‘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

AGI Member Sandra Doble Speaks on Church of Ireland Records

The AGI series of Summer Lectures in association with the National Archives of Ireland finished on Tuesday, 25th July, with an informative and insightful talk by AGI member Sandra Doble on Church of Ireland records.  Sandra not only dealt with locating and searching Church of Ireland parish registers, she also gave the audience useful historical context and introduced them to the wealth of sources that might be found in the Representative Church Body library as well as other sources that can document Church of Ireland ancestors. Sandra also demonstrated the necessity of checking the original registers using an example from … Read More


THE STORY OF KITTY WHELAN, AGED SIX. Tony Hennessy MAGI Thirty years ago, not long after meeting my wife-to-be Caroline for the first time I,  rather unsurprisingly, met my mother-in-law-to-be Renee for the first time.  As soon as Renee heard I was a budding family historian she told me a story, a story she was to repeat many times over the years that followed.  The story had a start, a little bit of middle and no end and was usually introduced with a wistful ‘…I’d love to know what happened to my aunt Kitty…’ Catherine (Kitty) Whelan was born 25 … Read More

AGI Members Speak on Newspapers and Migration as Sources for Genealogy

On Tuesday, July 12th AGI member Georgina Scally gave the third talk in the National Archives of Ireland’s series of Evening Lectures when she spoke on newspapers as a source for genealogy and family history. Georgina explained the evolution of newspapers at national and local level, illustrating their often political agenda, as well as the social and cultural contribution they have made to wide society. With specific reference to biographical and other associated notices, Georgina very clearly drew her audience’s attention to the detail one might expect to find in birth, marriage and death announcements, funeral reports, obituaries, trade advertisements and … Read More

Members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland Appointed to Positions of Influence

Four members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland have recently been appointed to positions of influence. One has been appointed a member of the National Archives Advisory Council; another elected a vice-president of the Irish Genealogical Research Society; and two appointed members of the Irish Manuscripts Commission. John Grenham is one of the 12 members of the National Archives Advisory Council (NAAC), recently appointed by Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD. The NAAC is a statutory body with remit to advise the Director of the National Archives of Ireland on policy and practical matters. John is a longstanding … Read More

AGI member John Grenham appointed to National Archives Advisory Council

On June 30th, the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, announced the twelve members of the new National Archives Advisory Council.  Among them was John Grenham MAGI. The appointments are for five years. The National Archives Advisory Council was established in January 1987 under Section 20 of the National Archives Act to advise the Minister with responsibility for the National Archives – in the exercise of his or her powers under the Act and on all matters affecting archives and their use by the public.