Tag Archives: Eneclann

British Institute, Salt Lake City, UTAH, 21-25 Sept. An interview with Bruce Durie

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Dr Bruce Durie has enjoyed two successful careers in different fields.  He began his professional life as a biochemist/ pharmacologist. In 1977 he was awarded the IBRO/ UNESCO Fellowship as ‘Scotland’s most promising young neuroscientist.”

In the 90s, he moved into family history, and later completed a doctorate in History and Education.  He set up and ran (until 2011) the post-graduate programme in Genealogical Studies at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland.  Now an Honorary Fellow of Strathclyde, where he is developing a full-time Masters degree in Genealogical Studies, he also teaches Genealogy, Documents and Heraldry courses for the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

In 2015 he was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scottish Studies Scholar Award, for 2016.

 

FF: Bruce, before we start, I did a little reading in preparation for this interview.  I never knew that you were a neuro-scientist.

BD: Oh, that was a long time ago, when I had a brain.

FF: I had to smile, because it made me think of the old joke, you don’t have to be a brain-surgeon…

BD: (laughs) … but it helps! Yes, I won a prize as “Scotland’s most promising neuro-scientist”, and I spent three years in psychiatry, this side of the table!  Where did it all go wrong, eh? (laughter).

Actually there’s an interesting point in there.  I don’t have any  evidence for this (laughs), but a number of us have speculated that biologists are disproportionately represented in Professional genealogy, it’s a desire to taxonomise,[1] and genealogists are comfortable with ambiguity, qualities that you don’t find in mathematicians, physicists, engineers and so on.

FF: So, how long have you been a genealogist, and when did you get started in genealogy?

BD: 20-odd years professionally, almost my whole life as an amateur.

FF: Tell me about the early years?

BD: I started when I was five years old.  Do you remember, when we were kids, somebody would always give our parents a baby book for every child. It had an envelope where you could put the child’s first tooth, a lock of hair, and all of that.  Inside the front cover of mine was a tree and no one had filled it in. So I went round pestering everybody in the family for dates, and places and names. Interestingly, one part of the family thought this was hilarious, but the other side went “ohhh, you don’t want to be looking into that son, you never know what you might find.”  Exactly the two responses that we find to genealogy out in the wide-world, today.

What I discovered was, that nobody knew much, beyond my grandparents talking about their parents, and maybe their grandparents.  There wasn’t very great detail – they just didn’t know names, dates and places . They said “We come from Devon”, or “We’ve always been in Fife”  – that kind of thing, and some of it was conjectural. The best part of it though, was that my maternal grandfather, who didn’t want to talk much about his family, began to tell me stories that his grandfather had told him about the Crimean War [1853-56].  If you think about it, grandparents who were born about 1900 were brought up by parents who were Victorians and would have had Victorian values, and if you’re a Scottish Presbyterian, quite a lot of those come down to you anyway (laughs).

 

FF: You say ‘twenty-odd years’ as a professional genealogist: how odd have those years been?

BD: Well, being a professional genealogist is always odd, it’s continuously odd. You need to be able to deal with constant change.  Do you remember back in the days when there was no training, and no real way of genealogists getting together? [Professional genealogists] used to pick up clients almost by chance.

I was fortunate, in that I was spending a lot of time in America, which I still do, and almost everyone said the same thing which was “we’re descended from Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, William Wallace, etcetera. And I used to say “would you like me to find out how accurate that is for you.”  So for the first ten years of my professional career, all my clients were overseas.

FF: And did you ever find anyone who was descended from one of the Bruces or William Wallace?

BD: (laughs) Everybody is descended from William Wallace, Mary Queen of Scots, or Robert the Bruce by some line or other.  But there’s nobody called Stuart descended from Mary Queen of Scots, there’s nobody by the name of Bruce descended from Robert the Bruce, because those died out in the male line.  So to those who say, I can get my genealogy back to Charlemagne, I always say, “sure you can, but can you document it?

FF: One of the projects that you’re most closely associated with, is the Masters in Genealogy in Strathclyde University.

