Death of AGI Fellow and Former Vice-President, John McCabe

Accredited Genealogists Ireland regrets to report the death of John McCabe, one of AGI’s Fellows and a founding member of the Association. The late John McCabe became involved in genealogical research in the 1960s.  Being a native of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, and living in Lisburn, he specialised in the province of Ulster, primarily using the resources of the various Belfast record repositories. He originally worked with the Ulster-Scot Historical Society, which was later renamed the Ulster Historical Foundation. Afterwards he began his own practice as a professional genealogist under the name Ulster Family Research Services. In the 1980s, John, like … Read More

Death of Former AGI President Richard Henry “Harry” McDowell

Accredited Genealogists Ireland regrets to report the death of its former President, Henry (Harry) McDowell, genealogist, writer and publisher. Harry’s interest in family history began at a young age. In the early years of his marriage he worked in publishing in London and while there he was a regular visitor to the Library of the Society of Genealogists, then housed not far from where he lived with his young family in Chelsea. In 1965 he and his family returned to Ireland and for the next decade Harry was the agent for the Du Pont family estate. It was during this … Read More


EARLIEST GRAVESTONE IN MONTSERRAT IS THAT OF AN IRISHMAN Joanna Cicely Fennell, M.A.G.I, PG Cert Genealogical Studies Known as the ‘Rocklands Tombstone’, this memorial to purported Irishman John Davies (?-1686) is touted as the oldest on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. However, research has shown that the current memorial was, in fact, reproduced during the 20th century, which accounts for its excellent condition and modern script. This was made possible by the original Latin text having been recorded in the Gentleman’s Magazine in the late 18th century, and subsequently included in Vere Langford Oliver’s More Monumental Inscriptions: Tombstones of the … Read More

New publication by Paul MacCotter MAGI

AGI member Paul MacCotter has just published a paper titled ‘The M7 motorway historical landscape: studies in the history of Ormond’ in the 2018 recent edition of  the Tipperary Historical Journal. The paper will be of interest to those interested in the history of the monastery of Toomyvarra, the town of Nenagh and the surnames O’Meara, O’Tierney, Butler, O’Kennedy and Mackey.


THE HOBBLERS Georgina Scally MAGI Having recently moved to the Dublin village of Ringsend my attention has turned to all things maritime.  Shortly after moving I noticed an unusually looking bench inscribed ‘The Hobblers Look Out Bench’ at the location where the Dodder meets the Liffey on the south side of the Tom Clarke Bridge (formerly the east-link toll bridge) directly opposite the 3 Arena.  The same week after noticing the Bench, I received an enquiry from overseas to research a family from Ringsend with long term links to Dublin Docklands.  Also the same week while on duty in the … Read More


  COGHLAN FAMILY PHOTOGRAPH Ann Marie Coghlan, AGI Affiliate I began my research in Cork City in 1980s with a small set of photographs, my father’s date of birth and his parents’ names from the family bible. By researching the original Civil Registers in Cork City Record Office in 1980s  I was able to confirm the civil records of his siblings. (This service is no longer available) I can identify the boy on the right as my father Charles Coghlan, born July 1910 and can confirm it with an earlier photo. His name is written on the reverse. The identity … Read More

AGI member John Grenham to speak in Limerick

AGI member John Grenham is to give a talk on researching Limerick ancestors in The Granary Library in Limerick city on Tuesday evening next, May 15. Full details at

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