Eneclann and Ancestor Network are now raising money for Jack and Jill Childrens Foundation at our Monthly Continuous Professional Development Workshops, We will be holding these workshops every month and hope to raise a little for the foundation each month, a big thank you to all who donated last week as it is now going to such a great cause.
The following is a review of the first 10 Twentyx20 talks at the National Library of Ireland this Summer, our very first guest speaker was Eneclann Director Brian Donovan and he was followed by some of the top experts in the world of genealogy. Below you can read a short review on each talk.
1. Brian Donovan:
The digital revolution in Irish family history.
Since 2003, over 120 million Irish historic-records have been digitised and published online. Of these, 75 million were digitised by Eneclann and findmypast in projects led by Brian Donovan. Brian is uniquely placed to provide an overview of the digital revolution in Irish family history.
Online publishing has improved access to the records; democratised research by taking it from the hands of a few professionals; and transformed family history into a popular hobby with a mass audience.
Brian also discussed how Eneclann – a small Irish company, has blazed a trail in placing Irish cultural heritage online, in partnership with the cultural institutions.
“Genealogy is more than just names and dates, it is our family story”.
2. Patrick Comerford:
Hatch, match and beyond: finding trails and tails in parish records.
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 before Ne 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 on Tuesday, but who would like to hear more of his ideas on family history, see
3. Brian Mitchell
Shipping records and their usefulness when searching for your ancestors.
From the 1700s the main ports of embarcation for Irish immigrants were Dublin, Belfast and Londonderry. Cork only gained importance as a passenger port in the 1800s.
The Province of Ulster saw particularly heavy emigration from the start. Between 1717 and 1776, 250,000 Irish left to settle in the British colonies in North America.
The government in Ireland and Britain was mainly hostile to emigration because they didn’t want to loose skilled tradesmen and craftsmen. Despite this, there are no official registers of passengers leaving Irish ports before 1890, except for the lists of emigrants 1803-06, in the Hardwicke Papers, British Library.
Some records do however survive. Lists of passengers were compiled by the Masters of the passenger ships, and sworn before the Commissioner in the Port of departure. A duplicate of the oaths was sent to Dublin. The survival of passenger lists and shipping records to the present day varies enormously.
“There was an imaginary line that stretched from Sligo on the west coast to Dublin on the east coast. If you lived north of this line you emigrated from Derry, south and you embarked at Queenstown (Cobh).”
4. Lorna Moloney
The genealogy of Gaelic Clans: sources, records and evidence – 11th to 17th Centuries.
Genealogy defined the political landscape in medieval Ireland, and was propaganda by and for the ruling families. The earliest genealogies written down, were recorded in the twelfth century but date from centuries earlier.
Lorna discussed some of the main sources for tracing Gaelic families including Duald McFirbise’s Great Book of Irish Genealogies; the Irish Annals; and records of the Dublin government – the Calendar of State Papers Ireland, the Fiants, and the various land surveys taken in the 1650s and 60s, when the Gaelic political system finally ended.
“Ireland as a colony was forgotten as a kingdom.”
5. Aoife O’Connor
Yesterday’s children: discover your ancestors’ childhood.
Aoife O’Connor gave a thought-provoking talk, on where to find children in the historic records.
Children are civilians too, and the first place to look is in the usual records used for family history: civil records of births and deaths, church records of baptism and burial, and census records.
The National School system in Ireland began in 1837, and the largest collection of school registers is held in the National Archives of Ireland, currently digitising these records with findmypast.ie
In the past, children entered the world of work at an earlier age – some as early as eight or nine years, the majority from the age of 12 or 13. It’s possible to find records of children in occupational records.
The National Library of Ireland has photographic collections that show images of childhood in Ireland. Collections by private and commercial photographers show the middle-classes and the wealthy. There are some images of childhood in rural Ireland among the photographic collection of the Congested Districts Board.
Records of children also survive for institutions. Often the first point of contact with any institution, was through the court system. The Petty Sessions records have many cases in which children are involved, from building an ice-slide and raiding orchards, to the darker side of childhood poverty with instances of children up before the courts for vagrancy or burglary.
She concluded with institutional records of orphanages, reformatory and industrial schools, and prisons.
