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Blog

Interested in learning and hearing about other people’s genealogy stories? Take a look at some of my blogs!


  • Love Letters from the Past
    I am passionate about trying to understand more about our ancestors through our research instead of just finding birth, marriage and death certificates.  For some reason, when one family historian meets another, the first question that will be posed 95% of the time is… ‘how far can you go back’.  Continue Reading
  • Back To Our Past Conference
    The Back to Our Past event is normally held in the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) in Dublin in September. However, due to the current pandemic the event is being held online so no matter where you are on this wonderful planet, you can attend. You will find the details on Continue Reading
  • Additional Records on Find My Past
    For those of you who use Find my Past, the latest update from them is that they have added 15 million new American travel records including California, New York and Texas. Additional newspapers from England, Ireland, Belize have also been added as well as additional pages to existing papers. Find Continue Reading
  • Emigration – Coolattin Estate
    In a recent blog post, I spoke about the Earl Grey Scheme which was an assisted emigration scheme to transport poor and destitute Irish girls to Australia. Similar schemes were in practice in the 1800s across Ireland. In this blog post, I will talk about the assisted emigration to Canada Continue Reading
  • Emigration : Earl Grey Scheme
    I recently watched an episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ which featured the singer / actress Mandy Moore. It was an interesting episode as it explained the assisted emigration policy called the ‘Earl Grey Scheme’. This scheme transported destitute and orphaned Irish girls to Australia to address the Continue Reading
  • Status of Civil Records
    The current status of the digitisation of Irish civil registrations of birth, marriages and deaths is outlined in the 3 images below. You will save yourself hours of time by being aware of these dates by not searching for information that is not there so feel free to download and Continue Reading
  • Petty Sessions
    I was out and about this week and stopped off to pick up groceries in a small town about 20km from where I live. Ireland is amazing for lots of reasons but this one in particular. Things can pop up when you least expect it… such as this ! I Continue Reading
  • DNA Uncovered – A Question of Ethics
    There is often an air of uncertainty when people think of doing DNA testing.  Who has my data, what happens if I get unexpected results like a sibling I didn’t know about pops up in my matches or conversely, I am not related to a known relative? There are always Continue Reading
  • DNA Uncovered – Understanding the Language
    When you get your DNA results and view your matches, you will probably see some brand new terminology or terminology which you wished you paid better attention in science class to.  So, the purpose about this blog post is to explain the new jargon you will be seeing. If you Continue Reading
  • DNA Uncovered – How Many Cousins Do I Have?
    The average person per has; 1st cousins = 12 2nd cousins = 40 3rd cousins = 190 4th cousins = 940 5th cousins = 4,700 6th cousins = 500,000 Remember, you share 50% of each of your parent’s DNA and when you go back in generations to grandparents, uncles, aunts Continue Reading
  • DNA Uncovered – Inheritance
    Did you know that what you inherit is random? As you have probably gathered, I am not a geneticist.  I am a genealogist so I will try to explain in the best layman’s terms as I can about DNA you inherit from your ancestors. I like the way Ancestry DNA Continue Reading
  • DNA Uncovered – Ethnicity
    The first picture below shows my ethnicity according to my DNA test that was done about 3-4 years ago i.e. 64%  The picture below it shows my ethnicity (according to the same DNA test that was done 3 years ago) but the DNA company ‘upgraded’ their system and results are Continue Reading
  • DNA Uncovered – Jargon
    Over the next few days I will discuss the emerging world of Genealogy DNA and how it can help with your family history research. Hopefully this blog will help demystify the whole subject. So to get us started, here is some terminology that you might come across. Autosomal Test– this Continue Reading
  • Family Stories- Fact or Fiction?
