Accredited Genealogists Ireland Annual Report for 2015

2015 was a busy year for AGI – Accredited Genealogists Ireland (formerly APGI – the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland), including a change of name.

AGI welcomed five new Members in 2015 – Anne Rodda, Joanna Cicely Fennell, Elaine Hannon, Sandra Doble and Beverly Brown. Both Elaine and Sandra graduated to full membership from Affiliate status. AGI also welcomed three new Affiliates – Jane Halloran Ryan, Marie Cahill and Kit Smyrl.

Subsequent to a presentation at the last AGM in relation to a proposed change of name for APGI, and after much lively discussion by members on our website, six names were put to an Extraordinary General Meeting held on 27 May 2015. After a further discussion and ballot, Accredited Genealogists Ireland became our new name.

There were four Professional Development Events held this year. The first took place at the Folklore Commission in University College Dublin, where Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh gave a talk on the history of the Folklore Commission and its collections, along with a tour of the reading room, audio room, books and old audio equipment. The second event was a very interesting talk by Donnchadh Ó Baoill of the Placenames Commission on ‘Irish Placenames – opportunities in understanding our landscape’. Our third event took place after the EGM when AGI member Paul MacCotter gave a talk on Medieval Genealogy. Our final event was a talk given by Kevin E. Shue of in Pennsylvania, entitled ‘Ulster Migration through Pennsylvania’, another very informative talk.

Six members of AGI, Steven Smyrl, Helen Kelly, Rosaleen Underwood, Joan Sharkey, John Grenham and Nicola Morris, provided lectures in the National Library of Ireland for the Aontas Adult Learners’ Festival in February 2015. Five were lunchtime presentations, with the sixth in the evening. The series was very successful, with a full attendance at each session. AGI has been invited to give these talks again in 2016 at the National Library.

The National Archives of Ireland also invited AGI to give a series of six evening lectures entitled ‘Your Ancestors & the Nation’s Archives’ in July, August and September 2015. The speakers were Steven Smyrl, Paul Gorry, Margaret Jordan, Aiden Feerick, Rosaleen Underwood and Nicola Morris. This series also proved to be very successful and well attended.

The National Archives took part in Culture Night on Friday 18 September 2015, and Steven Smyrl and Anne-Marie Smith provided free genealogy consultations to members of the public on the night. NAI also held an Open Day on Saturday 26 September 2015 and AGI members Rosaleen Underwood, Helen Kelly, Joan Sharkey and Anne-Marie Smith attended to give free consultations in the Genealogy Service room throughout the day.

AGI had a stand again at this year’s Back To Our Past [BTOP] event in the RDS in October 2015. As well as providing free genealogy consultations throughout the weekend, we improved our stand with a vintage corner, new posters and sale of books by members. It was a great success and a wonderful opportunity to promote our new name, AGI. John Grenham, Nicola Morris, Joan Sharkey, Rosaleen Underwood and Paul Gorry also took part in three AGI Q & A sessions throughout the weekend at BTOP, while Tony Hennessy presented a lecture on ‘The Search for William Casey’. In addition, AGI had a guest speaker, Sean Murphy, Genealogy Teacher, UCD Adult Education, who gave a lecture on ‘The Irish Diaspora’. Several members were involved in the consultations at BTOP, and two of our Affiliates, Georgina Scally and Sandy O’Byrne, assisted at the stand and at the Q & A sessions.

On 4 December 2015 at AGI’s Annual General Meeting two officers retired, having completed three years in their positions and therefore being ineligible for re-election. They were the outgoing President, Steven C ffeary-Smyrl, and Hon. Treasurer, Susan Chadwick. Following the AGM the new Council appointed Patricia Moorhead as AGI’s first Emeritus Member.

The AGI Officers and Council Members for 2016 are:


President: Máire Mac Conghail
Vice-President: Joan Sharkey
Honorary Secretary: Anne-Marie Smith
Honorary Treasurer: Sandra Doble

Council Members:

Robert C. Davison
Steven C ffeary-Smyrl
Paul Gorry
John Grenham
Nicola Morris
Michael Walsh