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Happy Halloween

Despite climate change’s best efforts, the evenings are beginning to draw in.Many people will not be aware that Hallowe’en has its origins in Ireland. It’s changed quite a bit since I was a child in the 1980s but some facets still remain the same. Back then, we dressed up and went to our neighbours’ doors…

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…

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…