PALACE OF DREAMS  Georgina Scally MAGI In my houseless years during the closing decades of the 20th century, I harboured dreams of owning a thatch cottage.  I was not in the market however for some mock-Tudor replica the likes of which were beginning to appear in forced clusters in dubious locations around the country.  What I wanted was the ‘real deal’, an authentic cottage in the middle of nowhere with a huge fireplace that you could sit in and cook on, and a roof of thatch that I would learn over time to repair myself.  I even had a friend … Read More

Steven Smyrl, MAGI, Elected a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists

Steven Smyrl, a former President of Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI), has been elected a Fellow of the prestigious Society of Genealogists (SoG).  The SoG, founded in 1911, is one of the world’s oldest genealogical organisations.  It has over 11,000 members and its headquarters in London holds what is believed to be the largest specialist genealogical library in Europe.  The honour is a fitting tribute to Steven’s long years of distinguished service to the field of genealogy. His most significant contribution to the wider genealogical community, and to society at large, relates to civil registration in Ireland. He was the driving … Read More

AGI welcomes new affiliate Gill Johnson

At our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday we were pleased to welcome Gillian Johnson as the newest Affiliate of Accredited Genealogists Ireland.  Gill has been working in genealogy for the past four years, as a researcher for Timeline.  She holds a degree in Local Studies from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and she has a keen interest in social history. Gill is the 16th person to be admitted as an AGI Affiliate since the Affiliate Programme was introduced seven years ago.  Eight of her predecessors have already successfully progressed to gaining credentials as Members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland.  We … Read More

Paul MacCotter MAGI contributes to the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy

Paul MacCotter MAGI has contributed a paper entitled ‘The origins of the parish in Ireland’ to the latest edition of the  Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. It comprises a history of pastoral care and the parish in Ireland from the seventh century until circa 1300 AD, showing how pastoral care evolved into a parish system against a background of reform movements and the Anglo-Norman invasion and should be of interest to all genealogists, since the medieval parish is the ancestor of the later civil parish, an areal unit of fundamental importance for Irish research.


FAIR PLAY IN THE BOG and other fascinating people Tony Hennessy MAGI A few days ago, in partnership with three Traveller men, I completed three Traveller family trees.  The trees span eight generations and between them include several hundred individuals.  The principal surnames featured are Collins, Reilly, McDonagh, McDonnell, Stokes, Joyce, Ward, Rattigan, Doyle. As part of the research process almost two hundred photographs were gathered and added to the charts.  Among them was this striking and evocative photograph of a couple sitting at a little fire, their barrel-top wagon behind them. I had seen the photograph before.  It was … Read More

National Archives of Ireland Lecture Series: Michael Walsh, MAGI

The last of the AGI contributions to the Evening Lecture Series at the National Archives of Ireland for 2019 will be by Michael Walsh, MAGI. This follows the very popular and successful presentations by John Grenham, MAGI, in April, Nicola Morris, MAGI in June and Clare Doyle, MAGI, in September. Michael’s talk is at 6pm on Tuesday 12 November and is on ‘The Griffith Valuation & its place in Irish Genealogy’.  The lecture is free and open to all.  It takes place at the National Archives, Bishop Street, Dublin 8.


THE KINSALE CLOAK Ann Marie Coghlan AGI Affiliate (FamilyPast& The ‘Kinsale Cloak’ is a generic name for the distinctive overgarment worn by our women ancestors in Kerry, West Cork and Waterford. Used by urban and rural dwellers, it is a sign of the wearer’s personal wealth and status as well as a useful protection against the Irish elements. It is made of tightly woven woollen cloth and usually also lined in wool. The distinctive Hood is made to a local design. The Cloak is handed down mother to daughter as an heirloom. It may form part of her dowry and … Read More

AGI welcomes new member Hilary McDonagh

AGI is pleased to welcome Hilary McDonagh as its newest Member. Hilary, who is based in Dublin, is well-known to many people in family history circles through her activity in the Ireland Branch of the Irish Genealogical Research Society.  Having graduated from University College Dublin with a degree in history and geography, she returned to complete the UCD Diploma in Family History and Genealogy.  She has practised as a professional genealogist for several years.


THE (MONKEY) PUZZLE OF THE MISSING HOUSE – FOULKSCOURT, JOHNSTOWN, CO. KILKENNY Pamela Bradley FAGI Mark Bence-Jones, author of A Guide to Irish Country Houses, wrote in 2001: “Passing through Johnstown on my way to and from Dublin, I always felt that there must have been an important country house in the neighbourhood because of the layout of the village square (Johnstown), with a house set at an angle in each corner… I looked at a large-scale map and found Foulkscourt House on it, so…went to see if the house or any fragment of it was still there, but could … Read More

AGI member Paul Gorry to speak at ASGRA Professional Day

ASGRA, the Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives, is holding a Professional Day this Friday, 6 September 2019, at The Dome, New Register House, Edinburgh.  It is an information event for genealogists considering applying for accreditation from ASGRA.  Among the speakers will be an Accredited Genealogists Ireland Member, Paul Gorry, on the topic of ‘the Importance of Accreditation’.  AGI and ASGRA, the respective accrediting bodies for professional genealogists in Ireland and Scotland, have been in a formal alliance since May 2016.