BD: I suppose people first started to notice me about ten years ago when I started the first post-graduate professional Masters level course, in the University of Strathclyde.

FF: Why and how did you decide to set it up as a post-graduate-level course?

BD: Well let me answer the how of your question first.

I went looking for a training scheme or a qualification and I couldn’t find any. I was doing something else in Strathclyde at the time, and the Project came to an end. I was talking to one of the senior people in Strathclyde who said “what are we going to do with you then?” And I said, “well do you know there is no University teaching proper genealogy in the whole world”.  And he said “gosh I was watching that on the telly last night.  Looks fascinating.  Off you go then.”  So if he’d been watching the football, none of this would have happened.  (laughter).

We started with £5,000 and six months to get it right.  We were always going to have a Masters course, but we staged it.  We put up a post-grad certificate, and the next year a post-graduate diploma, and two years after that a Masters.  Originally they were actual physical classes in a classroom, but we developed online classes alongside.  And eventually after four years we did away with the physical classes, and it was all done online.  It immediately proved a massive success.

As for the reason we set it up as a Master’s course?  Well, no undergraduate department would touch it. No one else could see the point, until I was introduced to a fabulous person in the Centre for Life Long Learning, and she said “this is excellent, let’s do it and embarrass them all.”  (Laughter) It’s much easier to get a post-graduate course on the books than an undergraduate one.  The other question people ask me is why is it an M.Sc. and not an M.A., and of course in Scotland and I think in Trinity [College Dublin] as well, an M.A. is an undergraduate degree.

FF: Exactly. Everyone has the right to apply for their M.A. within twelve months of graduating.

BD: Don’t you have to eat three dinners at high table or something?

FF: That’s no great hardship, especially when there’s good wine at the table. (laughter).

 

FF: So, tell me, what do you enjoy most about being a professional genealogist?

BD: The ability to dig into a whole range of primary source documents that most people don’t know exist.  One of the things that disturbs me about watching undergraduate history students being taught, is that they hardly ever get to primary sources.  Genealogists deal with nothing but primary sources, all the time. It’s an incredible buzz,  especially if you’re digging into un-indexed records which nobody’s looked at for hundreds of years, until you blow the dust off.

There’s so much stuff locked up in archival boxes in various places that nobody ever gets to.  The real killer for me was getting all the Retours – that’s the missing piece of the puzzle in Scottish genealogy, tracing where did all the land go.

FF:Can you explain what a Retour is.

BD: Sure. Up until 1868 in Scotland, a will or testament could only deal with moveable estate:  cash, crops, furniture, knives and forks, pictures and so on.  Immoveable estate was handled by a completely different process, formally called the Retours of Services of Heirs. They’re not available anywhere, easily, and yet there are entire genealogies locked up in there, that don’t appear in birth/ marriage/ death records.  And they go from 1544 up to 1860s, when the system was changed.

[Bruce prepared the Retours Abbreviations for publication in three volumes] *They’re like telephone directories, each one over 800 pages in tiny print.  You could stun a burglar with them, they’re huge. [laughter]

* www.brucedurie.co.uk/books

FF:So is that your area of specialization?

BD: Other people would say Teaching, writing, broadcasting, because that’s where they would tend to bump into me.  What I like most is palaeography, getting into the old curly writing, and making sense of it.  I must have a freak brain, because I find it very easy to read almost anything. (laughs).

But also I’m a major fan of Heraldry, often discounted as the ‘floral border’ around genealogy. But again, there are entire pedigrees bound up in coats of arms.

And because I’m specialised in that I advise people getting coats of arms legally registered in Scotland, re-matriculating old coats of arms, getting clans and families to find the right chief, and all those things.

FF:Indeed. Did you see the story this week, of what is supposedly a portrait of Shakespeare, his identity supposedly revealed in the little heraldic device underneath?

BD: First off, although Shakespeare did get  arms for his father in 1596, it’s a far cry from what’s in the picture. I’ve seen the picture and to me it looks like a classical man holding a plant! It could be anybody. I think someone has found a good way to get a bit of publicity out of this.