6. Paul McCotter, N.I.I Cork
Researching the history of Irish Surnames and clan-names
Speaking from his own notes, without the aid of overheads, Paul McCotter delivered a bravura performance, at what was one of the best attended talks.
It’s generally accepted by most historians that clan names have an early origin in Ireland, but surnames were only ‘laid-down’ from the 10th Century onwards. Ireland was probably the earliest of all European countries to adopt surnames. Yet we still don’t have a full picture on how surnames and clan-names developed over time here.
The starting point for most researchers is the work of Edward McLysaght, a former Chief Herald of Ireland. MacLysaght’s work though authoritative contains errors. Individual medieval historians – and here Paul gave an honourable mention to Kenneth Nicholls – will occasionally research how names may evolve over time, but even then it’s usually as an aside to their main research work.
Paul explained the influence of languages spoken in Irish regions in the last millennium, and how they contributed to the evolution of surnames. Before the conquest, Irish was the main language. After the Conquest, the political elite families spoke French, but many of the settlers that followed their political leaders to Ireland spoke Welsh, Flemish and an early form of English [Anglo-Saxon?]. Some colonists adopted the practice of Irish patronyms, and later many Irish adopted English versions of their name, to ‘conform to English civility.’ Paul demonstrated serious scholarly credentials, reeling off examples to show how an original name could evolve over centuries, sometimes changing beyond recognition.
7. Else Churchill, Society of Genealogists,
The exile of Erin, researching the poor Irish in Victorian London
Emigration from Ireland to England and Wales probably reached it’s high-point in the first half of the 19th Century, specifically 1815 to 1851. There were a number of reasons why migration between Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom picked up at this time. The conclusion of the Napoleanic Wars led to an agricultural depression, just as many ex-servicemen attempted to return to civilian life and work; the progression of the industrial revolution, and large-scale engineering projects, led to a higher demand for Irish labour; a growth in steam-shipping between Ireland and England made travel cheaper and more easy to avail of; changes to the Poor Laws adversely affected the Irish poor, who could be removed from England or Wales to an Irish port; and, the Irish people fled the Famine via communication lines that linked them to England and Wales.
By 1851 the Irish born population of England and Wales was 520,000 or 2.9% of the population. The Irish settled almost exclusively in cities, where they could find jobs. The greatest concentration of Irish settlement was in London, followed by Liverpool, and then Manchester/ Salford.
Elsa identified the communication lines that brought the Irish into London, and how these shaped the ‘Irish colonies’ – pockets of Irish settlement in the city and suburbs.
She discussed the historic sources of central government (Parliamentary reports); local government (Poor Law Unions) and of the RC church (parish registers); where they can be found; and what information they hold that can be used to trace Irish families.
“[In the early 1800s] The Irish were severely affected in the transition years from the old to the new Poor Laws.”
8. Audrey Collins, National Archives U.K,
Under-used Irish records in the National Archives in England
Audrey opened her talk with a challenging question – the National Archives of ‘where exactly?’ British identity has changed through the centuries, and very many records of Irish people can be found in TNA. She broadly classified these as specific Irish records series, and general series that contained Irish records, for example Military Service records; other Service records such as the Royal Navy, Airforce and Merchant Navy records; Home Office; Probate; migration records; and Census records.
Specific Irish records series such as the records of the Royal Irish Constabulary, the Reproductive Loan Funds, the Irish Sailors and Soldiers Land Trust, Irish Outrage papers and the Dublin Castle records, ended up in TNA for a variety of reasons but essentially because the Irish records were part of central government activity.
The TNA has risen to meet it’s public service remit by digitising many records sets and making them available online through digital downloads, and also in collaboration with commercial partners like findmypast and Ancestry.
Audrey’s talk was delivered with a delicious deadpan sense of humour that produced some of the best belly-laughs of the entire season from our regular audience. A gem
9. Hilary McDonagh, Ancestor Network,
Genealogy and sporting records-from sporting Laurels to Family Trees.
Hilary considered the connection between family history and sport. Almost everyone has ‘done’ sport at some time during their lives, but we don’t often consider sporting records as relevant to research.
