1 November 2008

APGI members present genealogy course.

APGI members Joan Sharkey, Hilda McGauley and Helen Kelly will present a short course on genealogy at Macro Community Centre, Green Street, Dublin in November. The course will take place from 7.0pm to 8.30pm on four consecutive Tuesday nights from the 4th November.

1 November 2008

News from APGI member Helen Kelly.

In May 2008, Tourism Ireland, in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland and TVNZ, sponsored a competition for television viewers with Irish ancestry. The competition, which attracted over 2,000 entries, was won by a young New Zealand born woman with ancestral roots in Counties Louth and Fermanagh. Her prize was a trip to the Irish ancestral homelands, and included a two night stay at the Shelbourne Renaissance Hotel in Dublin, where the winner, Melissa, met with Helen Kelly, the hotel’sGenealogy Butler.


In summing up her trip, Melissa stated that meeting with cousins at two surprise dinners was all way beyond her widest dreams for the trip, and that among the most moving moments for her was getting her grandfather’s birth certificate during her Dublin stay.


Five short clips of Melissa’s trip were shown on a breakfast programme aired by TVNZ in late June. TVNZ are currently putting together a documentary on Melissa’s trip which will be aired later this year.


About 70 people attended a lecture on Irish genealogy at Blanchardstown Library on Saturday morning 30th August. The lecture, which was delivered by APGI member Helen Kelly formed part of a programme of Heritage events organised by Fingal County Libraries to celebrate Heritage Week.


The Blanchardston lecture was followed by two similar lectures in September.



On Wednesday 3rd March Helen delivered a lecture to the Association of Retired Secondary Teachers at the Teachers’ Centre, Parnell Square, Dublin, and on Monday 29th September she gave a similar presentation to a group of 30 people at National Learning Network in Mullingar, County Westmeath.

17 September 2008


On Monday 8th September 2008, at 9.30pm., R.T.E.1 broadcast a one and a half hour programme entitled ‘Where was your family in the Famine?’. The personalities whose ancestry was being investigated were Eddie Hobbs, the Financier; Model, Jasmine Guinness and the Journalist, John Waters.


APGI members Pamela Bradley, Robert Davison, Fiona Fitzsimons (on behalf of Eneclann Ltd.) and Maire MacConghail, were all involved in the research for the programme which was produced by Animo of Dublin. Fiona and Robert were both seen on screen, with Fiona assisting Eddie Hobbs in the National Archives, Dublin, and Robert assisting Jasmine Guinness and her mother Liz in the Linen Hall Library, Belfast.


Commenting on the making of the programme, Robert said; “Although we were each working on different aspects of the programme, this really was a team effort and a ‘first’ for . Whilst a lot of the material that was collected did not find its way into the broadcast, it has to be left to the discretion and expertise of the producers as to what they use. It’s a fine balance getting an end product that is educational and entertaining, and including the research work that may not be so photogenic. I was lucky enough to be involved in the location work in Belfast and Co. Tyrone with Jasmine and Liz, and they were emotionally moved to be on the farmland of their Casey ancestors. ”

17 September 2008

APGI members Steven Smyrl and John Grenham will be giving a talks at the Irish Family History Society meeting on Saturday 4th October 2008. Steven will speak on “Ireland’s Court records – what survived 1922?” and John will talk on “The new Dublin Freemen and Trade Guilds database”

For further details see http://homepage.eircom.net/~ifhs/IFHSmtgs.htm

Venue Dublin City Library & Archive,

138-144 Pearse St,

Dublin 2.

6 June 2008

Eileen M. Ó Dúill, CG will be lecturing at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  from 3rd September to 6th September 2008. Her subjects will be:

Introduction to Irish Genealogy: Where Do I Start?

Researching in Ireland: Planning is the Key to Success.

The Role of the 21st Century Genealogist in International Legal and Probate Research.

For more details see FGS website

27 May 2008

National Library allows public access to Roman Catholic parish registers for Cashel & Emly, Cloyne and Kerry.

The Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland () welcomes today’s announcement from the National Library of Ireland that they are once again to allow public access to their microfilm copies of Roman Catholic parish registers from the dioceses of Cashel & Emly, Cloyne and Kerry.

At APGI ’s annual general meeting last December the matter of restricted access and, in the case of Cashel & Emly, total closure of these historical records was raised. A resolution was passed calling on the National Library to immediately lift all such restrictions in accordance with a legal opinion given as long ago as 1994, when the matter was the subject of an article in Irish Roots magazine (1994, Number 2, pp.23-24).

The National Library’s collection of microfilms covers the surviving pre-1881 baptismal and marriage records of almost all Roman Catholic parishes throughout Ireland. These records are fundamental to genealogical research for most people of Irish descent. The registers were microfilmed in the 1950s and 1960s. As they then included records of living people, they were made available only with the written permission of the relevant parish priest. In the 1980s, through the intervention of the then Chief Herald of Ireland, Mr. Donal Begley, this requirement was lifted by the relevant bishops for most dioceses, including Cashel & Emly. Having unrestricted access to these records revolutionised research for the thousands of tourists who visited Ireland each year but who had had limited time for family history research.

In 1991 the new Archbishop of Cashel & Emly, Dr. Dermot Clifford, claimed copyright in the manuscript parish registers and stated that he was giving the Tipperary Heritage Unit (now known as Tipperary Family History Research, and based in Tipperary town) exclusive rights to provide and market information from them. The holders of microfilm copies of the registers, primarily the National Library and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon Church), were informed to withdraw the films from public access. In 1992 the National Library did so. For the past sixteen years no one has been allowed to view the microfilms from Cashel & Emly.

In 1994 the National Library was supplied with a legal opinion by Muireann O Briain, S.C., which dismissed the notion of copyright in a manuscript which were created for the purpose of maintaining records and which was not ‘the work of one person or of joint authorship’. Ms. O Briain further stated that even if copyright were upheld anyone using microfilm copies of the registers for research purposes would not be infringing any such copyright. It is believed that the National Library subsequently commissioned further legal opinions which did not differ materially from Ms. O Briain’s, but it is only now that the microfilms are being reopened.

The reopening of Cashel & Emly records is of major importance to those trying to trace their ancestry in an area covering almost half of Co. Tipperary as well as a large part of East Limerick. No longer will those seeking their heritage have to be denied access to church registers at Ireland’s National Library.

22 April 2008

Helen Kelly gave a lecture on Irish genealogy at the Family Records Centre in London on Tuesday 12th February. This was the last of a series of lectures Helen has given at the FRC over the past number of years. The holdings of the Family Records Centre were transferred to the National Archives at Kew on Monday 17th March 2008.

The Genealogy and Local Studies (GenLoc) Group of the Library Association of Ireland held a seminar on newspapers in the National Library of Ireland on Friday 7th March this year. Among the speakers was APGI member Helen Kelly who delivered a lecture entitled Genealogy in Newspapers.

County Westmeath born Helen Kelly joined her county compatriots in Argentina to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Buenos Aires. In addition to meeting with groups and individuals at the Fahy Club and elsewhere, Helen also attended the reception hosted by Irish Ambassador Philomena Murnaghan in Buenos Aires on the 17th March.