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William George Kent 1888-1915

William George Kent is, to the best of my knowledge, the only member of my extended family to die in World War I, though many others, closer to me, fought and lived. He was my first cousin three times removed, or to put it another way, he was my maternal great-grandfather, Frederick Walters’ first cousin.…

DNA Testing & how to get the best from it

DNA tests are the hot topic for family historians these days. The area can be bewildering and often it can be difficult to decipher the results. What’s a centimorgan? How do you triangulate results? How should you approach contacts? Are ethnicity results nonsense (hint: mostly!)? Should you use Gedmatch? I can answer all these questions…

Remembering the RMS Leinster

The story of the sinking of the RMS Leinster on 10th October 1918 is one that always loomed large in my family because my great-great grandfather, Michael Joyce MP, was aboard when it happened. He survived the disaster but more than 550 people lost their lives. The figures are not exact because travel between Ireland…

New Autumn Term in Malahide Community School

Booking is now open for the new term of my beginner’s genealogy class in Malahide Community School. Walk-in enrollment will take place on 17th September. Classes will start on Tuesday 2nd October and run for 10 weeks. Lots of people will have gotten DNA tests over the summer why not learn how to make the most…

Perseverance is worth it!

One of the common problems for the family historian exploring the new world of DNA testing is people not replying to your messages. I tested my great-aunt (now 92 & going strong) in the summer of 2015 with Family Tree DNA. As one of only two remaining in my grandparents’ generation, I thought it was…

Tracing your Malahide Ancestors

  I’ll be giving a talk to the Malahide Historical Society on Wednesday 11th April 2018 in the Presbyterian church hall in Malahide at 8pm. Non-members are welcome. I’ve researched a local Malahide family using the census, births, deaths & marriage registers and church & grave records. Photos used by kind permission of the Malahide…

Spring Term in Malahide Community School

Booking is now open for the new term of my beginner’s genealogy class in Malahide Community School. Enrolling on Monday 22nd January, where I will also be available to talk to prospective students. Classes will start on Tuesday 30th January and run for 10 weeks. Lots of people will have gotten DNA tests for Christmas: why…

The stranger in the grave

Glasnevin cemetery claims to have 2 million people buried within its walls, and a substantial portion of my Dublin ancestors are there. I got the full details of a grave for a family of Longs, who were related to my great-grandmother, Mary Agnes Long. John Long, a butcher, his wife, Mary Teresa Long née Waters and…

DNA helps solve a family mystery

My ancestor Thomas Henry Guerins had a younger brother called Joseph Francis. Here is the family on the 1911 census in Limerick city. He disappeared at some stage in the late 1910s and was never seen again. Using a combination of traditional genealogical research methods and DNA testing, I’m thrilled to say that I found…

Ancestors in surprising places

I’ve written extensively about my MP ancestor, Michael Joyce before but I had never identified his parents’ marriage. Richard Joyce and Bridget Tubbs‘ oldest recorded child was born in 1847, so there was a likely marriage date of 1-2 years before that but nothing showed up in the various Limerick city church registers. There was…