News 2015

 October 2015

AGI is delighted to welcome our newest member, Beverley Brown



July 2015

Launch of Henry McDowell’s Irregular Marriages in Dublin before 1837

Harry McDowell FAGI at launch of his book

Harry McDowell FAGI at the launch of his book


Henry McDowell FAGI launched his new publication Irregular Marriages in Dublin before 1837 (Dundalk, Dun Dealgan Press) on July 25th at his home, Celbridge Lodge. The book is an indexed transcription of the Rev. J.G.F. Shultz’s marriage registers, comprising the records of some 6,000 marriages he carried out in Dublin between 1806 and 1837. The original is only available at the General Register Office in Roscommon town, so Harry’s edition is sure to become an essential tool for every researcher.

The launch was excellent fun. The smoked salmon and fizz were mighty.



Your Ancestors and the Nation’s Archives

Tuesday, 21st July, saw the second lecture in the summer lecture series Your Ancestors and the Nation’s Archives, a joint collaboration  between AGI and the National Archives of Ireland (NAI).


Paul Gorry speaking at National Archives about the Registry of Deeds.

Past president of AGI Paul Gorry gave a talk entitled “Indeed, they are  my  ancestors: the Registry of Deeds”, which was attended by over 75  people,  at the NAI’s premises in Bishop Street, Dublin.

Over the course of an hour he spoke with great authority on a subject he  knows well, sharing the accumulated knowledge of more thirty-five years  of searching at the Registry of Deeds (ROD). He gave an overview of the  history of the ROD and how it works and how its records are arranged.  He explained leases, mortgages, conveyances, rent charges, wills,  marriage  settlements and Protestant Discoveries, explaining how each of  these  differing records might aid genealogical research.

He exploded the myth that only the wealthy are referred to in deeds, with particular reference to descriptions of properties in deeds often noting adjoining properties and the names of their occupiers of whatever class. With some hilarity he also queried the more recent habit of erroneously describing the tomes (extremely large volumes of transcripts of ROD memorials) as “tombstones”!


The audience at Paul Gorry’s lecture on the Registry of Deeds.

He provided an extremely useful handout listing information about ROD records and indexes, online resources and websites and a list of articles and publications of interest to genealogists which deal with ROD from the perspective of family history and genealogical research.

The next lecture will be on Tuesday, 11th August when Margaret Jordan will give her lecture “DNA Today”.  Attendance at all lectures must be pre-booked with the National Archives. For more details see here.







AGI Fellow Harry McDowell to Launch Shultz Marriages

AGI fellow Harry McDowell is to launch his edited and indexed edition of the Rev J.G.F Shultz’s marriage registers, Irregular Marriages in Dublin Before 1837 at his home in Celbridge next Schulz coverSaturday July 25th between 5 pm and 7.30 pm. Everyone is welcome. Harry’s home is Celbridge Lodge, (entrance on Church Road, Celbridge, opposite the Grotto).


A map showing the location is here:

More information on the background to these marriages is The Irish Times ‘Irish Roots’ column.



AGI Meet & Greet at’s Dublin Offices

The President and a group of AGI members had a tour of’s Dublin offices on Thursday, 9th July, where they also met the new Dublin-based Ancestry ProGenealogists team. After the tour a lively and surprisingly long round table discussion followed where each person introduced themselves and gave some background on their own interest in genealogy and their personal areas of expertise. Following this Steven Smyrl, President of AGI, outlined the history and current status of AGI and its relevance in setting standards and providing accreditation for professional genealogy in Ireland.


AGI members at offices, including newest AGI member Joanna C. Fennell (centre, green dress).

At the event, AGI members were also pleased to greet the AGI’s newest member, Joanna C. Fennell, also a member of the new Ancestry ProGenealogist team. On hearing of AGI’s newest member, Kyle Betit, Senior Genealogist at AncestryProGenealogists, said: “AncestryProGenealogists is very pleased that AGI has awarded accreditation to one of its Dublin staff, Joanna C. Fennell. Joanna is a very knowledgeable Irish genealogist and recognition of this by AGI is both good for her and for AncestryProGenealogists.”

 AGI: New Member and Affiliate

AGI is delighted to welcome our newest member, Joanna Cicely Fennell, and our newest affiliate, Marie Cahill.

Their details can be found on our member and affiliate pages.

June 2015

The Council of Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) wishes to clarify the organisation’s status. It was formed, as the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (APGI), in 1986. At that time most of the practising genealogists throughout the island of Ireland came together to form a representative and accreditation body, with an independent Board of Assessors. A few weeks ago APGI changed its name to AGI.

AGI does not have official recognition from either the Irish government or the Northern Ireland Assembly, nor has it ever claimed such. AGI is not an incorporated or chartered body, nor does it need to be. Like similar accrediting organisations for professional genealogists in England & Wales, Scotland and Australasia, AGI’s status is that of a long­standing association of practitioners working to maintain high standards among its members and to protect the interests of their clients. AGI is committed to the development of the study of genealogy. To that end it maintains friendly relations with genealogical societies throughout Ireland and abroad.

The Council of AGI expects that this statement clarifies any questions that have been raised.

APGI Becomes AGI

After almost 30 years as the accrediting body for genealogists in Ireland, APGI has adopted a new name. At an Extraordinary General Meeting held in Dublin on Wednesday, 27 May 2015, the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (APGI) voted to change its name to Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI).