    Good morning, afternoon, evening (depending where you are) one and all… I was listening to a webinar this week and the speaker reminded me of one important point that I thought worth sharing with you. Take family stories with a pinch of salt and try to substantiate them with official Continue Reading
  • Tracing my Ancestors: Mary Angela
    This blog details my personal search for my Paternal Great Grandmother, Mary Angela Bridgeman. In writing this post, I hope to provide a better understanding of the effort and tenacity required to undertake some family history research; and demonstrate to you the level of detail and style of story- telling Continue Reading
  • Tracing an Adoption: Helen’s Story
    Another real life Adoption Story I’d like to share. There’s nothing I love more than helping people find out where they come from. Adoption tracing and research can be difficult, but it is so rewarding to help uncover family history and reunite people like Helen with their birth families. I Continue Reading
  • Tracing an Adoption: My Sister’s Story
    This blog post is about helping my younger sister to find her biological father.  I have her permission to write this blog but she asked that I don’t use her name. I come from a family of 6 children; 3 biological and 3 adopted.  My mother tells me that even Continue Reading
  • Tracing Your Family History: Start Young!
    I am often asked by clients for advice on starting their Family History Research.  And when I think back when I started my research, the best piece of advice I could have done with was; Start When You Are Young(er) The reason being that if you leave it until you Continue Reading
  • Online Resources for Genealogy: Fingal Burial Records
    Another blog on the theme of burials and graveyards.. A number of county councils have published some of their burial records online. One of these is Fingal County Council in North Dublin. They have published the burial record including the extract from the burial register which is brilliant. Website is Continue Reading
  • Dublin City Graveyards
    Have you ever noticed, while wandering around Dublin City and its environs, that there are a distinct lack of graveyards beside Catholic Churches? Have a think about it; neither St. Mary’s ProCathedral in Marlborough Street, St Catherine’s in Meath Street, Saint Nicholas of Myra (formerly the ProCathedral) in Francis Street…. Continue Reading
  • Grave Hunting at Glasnevin Cemetery
    During a recent history tour of Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin, I learnt that there are more dead people buried in Glasnevin Cemetery than are living in Dublin today.  On your ‘Irish Family History’ journey I’m sure you will come across some relatives buried in Glasnevin Cemetery also known locally as the Continue Reading
  • Family History: Lost and Found
    Uncovering long lost relatives is a common occurrence in genealogy research. One of the most fantastic things about doing family tree research is meeting relatives that you never knew existed.  During the summer I was fortunate enough to meet a new O’Gorman 3rd cousin Terri. It would probably be useful to Continue Reading
  • Tracing My Ancestors: Desperately Seeking Julia
    I had been searching for my great grandmother Julia O’Farrell’s grave for nearly 2 years.  Sometimes I would just leave it, hoping that looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes weeks later would uncover something new.   It was one of those searches where  I felt like I was Continue Reading
  • Following in the Footsteps: My Great, Great Grandmother
    Finding out where your ancestors were born and lived on documents such as census records, birth / marriage / death certificates can be a wonderful way to get a sense of the life that they lived.  But you can’t beat going to the places that you see in these documents Continue Reading
  • If there’s a will, there’s a way!
    …. to find out more about your family history. I mentioned in previous posts about a fire in the Public Records Office in 1922.  Well, unfortunately as well as the majority pre-1900 census records, nearly all the original wills were also destroyed in the fire.  So for genealogy purposes we Continue Reading
  • Exploring Medical History
    People from all walks of life decide to explore their Irish family history.  What motivates people like you to start this journey varies but can be; a general curiosity that turns into an obsession, a medical condition, to authenticate family stories or to document a family history before another generation Continue Reading
  • Making Sense of Census
    I believe most people are aware that the 1901 & 1911 census records are available online at www.census.nationalarchives.ie/ …… and in my November 2016 blog, I discussed the burning of many of our records at a fire in the Four Courts in Dublin during the the Irish civil war (1922-1923). Continue Reading
  • Family Stories / Fact or Fiction?
    Good morning, afternoon, evening (depending where you are) one and all…. I was listening to a webinar this week and the speaker reminded me of one important point that I thought worth sharing with you. Take family stories with a pinch of salt and try to substantiate them with official Continue Reading
  • Exploring Your Roots in the UK
    I was asked recently on my Facebook page whether I trace family members from the UK.  I responded by stating that ‘more often than not, tracing Irish ancestors leads you to many countries such as UK and US’.  While I wouldn’t consider myself an expert at exploring family history in Continue Reading
  • Fire at the Public Records Office
    One of the most common questions asked about Irish genealogy is ….. ‘all the irish records were burnt in the Four Courts during the Civil War in 1922’ so it’s impossible to trace our ancestors. This is not true… For example, the 1901 and 1911 census records are available online Continue Reading