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 Marie Wilson were founder members of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, established in Belfast in 1986. It became Accredited Genealogists Ireland in 2015.
For many years up until their retirement, all three, individually, provided family history research services predominantly for those with Ulster ancestors. Most of their careers was spent working in the pre-Internet era, where research was a hands-on experience, visiting archives and libraries and spending long hours browsing manuscript sources or trawling through meters-long microfilm.
Marking the three ladies’ election as Emeritus Members of AGI, its President, Joan Sharkey, said “Hazel, Joan and Marie are most deserving of this small act of recognition by AGI. They spent many years at the coal face of Irish genealogy and over their careers brought joy to thousands through their dedication and expertise.
“As working members of AGI each made a serious and committed contribution to the promotion of Irish genealogy and to the setting of high standards among professional genealogists across the island of Ireland.”