his children. Each of these records described him as a labourer. The 1911 census described him as a carter but … Read More


THOMAS HUTCHINSON OF CLIFTON HOUSE Beverly Brown MAGI In 1752, the Belfast Charitable Society was founded by a group of public-spirited citizens to provide welfare for the poor of Belfast. The Poor House, later to be known as Clifton House, operated until the late 1880s, after which it became a nursing home and hospital for the elderly and infirm. Clifton House is an elegant Georgian building, set in landscaped gardens in the heart of Belfast. During the course of my research last year, for a lady in America, I discovered that her great-great-uncle, Thomas Hutchinson, had been a resident in Clifton House, … Read More

AGI to present lectures and workshops at the National Library of Ireland

AGI in association with the NLI will present a series of genealogy lectures and afternoon workshops for Aontas Adult Learners’ festival. The talks and workshops will take place on Monday 5 March and on Friday 9 March next. Each day, three short introductory genealogy lectures will be followed by small group workshops to help attendees get started or progress their family history research. Places in the workshops are limited and will be granted on a first come first served basis. More information on the events: March 5 March 9 


OBSERVATION COLUMN IN RC BAPTISM REGISTERS. Joan Sharkey MAGI Notes in the observation columns in these registers can add greatly to a family’s history. One such note caused quite a stir in the Gibney family. I was checking the baptisms of the 15 children of Robert Gibney and his wife Catherine Flynn. The majority of the children were baptised in St. Mary’s RC, Haddington Road, Dublin and the registers in the National Library of Ireland extend up to March 1907 and now available freely online. A daughter Catherine was born on 30 April 1893 and baptised on 1 May 1893. … Read More


‘HISTORY REMEMBERS THE CELEBRATED, GENEALOGY REMEMBERS THEM ALL’ Tony Hennessy MAGI When I was about fourteen or fifteen I was shown an old, creased and slightly blurry photograph of an ancient looking woman standing in a field or a garden with a child in her arms.  I was told she was my grandmother’s grandmother.  My grandmother’s grandmother?! But would she not have been around in the Famine times? Did they have camera’s then?? “What was her name?” “Mrs Bergin” I was told.  “First name and maiden name unknown, lost forever…” I was told. Staring at the photo I was struck … Read More


Jane Halloran-Ryan, AGI Affiliate MARGARET ELIZABETH MCQUILLAN NÉE MOONEY This is a photo of my great-grandmother, Margaret Mooney who was born in Fall River, Massachusetts on 7 July 1877, the daughter of Thomas Mooney and Catherine Meagher. Thomas was born in Lancashire, England to Irish born parents who subsequently emigrated to the US. He would later go on to fight in the American Civil War. Margaret’s mother Catherine was the daughter of Irish immigrants to the US. She met her husband-to-be Thomas while working as a weaver in a factory where he also worked. Margaret was one of 7 children—5 … Read More

AGI Welcomes Two New Affiliates

Accredited Genealogists Ireland welcomes Séamus O’Donoghue and Des Murtagh as the two professionals most recently admitted as Affiliates of the association. In December 2012 AGI introduced the new category of Affiliate for genealogists in the early stages of their transition to professional research. This was to be a ‘stepping stone’ towards applying for accreditation. Séamus O’Donoghue, who is based in his native Co. Clare, was admitted during the summer.  He has worked as an artefact cataloguer for a museum in London and has published a number of books as Séamus O’Donoghue and under the pseudonym A.J. Carron.  One of his … Read More


Sandra Doble MAGI DEBORA WALL, FOUNDLING As genealogists, we view so many baptism registers and see so many entries for illegitimate children that we become inured to the 19th century language used to describe to describe their circumstances. However, recently looking through the baptism register for the Roman Catholic parish of Thurles on the National Library of Ireland’s website, I chanced to notice an entry (Microfilm 02490/01, pg 25) that was so poignant I could not help but dwell on it. Entered on 29th August 1835, it reads “Debora Wall, foundling, exposed near a stone wall near Thurles” No name … Read More


THE DIARIES OF REV THOMAS GOFF (1772-1844) Aidan Feerick B.A., MAGI There is no apparent connection between the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology and Thomas Goff, a 19th century Church of Ireland clergyman, land owner and army chaplain. However, the IADT now occupies the location of Carriglea house and demesne where Thomas Goff and his family lived; and the diaries which he kept for over 50 years are available in its library. The story of how the diaries came back to the place where they were written is interesting in itself. When Thomas Goff’s descendants sold Carriglea … Read More