‘Eneclann helped me find my Irish ancestors’ Ron, New Zealand
‘I’ve been tracing my family history for about the last thirteen years,’ explains Ron. ‘I first got into it through my cousin who probably started tracing it around thirty years ago now.’
Ron and his cousin had managed to trace his family back to the first half of the nineteenth century. ‘My great-great-grandfather and great-great-grandmother were both born in Ireland,’ he explains, ‘but they left Ireland during the Potato Famine, around 1846. My earliest paper record is their marriage in Cork in 1846, and of course the problem is it doesn’t say where they were born on that document.’
Tracing your Irish family history can be difficult when you live far away from Ireland. ‘The paper trail is not that great and not many of the Irish records have been digitised yet,’ says Ron. ‘We’ve got one professional genealogist in New Zealand and she says it’s not worth going to Ireland and England to find out more unless you’ve done plenty of research beforehand, because when you’ve over there you often don’t have the time to do all the research.’
He decided the best course of action was to find a researcher in Ireland to help. ‘I looked on the net under researchers in Ireland,’ Ron explains. ‘Eneclann came up and I had a look at the website which looked very professionally done and I thought ‘this looks like a good starting point’.
Through some careful detective-work, the genealogists at Eneclann were able to help Ron. Using Griffith’s Valuation and the tithe applotment books for Cork, they were able to narrow down the search for his great-great-grandfather to just five civil parishes. The genealogists then searched the parish records for the area. Ron wasn’t sure what religion his ancestors were. The researchers did not find Ron’s ancestors in the Roman Catholic records, and unfortunately the Church of Ireland records had been destroyed by fire in 1922. However, since Church of Ireland marriages were recorded from 1845 onwards, it was possible to search for Ron’s forebears in the civil records. Ron was delighted when Eneclann were able to locate his direct ancestor’s marriage which showed it took place in St. Finbarr’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Cork and gave the names of his great-great-great-grandparents.
Looking back on the research, Ron explains that what attracted him most to the Eneclann service was the assessment service. ‘The great thing about Eneclann’s service is that you provide them with information and they put together an assessment, and in that they will put suggestions for further research.’
He likes the no-nonsense approach of the assessment service: ‘ I’ve heard that some companies will do whatever research the customer suggests, even though they know that a particular line of research they are doing for you will not result in anything. In all my dealings with Eneclann, they have told me if in their opinion perhaps this is not the way to go with the research.’
He continues: ‘I would definitely recommend Eneclann to anyone who needed a hand with their Irish research; their resources are huge. You can tell that from the newsletter – there’s always a list of new publications, new CDs or DVDs that are coming out with information on them. There’s always things happening and new things coming online.’