 

FF:Can you give us a genealogy tip or method that you always recommend to people?

BD: Yes, and this is not only for overseas people, but in Scotland too.  You cannot do Scottish genealogy from Ancestry, or Family Search or any of the commercial sites.  Can’t do it.  The reason is, the records are only available on [the website] Scotland’s People and related sites.  Scotland won’t hand them over, we make too much money out of it, which is quite right!  It drives the commercial providers absolutely crazy.

But hardly anybody knows these great sites exist, or how to use them.  So it’s a mission of mine to go out there and say: it’s all here, you can get it, and it’s not difficult.

 

FF:Tell us about your role as Track leader for Scotland, in the British Institute?

BD: I want to show people there’s so much more to documents than just a name and a date.  People often take just take the bare bones of a document, but in fact there’s a great more in there. Censuses are one of my particular interests, because there’s so much social and economic information buried in a census. There’s a column recording the number of rooms with windows in a house, and of course that’s a wonderful thing, because it tells you so much about living conditions.  One of the exercises I do, is to take people from an 1861 Census, through all the [published] censuses, and up to the present day with a Google Maps aerial shot, and there’s the house, and  you can see exactly the number of rooms it has.

Then helping people navigate in the LDS Library, and showing them a few “secret places.”

 

FF: What can people expect to take away with them, if they attend your course?

BD: It’s going to focus on how to find people, how to find places, and how to find inheritance records – and that’s a particularly interesting one.

FF: Do you have any good stories from inheritance records?

BD: Yes, quite a lot of the work that comes in to me, starts with a story that the house and land should have come down to my side of the family, but it went to the other lot, can we get it back?  I always, always say to them from the beginning, there’s nothing and never was, just trust me on that one, but I’m happy to spend your money, finding out, and proving it to you.  (laughs)

The best story I know was similar to the caseof  Jarndyce vs Jarndyce , where the side of the family that *did*inherit the money, spent most of it fending off legal battles from the other side, so that by the time they got to the end of it, and it was clear that [title] was right, there was nothing left. And the only real property had been vested in one of the daughters, who was to stay in it as a life-renter until she married or died.  She decided not to do the first, and didn’t do the second for a very long time.  She outlived even some of her grand nieces and nephews, so at the end of it, there was absolutely nothing.

 

FF: Are there any peculiarities about land law in Scotland?

BD: Yes, Scotland was a feudal country until 2004, nobody owned land, it was all owned by the crown, and then there was a chain of heritable possession beneath that.  So until recently, it was possible to trace land possession through this chain because every time land was sold or passed on after a death, there’s a piece of paper that tells us this, and this is where the Retours come from, and incredibly recondite system that generates a piece of paper every time the land changes hands, for 300 years. It made searching an absolute joy, because all changes had to be registered.

 

FF: So, any parting words.

BD: Seek and ye shall find.  Seek badly and ye shall find rubbish, false connections, unsupported assertions and outright fabrications.


[1] To define groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics and giving names to those groups.

Research Tip of The Week!

The search for a birth certificate online.

I have recently been researching a family that lived on Inishbofin, not the island off the Galway coast but a smaller one off the coast of Donegal. I had located the family in the 1901 and 1911 Census and was now interested in finding a birth certificate for one member of the family. I knew the person of interest was born in ca. 1877 and I know his parents’ names. I could find two civil birth registrations in 1877 for the same name registered in Dunfanaghy district on the Findmypast website, so which one is correct?  There is sometimes a way to narrow down options when you have more than one certificate to call up at the General Register Office. The FamilySearch website under its record section ‘Ireland Births and Baptisms, 1620-1881’ details many civil births registered after 1864 giving not only the volume and page number and location of birth but also the parents’ names.  When I used this facility I was able to eliminate one of the entries I had found on Findmypast as the parents’ names were incorrect. So that’s four euro saved!

By, Expert Researcher

Helen Moss,tom-cruise

 

ENECLANN ARE HIRING!

