Latest Eneclann Newsletter, 13th August 2014

Meeting Princess Charlene in the Palace in Monaco

 

Last Winter Tourism Ireland commissioned Eneclann research director Fiona Fitzsimons to research the Irish family history of Princess Charlene of Monaco.

“At the outset, I had no preconceived ideas of what I might find during research”

The Fagan family history.

The Princess’s Irish ancestors were the Fagan family, probably the most successful gentleman-merchants in Dublin in the 1500s and 1600s. The Fagans were wealthy entrepreneurs, who left an indelible mark on the landscape of Dublin city and its’ environs.


The Fagans owned Bulloch Harbour from the 1580s until 1692.
Bulloch Harbour was the deep-sea port for the city of Dublin, and was the source of the Fagan’s immense wealth and influence.

They were involved in the foundation of Trinity College in 1592, and the Phoenix Park in 1662.


The Phoenix Park Dublin. In 1662 Christopher Fagan sold his Manor of Phoenix to the Duke of Ormond, to create a Royal Deer Park.
Photo courtesy Tourism Ireland.

The Fagans fought on the losing side in the Battle of the Boyne, and in 1692 were outlawed and their lands confiscated.  Under the peace terms that ended that War, the Fagans should have been pardoned and given back their lands.  Lord Thomas Coningsby, a corrupt senior government official manipulated the legal system and seized the Fagan’s extensive Dublin estates.

In 1695 the Fagans re-located to Killarney County Kerry, and over generations re-established themselves as merchants, trading out of Cork with the American Colonies and the West Indies.

The last of Princess Charlene’s direct ancestors born in Ireland was Christopher Sullivan Fagan, born in March 1781.  In 1800 at the age of 18 Christopher enlisted as a cadet in the East India Company.

On arrival in India, young Christopher Sullivan Fagan discovered an important family connection that gave him a direct link to the English Governor General.  Christopher’s first cousin, Hyacinth Rolande, was married to Richard Wellesley, Governor General of India 1797-1805.


Hyacinthe Rolande, natural daughter of the Chevalier Fagan. Portrait painted 1791 by Elisabeth le Brun.
Reproduced courtesy of the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco

Christopher Sullivan Fagan rose to the rank of Major General in the Honorable East India Company Service (H.E.I.C.S.).  One of his daughters was Agnes Cecilia Adelaide Fagan born in Bengal in 1821; married in Calcutta in 1842 to Charles Arthur Nicolson.

These are Princess Charlene’s great x 3 grandparents, and it was their generation that first established a connection to Africa.

———————————————————————-
Meeting a Princess.

From L-R: Prince Albert; Princess Charlene; Finola O’Mahony, head of Europe; Tourism Ireland,Rory Montgomery Irish ambassador to France; and Fiona Fitzsimons of Eneclann.
Earlier this Summer I was asked if I could travel to Monaco, to present the Princess’s family history.  The meeting was eventually scheduled to take place in the Palace gardens at 6pm on Tuesday 29th July.  Rory Montgomery the Irish ambassador to France, and Finola O’Mahoney of Tourism Ireland would also be there.

A gathering storm on the afternoon of the 29th meant that on our arrival at the Palace, we were shown into a private family sitting room.  It was a lovely room, comfortable and domestic, where I felt at ease.  The surfaces teemed with family photographs, including rather surreally, the late Princess Grace of Monaco.

The princely couple arrived with little or no fanfare and after introductions we sat and I described to them some of the personalities of the Princess’s Irish ancestors, and their exploits across three continents.

In the course of our conversation the couple’s interest rose higher and higher, and they asked very many questions to fix key details.  We talked for over an hour, and towards the end of the interview Princess Charlene asked with obvious delight if Ireland would now claim her as one of our own.

The Irish ambassador answered in the affirmative, presenting the Princess with a Certificate of Irish Heritage.

On the way home, I got a taxi from Dublin Airport and mulled it all over.  It occurred to me that even behind a palace wall, a Princess can be as delighted as a child on Christmas morning, to discover her Irish heritage.

by Fiona Fitzsimons
______________________________________

Click on the link below and have a listen to a short clip of Fiona’s interview on the research of  Princess Charlene.

Radio Riviera News clip

 

 


Lunch time talks in NLI so far.

 

The Twentyx20 Lunch-time talks are proving very popular with numbers of over 50 each day.

What’s great to see this year is that it’s not just the same familiar faces, we’re reaching a fresh audience interested in family history.

On Tuesday the 5th of August,Catherine Murphy T.D. attended. She was enthused to see such a large crowd in the Library to attend the talks.

