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Guinness is Good for You

For St. Patrick’s Day 2024, I’m taking a look at a new collection on Ancestry of Guinness records. Guinness, in case you didn’t know, is one of Ireland’s most famous exports. The Guinness Store House is a top tourist attraction in Dublin. I actually don’t much like the black stuff, but I do recognise the…

Illegal adoptions

If you’ve lived in Ireland in the past 25 years, you can hardly be unaware of various historical scandals that rocked the country. These included, but were not limited to, industrial school abuse, Magdalene laundries, Mother and Baby homes and illegal adoptions. A couple of years ago, I helped a man called Denis O Sullivan,…

Ancestry Pro-Tools

Genealogy social media has been awash in the past couple of weeks about Ancestry.com’s newly launched Pro Tools. Initially, it seemed only to be available in the USA but I was able to buy it a couple of days ago. It was a few different prices but now seems to be fixed. Here’s my review.…

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…

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,…