 

Digital Imaging/Digital Publications:

Full Time/Permanent Position.

Eneclann are looking for a dynamic and hard working individual to join their Publications and Digital Imaging team. The role will involve the quality control of high quality digital images, as well as the creation of digital publications. The ideal candidate will have an extraordinary attention to detail, patience, ability to work as part of a team, and be computer proficient.

A knowledge of digitisation processes, image formats and specifications, as well as PDF work would be preferable. An interest in Irish History would be useful also.

Full training will be provided.

 

Salary will begin in the range of €20,000 – €30,000.

 

Please email your CV and cover letter to Paul at epubs@eneclann.ie by May 31st.

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Expert workshops for CPD in May

Our Sixth Guest Speaker will be Willie Nolan

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Willie Nolan is an historical geographer and was formerly an associate professor in the Department of Geography, UCD. He taught geography at UCG in the 1970s where a colleague in Sociology was Michael D. Higgins. He lectured for some 14 years at Our Lady of Mercy, College of Education-better known as Carysfort College, where a colleague in the English Department was the late Nobel Laureate,Seamus Heaney. Now retired, Willie and his wife,Teresa, run a small publishing company, Geography Publications, which specialises in regional studies and biography. Its major project is the respected Irish County: History and Society series, which to date has 23 volumes published. Willie is the series editor. He has also published extensively in the field of Irish Studies.

Willie’s talk is entitled:

“A lifetime [re-]searching”

The lecture will attempt to assess developments in research methodology in local studies with special reference to Willie’s own work in the fields of historical geography and cultural/political history. Among the areas of interest will be archival sources in general; manuscript records; newspapers in Ireland and America. The lecture will be illustrated.

Date: Thursday 14th May

Time: 3.pm-4.30pm

Location: Seminar Room, National Library of Ireland.

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Trinity College Dublin welcomes

Australian Seminar Night

with

Richard Reid and Perry McIntyre

 

Speaker 1:  Richard Reid.

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Irish born and educated Dr Richard Reid worked for more than 40 years as a high school teacher, museum educator, historian and museum curator. Thirty of those years were spent in Canberra, Australia’s capital, working for institutions such as the Australian War Memorial, the National Museum of Australia, the Senate and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. In 1993 Richard was the Australian War Memorial’s Executive Officer on the project which returned the remains of an unknown Australian soldier from France to Canberra for reburial in the Memorial’s Hall of Memory. Between 2008 and 2001 he was the Senior Curator for the National Museum’s exhibition on the Irish in Australia – ‘Not just Ned’. Richard has written widely on the subject of Australia at war and of the story of the Irish in Australia, and in relation to both those subjects has led tours to Ireland, the old Western Front in France and Belgium, and to Gallipoli. Recently retired from the Australian Public service he is still involved in a major archaeological and historical survey of the Anzac area on the Gallipoli peninsula and various projects on the emigration of the Irish to Australia during the 19th century.

Among Richard’s publications are – ‘a decent set of girls – The Irish Famine orphans of the Thomas Arbuthnot, 1849-1850’(with Cheryl Mongan);Farewell my Children:Irish Assisted Emigration to Australia, 1848-1870; Bomber Command – Australians in World War II; Gallipoli 1915; Not Just Ned – a true history of the Irish in Australia; and Sinners, Saints and Settlers – a journey through Irish-Australia (with Brendon Kelson).

Richards talk is entitled:

‘Not Just Ned Kelly’:the true story of the Irish in Australia, 1788 to 2011

“Stop Australians in the street and ask them to name a prominent Irish person in Australian history and it’s a fair bet you’ll get the answer ‘Ned Kelly’. That’s quite surprising because the bould Ned was born in Australia! Such is the power of legend.

 In 2011 Richard Reid curated a major exhibition at the National Museum of Australia:‘Not Just Ned’. The exhibition set out to discover the contribution of Irish settlement to the development of Australia, and proved there was far more to Irish/Australia than the Kelly gang (although they stole the show).

So what was the Irish story in Australia? Come to this talk to find out”

Date: Wednesday, May 20th

Venue: Emmet Theatre, Trinity College.