Sports-clubs generate records: administrative records including Committee Minute Books; Membership Registers; the club’s Financial records including dues paid, or not, or larger debts around club maintenance or kit; Fixture lists and results/ score-books; programmes and other publications; as well as newspaper cuttings.
Hilary briefly considered some of the challenges in persuading clubs that these records are intrinsically useful, and to either create archives or deposit their records in archival collections. In the former category, she cited the examples of the G.A.A., the F.A.I. and the I.R.F.U.
In the latter category, she discussed the Dublin City Sports Archive collections in the Gilbert Library, of fairly recent origins. In a hilarious aside, she recounted her own experience in preparing a commemorative publication and subsequently archiving the records of the ‘Maids of the Mountain’ Hockey Club
Hilary concluded with a call to arms: to the public to recognise the importance of sporting records, the clubs to be more proactive, and the cultural institutions to widen their definition of popular culture.
10. Jacinta Prunty, N.U.I Maynooth,
Did you come from Dublin dear ? understanding Dublin city through maps
Development of Dublin city over 1000 years in maps. Dublin has always been unusually well documented in maps and surveys. Even the earlier medieval history of the city has been surveyed in retrospect by its’ historians and archaeologists, who have re-created maps and scale models of the city from Viking times and the time of the Conquest.
Jacinta’s basic premise was that maps are a key source with which we can ‘open-up’ the history of people and places at any given time. Researchers can use maps to understand how a village, town or city developed; how a town may be connected to other places by its’ proximity to the sea or rivers; how villages, towns and cities often develop close to fords/ crossings, which may later become the sites of bridges and harbours.
Maps display change over time: in the early 1600s for example the city of Dublin began to develop beyond the limits of its’ medieval walls; or how the status of a neighbourhood can change over time – for example Henrietta Street build from the 1720s as townhouses for the elite, was by the early 1900s a tenement.
Jacinta directed the audience to explore some of the maps she showed on screen, which are widely available in hard-copy or online.
The Down Survey Maps 1650s http://downsurvey.tcd.ie/down-survey-maps.php
The Ordnance Survey Maps from 1837 http://www.osi.ie/Home.aspx
In hard copy, Irish Historic Towns Atlas series http://www.ria.ie/research/ihta.aspx
Jacinta Prunty is an engaging speaker, who has the lucky knack of making her audience feel smarter just by listening.
“The where always matters in family history.”
Organised by Eneclann’s Fiona Fitzsimons and Ancestor Newtwork‘s Maeve Mullins.
The Expert Workshop series resumed this week, with a double-bill from our own Kay Caball, and guest speaker Dr. Gerard Moran.
Kay Caball led a workshop on “Researching the Kerry Girls: Emigration and the Earl Grey Scheme.”
The workshop was held in the Davis Theatre, Trinity College Dublin at 3pm on 11th September.
The second Expert Workshop for CPD, will take place at 2pm today, Saturday 13th September in the National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street.
Dr. Gerard Moran will give a workshop on “Emigration from the Workhouses and family history.”
We have a first rate line-up for the Expert Workshops this Autumn.
Keep an eye on our newsletter for all announcements.
The workshops are free ticketed events.
To apply for a ticket to the particular workshop you’re interested in attending, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of our monthly Continuous Professional Development in Irish Family History workshops we will have a little box set up for anyone who would like to donate what they can to such a worthy cause, all proceeds will go to the charity and hopefully make a difference to someone.
This weeks Research Tip of the week is written by Enecann Research Expert, Carmel Gilbride
Family history concerns itself with mapping people to places. We need to be familiar with the places where events in our ancestors lives may have taken place. One of our ‘go to’ sources for this information is the work of Brian Mitchell, including hisGuide to the Parishes of Ireland. Guide to the graveyards and parishes in Ireland and the new edition of hisAtlas
These publications are an invaluable source for family historians. The simple numbering of parishes, of all denominations, within counties can signal to us to the scale of our task. At a glance we can see, for example, how many Presbyterian congregations there may be in a given civil parish. We are then alerted to the extent of our possible search.
