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.

National Archives of Ireland Lecture Series: Clare Doyle and Michael Walsh

The Evening Lecture Series continues next month at the National Archives of Ireland with presentations by Clare Doyle, MAGI, and Michael Walsh, B.Sc. MAGI. These will be the final two of four talks in the 2019 series given by AGI Members. The first was by John Grenham, MAGI, in April and the second by Nicola Morris, MAGI in June. Both were very well attended, with standing-room only at Nicola’s talk. Clare will speak on Tues. 24 September on  ‘The Genealogy of an Irish Workhouse: Guardians, Staff & Inmates of the Poor Law’. Michael’s talk is on Tues. 12 November,  ‘The … Read More


MICHAEL FORRY: Land Commission Employee and Gelignite Keeper Clare Doyle M.A.G.I Michael Forry, my great grandfather, was born on 1 March 1884, one of eight children of Owen Forry and Catherine Morley of Tavrane, Kilkelly, Co. Mayo.  He married Norah Treacy from Abbeyknockmoy, Galway on 2 Nov 1913.  In 1930 the family moved to Tuam, Co. Galway. Michael worked for the Land Commission. As part of his work, he kept a revolver (it’s said he never fired a shot) and, for reasons unknown, a stick of gelignite in a locked metal box behind the back door in the family home. … Read More


SAMUEL SMYRL MCCURRY, 1855-1946. Steven C. ffeary-Smyrl, M.A.G.I., F.I.G.R.S. The photograph shows my relative Samuel Smyrl McCurry. He was born in Belfast in 1855 and was the first cousin of my third great grandfather, William Smyrl, 1839-1909. He was named after his maternal grandfather, Samuel Smyrl, born 1764, and who had died just two years earlier in 1853 and was the eldest son of Isaac McCurry, the owner of a building business, and his wife, Margaret Smyrl, from Coagh, Co. Tyrone. They married in Belfast in 1853. Samuel secured a good job with the Post Office, initially in Belfast, but which … Read More

National Archives of Ireland Lecture Series Continues with Nicola Morris

The Evening Lecture Series continues at the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) with the next presentation by Nicola Morris, MAGI. This will be the second of four talks in the 2019 series given by AGI Members. The first was by John Grenham, MAGI, in April and it drew a large attendance. Nicola will speak on “Estate Records as a Source for Genealogical Research”. Her lecture takes place on Tuesday 11 June at 6pm at the National Archives, Bishop Street, Dublin 8.


MIXED MARRIAGES It’s a Black and White issue Tony Hennessy M.A.G.I. Some time ago when carrying out research I came across the marriage record of WILLIAM WHITE & BETTY BLACK, who were married on 22 Oct. 1850 in Seapatrick, Co. Down. I wondered how they got on after the wedding – did they have a chequered life together? Was the question of children a grey area? I opened a ‘Mixed Marriages’ file on my computer and filed them away. Since then I’ve added a few more…. Here’s some marriages that I’m sure were successful: LOVE STRONG (James Love & Jean … Read More

John Grenham a guest speaker at NGS

AGI member John Grenham is a guest speaker at the National Genealogical Society conference in St. Charles MO, US next week. As well as giving four lectures between Wednesday and Saturday (detailed here), John is also giving three workshops on Tuesday.