Time: 6-8pm

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Speaker 2 : Perry McIntyre

Perry Mc

Perry McIntyre B.Sc., Dip.Ed., M.Litt., Dip. Local & Applied History, PhD.

Perry has worked as a genealogist, historian and archivist for over 30 years. She has been on the committees of History Council of NSW, Society of Australian Genealogists, Royal Australian Historical Society, Australian Catholic Historical Society and the Great Irish Famine Commemoration Committee (Chair 2012-15). She has published and spoken extensively on immigration and family history in Australia and Ireland. Her PhD on convict family reunion was published by IAP as Free Passage in 2010 and she is a director of Anchor Books Australia formed to publish good quality history, particularly relating to colonial Australia.

Perry’s talk is entitled:

‘The infernal villain will be sent away’

Convict case studies from the National Archives of Ireland, Dublin

The convict indents which survive in Australia can give us a wonderful glimpse into the trial, native place and personal details of a transported ancestor but in the National Archives of Ireland there is a wealth of documentation on the activities of men and women who came to the attention of the authorities because of their ‘criminal’ activities. For example, the man transported as a vagrant for seven years for singing ballads of the ‘most mischievous and evil tendencies’; the story behind the barbarous murder committed by three men who were executed and the appeals for recompense by the women who were witnesses or the story of a man who was so well-behaved on the Hulk at Dublin while he awaited transportation that his sentence was remitted. This historical and genealogical gold mine will be examined here”

Date:Wednesday, May 20th

Venue: Emmet Theatre, Trinity College.

Time: 6-8pm

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These are free ticketed events.

To apply for a ticket please email

expertworkshop@eneclann.ie

NEWS DIGEST

 

newsletter

 

  • Irish civil records to be published online, on the Irish Genealogy website.

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/genealogy-website-restores-access-to-records-1.2167965

  • Plans are afoot to create a new Irish Diaspora Centre in Dublin, as a visitor attraction

http://www.irishtimes.com/business/companies/former-coca-cola-chief-in-dublin-to-oversee-plans-for-epic-ireland-at-chq-1.2155120

  • An Irish American’s epic fight to ‘get even’ with Alzheimer’s

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/An-Irish-Americans-epic-fight-to-get-even-with-Alzheimers.html

  • Brian Mitchell writes about a branch of his family tree, and the final voyage of the Lusitania, in the Londonderry Sentinel.

On 7th May 1915  RMS Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-Boat, 11 miles off Cobh and inside the German-declared ‘zone of war,’ with loss of 1,195 lives, including those of 123 American citizens.
http://www.londonderrysentinel.co.uk/news/local-news/final-voyage-of-the-ill-fated-lusitania-1-6702508

2,400 Scotch American clansmen returned to Glasgow, via Derry!

They stopped off briefly in Derry, which was then a transatlantic hub, to disembark 500 American tourists!!

Anchor Line Express Service

The Anchor Line, from 1866 right through to 1939, operated its ‘American Express Passenger Service’ from Derry to New York. Their liners called at Moville, in the deeper waters of Lough Foyle, some 18 miles downstream from Londonderry, to pick up emigrants who were ferried from Derry in paddle tenders.

In those days Derry (like Shannon and Dublin today) was the hub of a transatlantic tourist trade.

For example, on Thursday 26 July 1928, Anchor Liners Transylvania and Caledonia arrived from New York and Boston within one hour of each other in Lough Foyle, bringing 2,400 Scottish Clansmen from America, destined for Glasgow, and a further party of 500 American tourists who disembarked to begin their holiday ‘to see the scenic beauties of the Emerald Isle.’

The Anchor Line’s tender Seamore ‘left Londonderry for Moville early in the day with a large party of officials, cinema, and Pressmen to meet the liners’ and ‘welcomed the clansmen in true Scottish style to accompaniment of pipes.’ One of the returning Clansmen was a brother of Sir Harry Lauder.