As graveyards are a constant source of interest for family historians, Mitchell’s listings of graveyards by denomination within counties , together with Ordinance Survey reference, can really help to pinpoint a likely place of burial for our ancestors,
This book is the first by relative newcomer Joe Buggy. I say relative because I had the pleasure of meeting him and hearing first-hand the early fruits of his labours two years ago. It was a revelation to me then, and the end result, neatly packed into 165 pages, is a wonderful addition to the arsenal of those Americans trying to trace their Irish roots. Joe’s aim is both simple and ambitious and summed up eloquently in his opening paragraph.
“The aim of this book is to present a comprehensive overview for anyone wishing to trace their Irish ancestors within the five boroughs of New York City” and specifically to help find their place of origin in Ireland. For anyone who has ever tried to research their Irish ancestry this is the number one aim, and a challenge that has left many enthusiasts stumped. Americans are driven to despair by this seemingly impossible task.
Certainly Irish research has become much easier as a result of the digital revolution in access to Irish archives, especially those available throughfindmypast.com and other commercial and free websites. But it’s of little assistance to those who have no idea even what county their ancestor came from in Ireland.
Into this breach steps Joe, ready with concrete steps to deal with the problem in NYC. He starts by describing the vital records created by the city, state and federal government, including BMDs, census, naturalizations, wills, employment, crime, cemeteries and more. But that’s just the start, he describes a huge number of record collections, publications and web resources in detail, with helpful hints on how to use them, and what you’re likely to find. He gives a great chronological account of settlement patterns of the Irish in the city, and the way people from certain counties would congregate in specific districts and wards.
His methodology section is strong, emphasising the importance of researching an entire family within the context of their broader community and network. This is so important in unlocking intractable problems, and his advice is relevant to everywhere in the USA, not just NYC.
His treatment of the records of the Roman Catholic Church is very extensive, comprising a third of the book. He gives a comprehensive list of parishes, register start dates, websites and important notes. He is right to focus on these records, as they are not available online, or in most cases on microfilm. They are rich with critical information about the lives of the Catholic Irish community which made up a large majority of the Irish in New York City. Many registers recorded details of place of origin, or gave information about parents still resident in Ireland.
I have a few minor quibbles regarding this otherwise excellent guide. I would suggest that the next edition should include the records of the Episcopalian and other protestant churches. By 1841 nearly 40% of the Irish population were non-catholic. This section of the Irish population declined rapidly during the 19th century precisely due to emigration. Probably the greatest number of non-catholic Irish immigrated to the USA but they assimilated more quickly with mainstream America because of their religious affiliation and language. If this is true for the 19th Century, it cannot be over-emphasised for all Irish immigration to New York before 1800. This is another area where further work could be done, but where fewer records survive. These criticisms shouldn’t detract from the book which remains an essential guide for all thoseBook tracing the Irish in New York City.
So is this the final word on the subject? Of course not. Even Joe doesn’t claim that. There are dozens of small county associations, Irish centres and support groups, trade unions, radical and conservative political organisations some of which are mentioned, but with only sparse details given. Their records are at serious risk, if they haven’t been lost already. The sad truth is that “Irish-America” is disappearing, and with it the organisations that sustained the links, as well as their records. As a consequence Joe’s book is even more important in bringing attention to the importance of these records in the story of the Irish.
By Brian Donovan
The Expert Workshops for Continuous Professional Development, start again this September.
The workshops will take place:
3pm on Thursday 11th Sept, in the Davis Theatre, Arts Block, Trinity College with Kay Caball on
“Researching The Kerry Girls: Emigration and the Earl Grey Scheme“
Kay, has written a number of family and local histories. Her book The Kerry Girls tells us the true sory of 117 Kerry girls sent to Australia in 1849/1850 from Workhouses in Dingle, Kenmare, Killarney and Listowel, under the auspices of the Earl Grey ‘Orphan’ scheme. Having completed the Certificate in Family History & Genealogical methods at the University of Limerick, she used her genealogical experience to trace these long forgotten girls back to their roots in Kerry. She is a member of the Ancestor Network’s Expert Panel.
