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International Literacy Day

UNESCO designates 8th September every year as International Literacy Day. It promotes the importance of literacy as a human right. Who among us doesn’t love getting caught up in a great novel? In this modern world, very few activities still require your full attention, we’re always on our phones or something, but reading is still…

St Patrick’s Day 2021

St Patrick’s Day 2021

As we approach a second St Patrick’s day still beset by a terrible pandemic, albeit with light on the horizon, I wanted to focus on a collection of records that are relevant for our large diaspora. 80 million people around the world claim Irish heritage and half of that number are in the USA. I’ve…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Leap day thoughts

I often find it happens in genealogy that I’m researching someone and discover that it is their birthday or death anniversary on the very day I’m looking them up. Earlier this week, I was adding a distant cousin to my tree, newly discovered, but then found that it was the second anniversary of her death.…