British Pathé video (duration 1 minute 7 seconds, no sound), dated 30 July 1928, survives of the returning ‘Scotch American clansmen’ on board the Caledonia, berthed in Glasgow, with title ‘“To dear old Scotland with my Ain Folk!” – Rousing reception at welcome home to 2,400 Scotch American Clansmen’ at http://www.britishpathe.com/video/to-dear-old-scotland-with-my-ain-folk/query/CROWDS.

RTE: Road to the Rising Event

 

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Will you be on the“Road To The Rising” this Easter Monday ?

Eneclann are delighted to be a part of this very exciting and action packed event on Easter Monday, 6th of April in the General Post Office on Dublin’s O’Connell Street.Step into history and experience sights and sounds of the capital in 1915.

This wonderful family event is completely free and will be running from 11am to 6pm on Dublin’s O’Connell street and is set to come alive with street theater,music and vintage attractions as RTE recreates the atmosphere of Ireland before the Easter rising.

You will find Eneclann in the GPO in the parcels office along with our partners findmypast and also Timeline Research and The National Library of Ireland. We will all be on hand on day to help you trace your Irish roots and discover your past.

Bring all the family and join RTE and Eneclann on “The Road to the Rising”

See you there!

ROAD TO RISING

Ask the Experts Free Live Q&A on Facebook.

 

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Date: February 20th

Time: 2pm- 5pm

Topic: Family History Research.

Location: Irish Central’s Facebook page.

Join Eneclann and our partners Findmypast over on Irish Central’s Facebook page on Friday February 20th from 2pm – 5pm where our expert researchers Fiona Fitzsimons ,Carmel Gilbride and Brian Donovan will be ready and waiting to answer any Family History research questions you have, If you have hit a brick wall in your family History research this is the perfect chance for you to get some free help from the top experts in the business.

Research Tip of the Week.

Social networking and the genealogist.

“For the times they are a changing”, Bob Dylan’s immortal words can be applied to many things, not least genealogical research in the digital world. The greater availability of records online and the surge in global interest in family history over the past decade has meant that never has there been as much genealogical information available to as many people.

While the “digital revolution” dramatically altered access to records, in many ways it didn’t alter the practice of genealogy to the same degree, records were still studied and mined for information in the same way. However, one aspect of the “digital revolution” which is truly changing the practice of genealogical research, is social networking.

Where in the past the genealogical researcher may have ploughed a lonely furrow, with the advent of social networking, new opportunities to engage with others ploughing similar furrows have been created. Blogs, family trees, message boards, etc. all offer new possibilities in terms of sharing information and advice.

Below are some tips on how to take your first steps in genealogical social networking.

Age is but a number - Many think of social networking as the preserve of the youth, but ‘silver surfers’ are one of the major growth groups in the sector. You’ll be amazed by how many of your contemporaries are already networking.

Do your research – As with anything to do with genealogy, it’s worth putting research in. Don’t simply join the largest networks or those marketed most actively at you. Seek out the groups and sites most relevant to your line of research. This can be done by focusing on a geographic location or family name.

Connect, like, follow - When you’ve identified the groups, organisations and sites that are relevant to your research, connect with them through your preferred medium (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, newsletter, etc). You’d be amazed how many are running events that could be of use to your research. One such example is Eneclann and FindMyPast’s “Ask the experts” Facebook Q&A events which are held during the year (Next event: Friday 20th February on Irish central’s Facebook page).

Be active not passive – When you find information of use in discussion groups or forums don’t just read it and move on, be brave, post a comment or if you don’t find what you’re looking for, start a discussion topic, you never know who might reply!

The genealogical landscape is no longer shaped by long straight furrows, but rather a criss-cross patchwork of intersecting research. Get out there and make some connections, you never know where it might lead, or who it might lead to.

 By Stephen Peirce

Expert Researcher at Eneclann.

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The Role of Romance in Family History

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Births and marriages are the stock in trade of genealogists. We spend our days in dusty archives, extracting information from these documents, seeking to learn more about our ancestors. On this Valentines weekend, it seems like a good time to press the pause button, and reflect on the human stories behind the documents.

