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Christmas 2023

And so we reach the end of another great year in genealogy. Prompted by a recent discussion, I’ve been looking at the Old Age Pension search forms. This collection is held by the National Archives of Ireland. If you’re not familiar with this small record set, let me enlighten you. In 1908, Ireland was still…

Thoughts on dependence

As many people will be aware, a lot of genealogy happens on the internet these days. As professionals, we depend on certain websites being available to do our work. Irishgenealogy.ie is one of those sites. It’s a state-run free website which hosts civil and religious records. When it launched in 2016, I called it a…

Winter 2023 talks

I have some upcoming talks both online and in-person. 18th November: Really Useful Family History Show – a workshop webinar dispelling the myth that Irish genealogy is difficult! Observer tickets are still available from the website. All recordings will be available for a short period afterward. 25th November: in-person talk on Irish Family History Society‘s…

Irish Wakes

It is often said that the Irish “do death well”. It is quite normal for people who never met the deceased to attend their funeral because they are a co-worker of a bereaved person. As I’ve been researching and revising death & burial recently for the International Institute of Genealogical Studies, I wrote some material…

Halloween Genealogy

We’re well into autumn now in Dublin, the leaves are falling, the evenings are getting darker and we’re anticipating Halloween. Decorated houses are popping up all over my town. According to John Grenham, the surname Death features in Kilkenny, Wexford and Wicklow. In the 1901 census, 31 unfortunate Deaths lived in a variety of counties,…

Rootstech 2024

I am delighted to announce that I’ll be speaking at Rootstech 2024 in Salt Lake City, Utah. I’m giving 2 lectures: one is on Irish civil records & the second is dissecting an Ancestry hint. Rootstech is largest genealogy convention in the world. Think ComicCon for genies, professional and hobbyists alike. It takes place on…