As Accredited Genealogists Ireland the Association will continue to set and promote high standards for those engaged professionally in genealogy while safeguarding the interests of clients.  Founded in Belfast in 1986, the Association has always been an accrediting body for genealogists throughout the island of Ireland. Accreditation from the Association is controlled by an independent Board of Assessors. Each applicant is required to demonstrate to a high standard their ability, knowledge and practical experience in Irish genealogy. In addition, each member is bound by the Association’s Code of Practice.

APGI has always kept abreast of changes in the world of genealogy. In 2012 it introduced a new category of APGI Affiliate.  This is to assist reputable genealogists, in the early stages of their transition to professional research, to prepare for application for accreditation. Through mentoring and attending APGI Continuing Professional Development events a number of Affiliates have progressed to membership.

Over the years, members of the Association have written for Irish and international print media and appeared on, and undertaken the research for, radio and TV shows. In particular, they have provided much of the raw material documenting the ancestry of celebrities who have appeared on the Irish, British and US versions of Who Do You Think You Are?, appearing alongside such people as Jeremy Irons, Graham Norton and Julie Walters. On RTE’s Genealogy Roadshow, they helped members of the public to verify family stories: checking out claims of an ancestor in the Rising; a family relationship to Charlie Chaplin; and talk of a relative with a ticket for the maiden voyage of the ill-fated Titanic. Other shows include the RTE IFTA nominated series Dead Money, about lost fortunes being restored to families, and The Shelbourne, a five-episode series following the daily life of Ireland’s grandest hotel which featured Helen Kelly in her role as the hotel’s Genealogy Butler.

After the decision to change APGI’s name to AGI, its President, Steven Smyrl, said “Beyond its functions of accrediting and regulating, APGI has made many positive contributions over the past 30 years to the development of genealogy in Ireland, particularly through championing the needs of all types of record users, lobbying state-run archives and offices, and by supporting the efforts of the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO). Under its new name of Accredited Genealogists Ireland the Association will continue its vital role in all areas of genealogy across the island and internationally.”

The Association’s website will be renamed soon, but in the meantime information about AGI can be found at:


April 2015

AGI is delighted to welcome three new members Elaine Hannon, Sandra Doble and Anne Rodda, and a new Affiliate, Jane Halloran Ryan.

Their details can be found on our member and affiliate pages.

March 2015

Joan Sharkey MAGI is giving a talk titled ‘Filling the gaps: Ussher family history’ at Dublin City Library and Archive Family History Day, next Saturday March 28th.

More details at the City Council site.

Maire Mac Conghaile, John Grenham & Joan Sharkey, NL. 27 Feb. 2015

Maire Mac Conghaile, John Grenham & Joan Sharkey, NLI. 27 Feb. 2015


John Grenham & Maire Mac Conghaile at Open Forum, N.L. 27 Feb. 2015.

John Grenham & Maire Mac Conghaile at Open Forum, NLI 27 Feb. 2015.


AGI president Steven Smyrl kicked off the series of lunchtime talks at the National Library of Ireland as part of the Aontas Adult Learners’ Festival today with an introduction to the records of Civil Registration. The series of free lunchtime lectures, delivered by members continues throughout the week at the NLI with one evening lecture on the 25th February. Details of the programme are available here
Steven Smyrl
Steven Smyrl at the National Library

Irish Genealogy talks at National Library this month

The full programme of the National Library of Ireland’s Adult Learners’ Festival Genealogy Talks has now been released and is presented below. A talk will be held each lunchtime from 23 to 27 February and there is one additional talk taking place in the evening. All of them will be presented by a member of Accredited Genealogists Ireland. Note also the Open Forum which follows the Friday lunchtime lecture.Lunchtime lectures – 1:05pmMonday 23 February: Civil Registration in Ireland, with Steven Smyrl explaining how to access and interpret the records of the General Register Office.Tuesday 24 February: Irish Census records, with Helen Kelly discussing the census returns and their value to family history beginners.Wednesday 25 February: Using Church records, with Rosaleen Underwood who will look at Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland registers – where to find them and how to use them.Thursday 26 February: Land records, with Joan Sharkey explaining how to use the Tithe Applotment Books, Griffith’s Valuation and Valuation office records.Friday 27 February: Using the Internet for genealogical research. John Grenham looks at online family history records. This lecture will be followed by an Open Forum discussion with a panel of professional genealogists.Evening lecture – 6:30pmWednesday 25 February: Tracing your 20th-Century Military Ancestors, with Nicola Morris explaining how to find your World War ancestors, as well as military records for the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence.The talks are held as part of the Aontas Adult Learner’s Festival and will be held at the National Library of Ireland in Kildare Street, Dublin 2. No booking is necessary and all are welcome.

January 2015

Adult Learners’ Festival Lunchtime Genealogy Talks at the National Library of Ireland

Monday-Friday, 23-27 February, 1.05pm

To celebrate the Aontas Adult Learners’ Festival, AGI are delighted to partner with the National Library of Ireland for this series of 5 free lunchtime lectures introducing the fascinating world of family history research.Over 5 lunchtimes and one evening (time TBC), topics ranging from state and church records, to census returns, land records, tracing 20th century military ancestors, and online genealogical records will be introduced. An open forum where you can discuss your research with professional genealogists will follow Friday’s lecture.No booking is necessary and all are welcome.


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