Reviews

On Friday the 1st of August, Brian Donovan spoke about the digital revolution in Irish family history.  Since 2003, over 120 million historic Irish records have been digitised and published online.  Brian gave an overview of the key collections online for genealogy research. He discussed the trail-blazing “Partnership Model” adopted by findmypast, that ensures the rights of data-owners (of records).
Online publishing has improved access to the records; made research easier; and transformed genealogy from a minority pursuit into a popular hobby with a mass audience.

On Tuesday the 5th of August, in a delightfully witty and wise talk, Patrick Comerford informed us there’s more to parish records than registers. Parish records tell us more about our religious identity and social conditions in the past.  The records
also show that Ireland was a pluralist society beforeNe Temere.Family history has become main-stream because in the modern world, we use it to construct our own personal identity.

For anyone who missed Patrick’s talk last Tuesday, but who would like to hear more of his ideas on family history, See

http://www.patrickcomerford.com/search/label/Family%20History

Reviews for speakers from the 6th of August will be included in our next newsletter.

There are still so many wonderful talks to come, here is a preview of  the week to come (11th to 15th)

Monday 11thPaul McCotter,N.U.I Cork,Researching the history of Irish surnames and clan-names.

Tuesday 12thElse Churchill,Society of Genealogists,The exile of Erin, researching the poor Irish in Victorian London

Wednesday 13thAudrey Collins,National Archives U.K,Under-used Irish records in the National Archives in England

Thursday 14thHilary McDonagh,Ancestor Network,Genealogy and sporting records-from sporting Laurels to Family Trees.

Friday 15thJacinta Prunty,N.U.I Maynooth,Did you come from Dublin dear? Understanding Dublin city through maps.

 

 


Free genealogy advisory service

 

 

The joint consortium ofEneclann andAncestorNetwork continues to provide a wide and comprehensive range of expertise in The National Library of Ireland all summer to anyone looking for help and advice in tracing their family history,

The service is free to all visitors of the Library.

9.30 a.m. to 4.45 p.m. Monday to Friday,

9.30 a.m. to 12.45 on Saturday.

See you there!

 

 


National Heritage Week.

 

Venue:Dublin City Library and Archive.Address:144 Pearse Street, Dublin, Ireland.

Is Booking Required:No.

Admission Fee:Free.

JoinfindmypastandEneclann for a free family history beginner’s day. On the day you can expect

Free access to records on findmypast.
Demonstrations on how to use the online records.
Genealogy advice.
Short introductory lectures.
Every hour during the event you can attend talks from our experts about all things family history. Here’s how the lectures are scheduled:

TimeTopicLecturer
12pmWhere to start when building your family treeFiona Fitzsimons,
Eneclann
1pmCensus, land and birth marriage and death records – the building blocks of Irish family historyBrian Donovan, Eneclann
2pmAdd some colour to your family tree with military, crime and newspaper recordsAoife O’Connor, findmypast
3pmTracing your ancestors who moved abroadCliona Weldon, findmypast

 


The Genealogy Event

What better way to celebrate Limerick’s status as 2014 City of Culture, and the start of National Heritage week, than with

The Genealogy Event!
This two day event promises to be a real humdinger!

Information sessions on a broad range of Irish genealogy topics will be given by some of the top experts in the industry. The Eneclann duo, Fiona Fitzsimons and Brian Donovan will also be there ;)

“The event has been set up to help genealogists and family historians at all levels and bring together people from around the world with Irish roots,” says BBNY Group founder, Bridget Bray.

Introductory and advanced sessions will focus on surname origins, genetics and genealogy, civil, church and military records.

For those who really want to dig deep, there are expert sessions on the Registry of Deeds, and Irish sources for children in care 1840s to 1990s.

The U.S.National Archives (NARA) will also make a rare appearance in Ireland, to introduce the use of U.S. immigration and Naturalization records.

Have a listen below toLyric FM, as they promote the event with an ad.

The Genealogy Event 2014.

 


Research Tip of the week!

I’m constantly surprised by the number of people undertaking genealogical research who have their notes written on the backs of envelopes, scraps of paper etc.  My tip for this week is get yourself a sturdy notebook (ring-bound notebooks eventually disintegrate),  and record all your family history details in there.  When you do come across any information relevant to the family always note the place e.g., NAI (National Archives of Ireland), GRO (General Register Office), date, and all the relevant details. For example if you searched the baptismal register for Mallow, record the exact years you looked at, any relevant baptism to your family, and the positive number of the microfilm in the National Library of Ireland.  I recently spoke to someone who had been searching for 12 years for estate records he had previously seen that related to his family.  He hadn’t written down the manuscript number or where exactly he had seen them. We did eventually find the correct estate records but it’s a salutary lesson!

 

By Helen Moss,

resident research expert,

Eneclann.


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