In times past marriage was the cornerstone of family life. We can only imagine how much hope was invested in these marriages. With our historian’s hat, we know that pairings didn’t always begin in romance. Marriages of the wealthier in Irish society were often strategic alliances. For a strong farmer, his daughter’s choice of husband was a matter of careful vetting. A family’s land based wealth could not pass to an incapable, unreliable son-in-law.

By contrast, the poor had greater opportunity to marry for love. The more cynical amongst us might say these couples spent a lifetime repenting at their leisure.

For the team here at Eneclann, family and its history is our daily work. In some instances we certainly see the absence of romantic love. We uncover difficult stories of couples creating an unhappy family life. For some of the clients we work with, excavating family history is a sad affair, and certainly not the narrative of wine and roses.

Can we ever tell if our ancestor’s marriages were a love match? How can we get beyond the documents and ‘read ‘the story as correctly as we can. On this Valentine’s weekend, I like to remember what is known about my grandparent’s short marriage. My father’s mother – Margaret – was an ‘absent’ presence in our family history. Within weeks of giving birth to my father, Margaret died. Little concrete was known about her, and in fact for many years my family research project was labelled “Margaret Lost.” It seemed important to document anything I could find about her.

The search for my grandparent’s marriage certificate was one of my first forays to the General Register Office. I was surprised to learn from the marriage certificate that, although from the same village, they had not married in their parish church. It seems Margaret was in service and married in the church near her workplace. Wanting to make sure I had the correct record, I showed my father his parents’ marriage-certificate. To my surprise, he was overcome with emotion.

The church where my grandparents married, was, it seems, the same church that my grandfather brought his own son to, each and every Sunday of my father‘s childhood. As a young child, my father could not understand why his father chose to worship in this church some miles distant from their village home. Learning that his father had married in this church made a great deal of sense to my father. We realized that each Sunday, my grandfather was, in fact, making a pilgrimage back to church where he had married Margaret. Together with the fact that he never remarried makes me think that grandfather and Margaret’s union was indeed a love match. Oh, and the fact that Margaret did not bring a big farm to the family!

From our vantage point today, we hope that our ancestors were love matches. However, we know that in the past many marriages were based on the need for security and companionship. It’s probably true to say that many of our ancestors entered into marriage, hoping to build love on these foundations.

By Eneclann Research Expert,

Carmel Gilbride.carmel-gilbride

The Expert Workshops Return!

Our first guest speaker will be Catriona Crowe of the National Archives.

Catriona Crowe

Catriona Crowe is Head of Special Projects at the National Archives of Ireland. She is Manager of the Irish Census Online Project, which has placed the 1901 and 1911 censuses online free of charge over the last years. She is an Editor of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, which published its eighth volume, covering the period 1945-48, in November 2012. She is editor of Dublin 1911, published by the Royal Irish Academy in late 2011.

She is Honorary President of the Irish Labour History Society, and a former President of the Women’s History Association.  She is Chairperson of the Irish Theatre Institute, which promotes and supports Irish theatre and has created an award-winning website of Irish theatre productions. She is Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Limerick. She is a member of the Royal Irish Academy.

Catriona will be giving a talk on:

Online genealogical resources: what the National Archives has in store in 2015.

 Time:2.30pm,12th of February.

Location:National Archives Boardroom.

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Our second guest speaker will be Mary Cahill

Mary Cahill

Mary Cahill is a professional Trainer, designing and delivering information technology courses to private and public sector clients for over 15 years.  She caters for all levels from basic to advanced users of application software.

Mary has had an interest in genealogy for many years and completed the certificate course in Family History at UCD in 2012. She has continued to enhance her knowledge by conducting research on behalf of private clients.

Throughout her studies and research Mary was surprised by the extent of IT knowledge required by a professional genealogist and has frequently been called upon to assist her fellow genealogists in developing their skills.

Mary will be giving a talk on:

“Learn to love your computer again: how to get better results from the digital tools at your command.”

 Time: 2pm,14th of February.

Location: National Library of Ireland.

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