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New Research published

The Irish Genealogist for 2020 has been published this week. It goes out to all members of the Irish Genealogical Research Society. I’m delighted to see my own article in it. My One-Name Study of the Ure families of Ireland represents more than a decade of research into this surname, which is more commonly found…

What about the gaps?

This week’s topic is inspired by a recent blog post by my friend & fellow genealogist, Sophie Kay.Do have a read of her post, but I’ll summarise here. We never really have a full picture of someone’s life through official records. In most countries, there are 10 years between censuses and anything happening in between could be…

Know your history & geography

Many of us are researching our ancestry from a great distance. We might not easily be able to travel to the location our ancestors lived and see the local landscape. This may be for many reasons but it’s especially true at the moment, when Covid-19 means we are safer limiting our movements. The above marriage…

Review of Back to Our Past

Back to our Past (BTOP) has existed in a physical format for several years now. It usually comprises of an exhibition area with stands from various repositories, commercial entities and family history societies, and runs a strand of lectures on traditional genealogical research. In recent years, these lectures have been largely focused on records offered…

Ode to a great-great grandmother

For lots of our ancestors, we don’t know what they look like, or what they liked to read or eat. We can look them up in records and gain some information. One of my great-great grandmothers was called Anne Rourke (though her surname is variably spelled in different records). She was born during the Great…

Autumn Term online!

As the summer draws to a close, people often look to evening classes to learn a new skill or pass the darker evenings. For almost a decade, I’ve been teaching a beginners’ Irish genealogy class in Malahide Community School. In this time, I’ve helped over many people begin or further their ancestry. I am excited…

Ages of women giving birth

In a previous blog post, I looked at the sizes of families and infant mortality across three generations of my tree. This time I’ve examined the average age of women having their first child. I’ve sampled 100 Irish women, whose age can be verified from a birth or baptismal record and compared the age each…

New heights

While I’m working away on other people’s genealogy, I always try to do a bit on my own. As of today, I have 3053 people in my family tree. These are people who can be proven to be related to me, either by records (the vast majority) or DNA with records to back it up.…

Ancestry Hints – how to use them

If you’re a user of Ancestry, and you have a tree attached to your account or DNA results, then you’re familiar with this little leaf which appears to give you hints. These suggestions come in 2 forms. This blog discusses how to know when to accept or ignore them. Record suggestions – Ancestry has millions…

Have I just found an emigrant family?

As a genealogist, I get to share exciting discoveries with my clients about their family histories. But it often happens that I find something about my own family and have to do a lot of explaining before someone is interested, and then usually is just pleased for me! Tonight I’ve hit on something potentially very…