2pm on Saturday 13th Sept, in the Trustee’s Room, National Library of Ireland, Kildare St with Dr. Gerard Moran on
“Emigration From the Workhouses and Family History“
Dr. Gerard Moran has been a lecturer in the Dept. of History at NUI Galway and NUI Maynooth, where he established and was it’s director of the MA in Irish History programme. He has published extensively on nineteenth-century Ireland and his research interests include Irish emigration and diaspora, agrarian agitation and social conditions in Ireland. He is the author of Sending Out Ireland’s Poor: Assisted Emigration from Ireland in the Nineteenth Century (Dublin 2004); Sir Robert Gore Booth and his Landed Estates in County Sligo: Land, Famine, Emigration and Politics, 1825-1876 (Dublin 2006); and is joint-editor of Galway: History and Society (Dublin 1996) and the forthcoming Mayo: History and Society.
Numbers are strictly limited, and anyone who would like to attend this free workshop should apply for a ticket by writing to
Tickets will be assigned on a first come basis.
As part of our monthly “Continuous Professional Development in Irish Family History workshops”, we will be helping to raise money for the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation , we will have a little stand set up at our workshops for anyone who would like to donate what they can to such a worthy cause, all proceeds will go to the charity and hopefully make a difference to those who need it.
Irish Probate Genealogy Partners are a consortium of Irish records specialists and the foremost Irish probate genealogical research firm.
Eneclann, Irish records specialists, and HeirsIreland, with 24 years experience in international probate genealogy, have combined resources to provide the most effective probate genealogy service in Ireland.
The Irish Probate genealogy partners provide the following services
Identifying Rightful Heirs
Gathering Documents to Prove Kinship or a Claim
Affidavits of Heirship and Due Diligence
Expert Witness for Court Testimony
Irish Probate Genealogy partners are made up of the following professional genealogists.
Eileen Ó Dúill
Eileen Ó Dúill, has been a professional Irish genealogist since 1990, specializing in legal and probate genealogical research. She is currently the only Board Certified Genealogist in Ireland. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and served on the board as the International Trustee for Britain and Ireland (2007-2012).
Eileen has lectured at national and international conferences in the US, Ireland, Canada and the U.K. from 1999 to 2014 and co-presented a webinar on Irish genealogical research for Ancestry.com. She was a course tutor and lecturer on the Diploma in Family History (Genealogy) at the Independent College, Dublin and currently teaches on the summer school programme at University College Cork. She has been admitted as an expert witness in the Surrogate Courts in 6 counties of New York.
Eileen was able to turn a lifelong hobby into a business providing a professional genealogical research service. Being an American living in Ireland for 39 years has enabled her to have a unique perspective on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and an understanding of her fellow countrymen in their quest for their Irish heritage.
Sean Ó Dúill
Sean O’Duill is a fluent Irish speaker from Louisburgh, Co. Mayo. He taught in St. Declan’s College, Dublin and has published several articles in Irish and English on Irish folklore. Sean earned a higher diploma in Irish translation from Galway Mayo Institute of Technology in 2007.
Sean was the keynote speaker at the 2005 National Genealogical conference. He also lectured at FGS Conference in Boston in 2006 and at the Irish Genealogical Conference in Sligo in 2004. He has assisted with numerous genealogical research trips to Ireland and now works as a researcher in the General Register Office in Dublin.
Sean’s research into Irish Folklore has developed several lectures, which have been of great interest to family historians in Ireland. Understanding the life our ancestors lived provides a background and substance to the study of genealogy. He is an expert researcher in Irish civil registration.
Stephen graduated with a degree in History from Trinity College Dublin in 2008. He has worked in a variety of sectors including IT and tourism, and has been engaged in the genealogy and probate research industry for the past 3 years.
Stephen has an in-depth knowledge of the 1901 and 1911 Censuses having worked on the corrections project for the National Archives of Ireland. He also specialises in tracing families through online resources.
Stephen has a particular interest in the use of geographic resources and land records as a means ensuring that the correct family is identified and doppelgangers avoided.
Fiona is a founder and Director of Eneclann, a Trinity College Campus Company established in 1998. In 2013 Fiona was elected to the Board of the Association of Professional Genealogists.
As Eneclann’s Research director, Fiona recruits and co-ordinates the legal research team. She has a particular interest in historic title of land in Ireland, and has specialised for over twenty-five years in Irish historic land-records.
