CROSSING THE LINE Robert C Davison MAGI When my Mother died in 2017 she left me a large brown envelope containing my late Father’s army documents. Dad (Christy to one and all) had been born in Belfast in 1922 and was 17 in 1939 when Europe was about to be engulfed in the Second World War. He enlisted in the 8th. Belfast Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment of the Royal Artillery and became part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) posted to France in what became known as the ‘phoney war’ period, before things really hotted up! When it became obvious that … Read More

AGI / City Colleges Genealogy Course to Recommence in September 2023

Thursday 28 September will see the return of the popular Family History course run in collaboration between Accredited Genealogists Ireland and City Colleges, Dublin. This online course is aimed at both the dedicated amateur and budding professional alike. Autumn term will be a 10-week foundation certificate course with an option to continue studies in Spring 2024 when an advanced level diploma course will run. All lecturers hold credentials as Members of Accredited Genealogists Ireland. Students will be introduced to the building blocks of genealogy such as civil records, church records and census records, and are guided through other exciting resources … Read More


ONCE A PLACE OF CHILDHOOD DREAMS Paul Gorry FAGI I occasionally post photographs of ruined houses on social media, commenting ‘once someone’s home’. The photograph I share here as AGI’s image might be captioned ‘once a place of childhood dreams’. During the summer of 2023, passing this familiar building, one I pass almost daily, my attention was arrested by seeing daylight through the window in the shop door. The back wall of the ground floor had been demolished and the digger that did the work was still there. A few days later the entire innards of the house were gone. … Read More


JULIA GEARY: MOCOLLOP TO MONTANA – AND BACK AGAIN Tony Hennessy M.A.G.I. I quite recently received a research request from an American woman called Margaret who was due to visit Ireland in August and was wondering if I could help trace her Irish ancestors. Margaret’s great grandmother Julia Geary had left Ireland as a young woman not long after the Famine and settled in Montana. As a stepping off point for my investigations I was given this wonderful photograph of Julia’s memorial stone. It clearly states that ‘Mrs. Julia Helms’ was born 1 August 1840 in Mocollop, Co. Waterford, Ireland … Read More

AGI fellow John Grenham to speak in Galway

AGI fellow John Grenham is to give a talk on “Mapping Galway surnames” as part of the free Galway Roots event run by Galway County Council next week. It takes place in the Council Chamber at Prospect Hill on Tuesday August 15 next from 12 to 3.


1861 PAROCHIAL CENSUS FOR ENNISCORTHY Nicola Morris M.A.G.I. There is nothing more helpful to the genealogist when a record set contains an additional element. The parish priest of Enniscorthy helpfully enumerated the Catholic population of his parish in 1861, in tandem with the national census of that year. While the national census returns were destroyed, this record has endured. Within the parochial registers for the Roman Catholic parish of Enniscorthy, published by the National Library of Ireland ( can be found this manuscript, headed: Census of the Inhabitants of the Parish of Enniscorthy. Commenced – April 17th 1861. ( The … Read More

John Grenham Elected a Fellow of AGI

At the EGM on Monday 19 June 2023, the President of AGI, Nicola Morris, announced the election of John Grenham as a Fellow of AGI. John entered the world of genealogy in 1981 as one of the panel of Genealogical Office researchers. He is a genealogist, writer, journalist, programmer, consultant, speaker and teacher. John was instrumental in setting up the GO Consultation Service, the forerunner of the current Advisory Services in the National Library and National Archives. John established a genealogy course with the Irish Times and later developed a course with City Colleges, which is now under the AGI … Read More


WHEN IS A BIRTH RECORD NOT A BIRTH RECORD? Michael Walsh  B.Sc (Econ), M.A.G.I. This is the story of a mysterious birth record! I was supporting an application for citizenship.  I searched for the birth of Christina Emily NOONAN who was born on 27 December 1901 to Patrick NOONAN and Hannah CROKE in Ballyclough, Co. Cork. I found a baptismal record which showed that Christina Emily NOONAN was born on 27 December 1901 to Patrick NOONAN and Hannah CROKE and baptised on 29 December 1901 in the RC parish of Ballyclough in Co. Cork. However, I also found a civil … Read More


SEÁN P. Ó SÉAGHDHA, ADVOCATE FOR THE IRISH LANGUAGE Máire Mac Conghail,  B.A., F.I.G.R.S., F.A.G.I. Seán P. Ó Séaghdha, (birth registered, John Patrick), was born 7 July 1887 in Cork City, the first born of James O’Shea, a compositor/printer, and his wife Mary “Minnie” O’Brien. James must have experienced a ‘downturn’ in employment, as the family was resident in Birmingham, England, by early 1899. Within a year James was dead– December 1899 – at the young age of 40, leaving his family impoverished. Seán P. assisted his mother financially by initially working as an errand boy, then as a railway … Read More


FROM COUNTY DOWN TO YORKSHIRE: PATRICK BRONTE (1777- 1861): Father of the renowned literary sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne. Linda Clayton MAGI FIGRS Patrick Brunty was born 17th March 1777, the eldest of ten children born to agricultural labourer Hugh Brunty and Alice (nee McClory) of the townland of Imdel in the Parish of Drumballyroney, County Down. Following spells as an apprentice blacksmith, a linen weaver and a teacher in the local village school, he left Ireland, aged 25 years, to study in England at St John’s College, Cambridge. It appears to have been in Cambridge where he became known … Read More