THE ISLANDS OF LERIN AND SAINT PATRICK Aiden Feerick B.A., M.A.G.I. Last summer, I visited the Ile Saint Honorat or Monks Island, one of the Lerins Islands in the south of France. In the cloister of the Cistercian Church there is a memorial to Saint Patrick with an inscription in French and Irish which reads: I gCuimhne Naomh Pádraig Aspal Mór na hÉireann [In Memory of Saint Patrick Great Apostle of Ireland]. People say that Ireland’s patron saint spent time there preparing for his mission to his adopted country. The island itself is an oasis of peace and serenity. It … Read More


NEPTUNUS OCEANI REX Steven C. Smyrl, M.A.G.I., F.S.G., F.I.G.R.S. Some years ago my step-mum gave me some papers from among my late father’s effects, stuff he had been holding on to for years. Among the bundle of papers were my grandparents’ passports dating from the 1950s, recording where they were stationed when my grandfather, James Christie Smyrl, served in the UK’s Royal Air Force. For periods at a time, they called home places like Southern Rhodesia – now Zimbabwe – (1950), Libya (1955), Aden (1966) and Germany (1970). In 2015 my dad told me in detail about his time in … Read More

National Archives of Ireland has Extended its Lunchtime Opening Hours

The National Archives of Ireland has updated its opening hours.  While a lunchtime closure between 1-2pm had been in place since the post-Pandemic reopening, the Reading Room of the National Archives will now remain open over lunchtime on Mondays. This is a most welcome move that will allow researchers to continue their work without having to vacate the reading room.    


THE STONE-CUTTERS OF GLENCULLEN AND SOUTH DUBLIN Sandy O’Byrne, B.A., M.A.G.I. It began with the entry in the Calendar of Wills connected with research into a south Dublin/north Wicklow family. Something stirred in memory of lines from Samuel Beckett to connect Glencullen and stone-cutting. In his youth, the great man had walked the stoney hills of Glencullen and Kilternan, and years later the monotonous sound of the stone-cutting, or more accurately cleaving, had transformed into the backdrop for the death of Malone. “No, they are no more than hills, they raise themselves gently, faintly blue out of the confused plain. … Read More


TRACING THE FAMILY CAR Sandra Doble, M.A.G.I. My family has always believed that this is a photo of my grandfather, Frank Doble, with his first car. I wondered if it was actually his own car and decided to enquire of historic motor registrations. Legislation for registering cars came into force in Ireland in 1903. It was the responsibility of each County Council to register cars in their area. Survival of early registers is patchy and even where the folio books survive, there can be gaps in information. To have a chance of finding a record, one needs to know the … Read More


KILL OR CURE Roseleen Underwood MAGI Although it doesn’t happen very often, one of the joys of searching parish registers is finding the unexpected—the odd cartoon or snide comment about the quality of the other priest’s record-keeping, showing that they didn’t always live in harmony and weren’t the perfect beings they might have liked us to believe them. I have even found knitting and crochet patterns for mittens in the flyleaves. The registers of Blackditches (Valleymount) in North Wicklow have a few gems— FOR THE GOUT Boil a handfull of the Elderbark or soft tops on sour Buttermilk & Oatmeal. … Read More


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

Two New Members for AGI

AGI is thrilled to announce that two new Members have recently been added to its ranks, Jillian Van Turnhout and Hilary O’Connor. Jillian Van Turnhout’s interest in genealogy began almost two decades ago when she completed a course which equiped her to undertake her own family history research. She then subsequently honed her skills further through undertaking research for family and friends. In more recent times she availed of AGI’s Affiliate Programme, before successfully applying for formal Membership. Jillian is a former senator in the upper chamber of Ireland’s parliament, the Oireachtas, and in 2015 she was given Politician of … Read More