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The best part..

As a genealogist, the satisfaction of a job well done is usually rewarded by a nice thank email or letter. People will then go on to share the findings with their wider family. It’s not often though that the genealogist gets invited to the family gathering, but that’s what happened to me today. I met…

Tracing your ancestors using DNA review

Tracing your Ancestors using DNA: a guide for Family Historians is published by Pen & Sword and edited by Graham S. Holton, with contributions from John Cleary, Michelle Leonard, Iain McDonald & Alasdair F. MacDonald. Having previously read Blaine Bettinger’s book on the same subject as a beginner a few years ago, I was ready…

New Autumn term of genealogy classes

Booking is now open for the new term of my beginner’s genealogy class in Malahide Community School. Walk-in enrolment will take place on Monday 16th September 2019 and I’ll be on site to answer any questions you may have. Classes will start on Tuesday 17th September and run for 10 weeks with a midterm break at…

Essential blogs and sites for Irish Genealogy

A few years ago I gave a talk at the National Library on using social media for genealogy. I covered all the main mediums and particularly focused on message boards. Since then, the area has grown exponentially. Here are my top blogs to keep an eye on for news and updates, apart from my own…

Family size

Inspired by my friend Dara’s similar post, I thought I’d take a look at family size in some generations of my family. I’ve gone for 3 generations, as before that, I can’t be certain I know all the siblings in each family. I also took a look at the infant mortality. In my parents’ generation,…

The Rotunda Strikes Again!

This is my great-grandfather, Peter Reilly. He died when my grandmother was just a young girl and we didn’t know much about him. She always said he came from Cork but on the 1911 Census, his birth place said Dublin. Reilly is a very common surname* and I hadn’t any luck finding a birth cert…

1926 Census

With the recent news that FindmyPast has been awarded the contract to digitise the English & Welsh 1921 census, my thoughts have turned again to the next Irish census. We were busy having a War of Independence in 1921, so skipped the census. The next one was taken in 1926, the first census of the…

Lopsided Matches?

If, like me, you’ve embraced genetic genealogy as a valid way to advance your family tree, then you may have found that one side of your tree has yielded a lot more matches than the other. This is certainly true for my maternal lines versus my paternal lines. In this post, I take a look…

The Importance of Reviewing your own Research

I’d been aware for some time that the parents of my ancestor James Lawless (1857-1920) were called Thomas and Bridget but didn’t know much about them or her birth surname. When James married in 1876, the church just recorded his parents as Thomas and Bridget Lawless. By playing around with records* a few years ago,…