Call Irish Probate Genealogy Partners on +353 1 6710338
Irish Probate Genealogy Partners,
Telephone +353 1 6710338
Fax +353 1 6710281
Dublin can be Heaven
Throughout the year, the National Library of Ireland (NLI) offers a genealogical advisory service through its dedicated staff, Francis Carroll and Christina McDonnell. To cope with summer’s influx of extra visitors this service is augmented during these busy months. Once again this year, Eneclann and Ancestor Network were successful in winning the tender for this service.
Drawing on personnel from both Eneclann and Ancestor Network, our team worked Monday through Saturday at the Library, meeting all comers. We have striven to enhance the welcoming space offered to family historians by the National Library of Ireland. With an increase of over 10% in visitor numbers to Ireland in 2014, it has been a busy summer for all. My own experience in the Library began five years ago and in this time I have observed a change in the demand for this service. With so many records now digitised, often times it has been a matter of guiding visitors through the myriad of records now online.
We have introduced overseas visitors to websites they may not yet have encountered, such as irishgenealogy.ie,www.findmypast, and dublinheritage.ie . For many this was just the impetus they needed to continue their searching long after their departure from our shores. Frequently, visitors arrive at the Library on the last day of their holiday and are very pleased to know they can continue their searches online. What has not changed over the last five years is the great hunger that exists amongst people to trace their family. The interest in this area continues to grow and we are delighted play our part in this developing field. One of the pleasures of working in the Library is meeting generations of the one family who, drawing on combined skills in the area of oral history with the application of computer know-how, can really make progress in tracing their family history.
It is always a delight to be on hand when a discovery is made and to reconnect people with earlier generations of their family. In addition to our participation in the NLI’s Genealogical Advisory Service, this year has seen the runaway success of the Twentyx20 lunchtime talks during the month of August. The brainchild of Eneclann’s Research Direct Fiona Fitzsimons, this series of free talks drew on a wide range of speakers. Visitors to the Library have been treated to a cornucopia of experts.
Family history is a very broad church and the range of speakers assembled by Fiona Fitzsimons is testament to this. Throughout all this activity our team has been graciously hosted and welcomed by the NLI’s staff in the handsome setting of the National Library. For this Dubliner, entering the portals of our National Library, to work as part of this team, I know that Dublin can, indeed, be heaven
By, Eneclann research expert,
We hope you are enjoying the Free Genealogy Service inThe National Library of IrelandthatEneclannandAncestor Network continue to provide each day this Summer, With such a wide and Comprehensive range of expertise from our experts all summer we aim to help 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 Saturdays.
The Twentyx20 series for 2014 concluded last Friday, with a talk by Damian Shiels on the Irish in the American Civil War.
The series proved very popular again in 2014, and consistently brought in a large audience to the Library. The success of theTwentyx20 series comes from its’ simple format.
There are twenty talks, each of which lasts 20 minutes.
Every talk is followed by a Q&A session where the audience gets to pitch questions directly to the experts.
Each talk is a stand-alone piece aimed at entertaining and informing.
The twenty talks given in August, go towards creating a month-long programme intended to unlock the richness and diversity of Irish Family History.
Family history is a multi-disciplinary subject, and the diversity of professional backgrounds on show during the month proved this. Our speakers included archaeologists, archivists and museum curators, geographers, historians, geneticists, theologians, and experts in women’s studies and I.T.
A huge thank you to all of our speakers in August – to the locals who walked, bussed or biked in; to those that travelled further afield from Limerick, Cork, Waterford, L’derry; and to the overseas speakers who flew in to Dublin to speak at the National Library of Ireland.
Finally, we owe a huge debt to Honora Faul of the National Library for her help and cheerfulness throughout the month.
During September, we intend to construct a page on the Eneclann blog, to provide an overview of all the talks that inspired you in the Twentyx20 series. We’ll let you know when it’s ready to view, through thenewsletter.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Is Booking Required:No.
Free access to records on findmypast.
Demonstrations on how to use the online records.
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:
|12pm||Where to start when building your family tree||Fiona Fitzsimons,|
|1pm||Census, land and birth marriage and death records – the building blocks of Irish family history||Brian Donovan, Eneclann|
|2pm||Add some colour to your family tree with military, crime and newspaper records||Aoife O’Connor, findmypast|
|3pm||Tracing your ancestors who moved abroad||Cliona 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.
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!