WWW: Massey & King
Areas of research: All of Ireland
Special interests: Legal & probate; Non-Conformist religions
Steven ffeary-Smyrl has practiced as a specialist in legal and probate genealogical research for over twenty-five years. In 1993, he founded Massey & King Ltd., the Republic’s only incorporated firm dedicated to legal genealogy. His firm specialises in resolving complicated estates where a deceased has died intestate and without known heirs. It deals with all areas of research across the English-speaking world. Over the years it has dealt with several thousand such estates.
Steven was admitted to membership of AGI in 1991 and (with only a one year break) has served as a Council member continuously since 1992. In 2012 he was elected President of the Association. He is a founding member of the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO), serving on its Council since 1992 and twice acting as chairman for the years 2000-2002 and 2009-2010; he has been a member of the Irish Genealogical Research Society since 1989, serving as a committee member of the Ireland Branch (IGRS-IB) since 1995 and as its chairman for 2002-2005 and 2009-2012. In 2007 he was elected to the fellowship of the IGRS and since 2008 has been a member of the IGRS Council. In 2010 the IGRS Council elected him to the position of overall chairman of the Society. In addition, he is a committee member of at least five other organisations.
Steven is author of Irish Methodists – Where Do I Start? the first in the series ‘Exploring Irish Genealogy’, published by the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations in 1999. Published in 2000, he is also co-author with former AGI member, Eileen Ó Dúill, of number two in the same series, Irish Civil Registration – Where Do I Start? He has published in various journals and is an occasional contributor to Irish newspaper media and radio. He writes a regular column for Irish Roots magazine. Currently he is involved in co-editing Dictionary of Irish Genealogy with Dr. Jim Ryan, and fellow AGI member, Paul Gorry. In December 2009 his extensive research on the congregations and records of Protestant dissenters in Dublin was published under the title Dictionary of Dublin Dissent – Dublin’s Protestant Dissenting Meeting Houses 1660-1920.
In the spring of 2012 “Dead Money”, a six part series was shown on Ireland’s main TV channel, RTE, which was based exclusively on probate research undertaken by his firm, Massey and King. Each episode told the story of the search for relatives for a person who had died intestate and without any known next-of-kin. With research having to be undertaken as far away as North America, Australia and even India, each programme clearly characterised the Irish as a migrant nation, one with worldwide family connections.
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