Tag Archives: Family history research

News Digest


  • Catholic parish registers in Ireland from 1740’s on now published online:


  • Chicago May: The Irish queen of crooks:


  • Celebration of Irish who built the world’s major cities comes to New York and Chicago (VIDEO):


  • Rare 1880s photo captures Achill women breaking stones:


  • A century of Irish history goes online in posters, pamphlets and diaries:


  • Release of listing of 2,558 veterans of Easter Week 1916 with recognised military service. The list of names and addresses can be downloaded:


  • The best medieval statue in Ireland is 8ft tall and in a ruined church in Kilkenny:


Expert workshops for CPD in May

Our Sixth Guest Speaker will be Willie Nolan


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.


Trinity College Dublin welcomes

Australian Seminar Night


Richard Reid and Perry McIntyre


Speaker 1:  Richard Reid.

Richard small

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


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


These are free ticketed events.

To apply for a ticket please email


The Role of Romance in Family History

vday image

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.


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.



British Institute.

Eneclann’s Fiona Fitzsimons will be teaching at the 15th annual British Institute in Salt Lake City in Sept 2015. Fiona will be accompanied by some of the best known genealogists in the discipline, including Else Churchill and Bruce Durie. Have a look at the details of the event in full here.

British talk 1


bristh talk 2

Twentyx20 talks reviews

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.IMG_8395

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.rev p

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.

Brian Mitchel  blog image

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.

By comparing genealogies with the contemporary records, it’s possible to document the rise and fall of dynasties and clans over time.Lorna blog image

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.aoife's blog image

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

paul blog

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

else blogElsa Churchill demonstrated a deep knowledge of her sources, and an absolute mastery of her subject – finding the Irish poor in London in the 1800s.

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

audrey collins blog_______________________________________________

9. Hilary McDonagh, Ancestor Network,

Genealogy and sporting records-from sporting Laurels to Family Trees.

hilary blog


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

jacinta blog

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.”







Expert Workshops for Continuous Professional Development, have resumed again.

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.

Book Kay Image May 14

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 workshop@localhost


jack and jill foundation

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.

Free Lunch-time talks kick off at the National Library of Ireland

free talks brian

The Twentyx20 lunch times talks kick off tomorrow, with our very first expert speaker Brian Donovan, The talk will take place at 1.05pm in the National Library of Ireland and is free to anyone who would like to attend, Brian’s talk will be on “Delivering the digital revolution in Irish Family History”

We hope to see you there. 🙂


The Perfect End To Your Family Tree Research

We have teamed up with Tony Hennessy of Great Great Great Family Trees to offer you the perfect finishing touches to your family tree.

After we have researched your family tree and created a genealogical report for you or perhaps you have carried out your own genealogical investigations, why not let Tony Hennessy from “Great Great Great Family Trees” turn the findings into a handsome family tree. A simple, functional family tree can provide visual clarity to a densely populated report. A ‘presentation’ type family tree, which is ideal for framing, can be admired, cherished, shared and passed on. It also makes a very thoughtful gift for some one special.

Waterford Origins card rev1 b

Great Great Great Family Trees is run by Tony Hennessy, a professional genealogist. Tony creates bespoke family trees of every shape and size that, as well as fulfilling all the fundamental requirements of a family tree, are a visual treat and a joy to view. Just as every family is unique, Tony’s family trees are made-to-measure and therefore reflect that uniqueness. They may include for instance just two generations i.e. two parents and their children presented on an A4 sheet or they may include several hundred names on a chart stretching out to 3m / 10 ft or beyond.

A1 Tony Hennessy tree's


variables to be considered when designing your family tree

  • Type of Tree i.e. ancestor, descendant, hourglass, ancestor Plus etc.
  • No. of generations to include / No. of people to include / size of chart
  • Genealogical information to include i.e. occupations, residences, significant achievements, stories, acreage of land held in Griffiths/TAB, description of house from census etc.
  • Background – texture, photograph, map etc.
  • Photographs – portraits, family groups, buildings, scenery / village, items of interest e.g. medals, maps, heirlooms etc.
  • Quotation from poem or book.
  • Heraldic imagery where appropriate.

Budget costs for your tree

The following ‘ready reckoner’ allows a potential customer to calculate budget costs:

  • €8 per name for 1st 50 names
  • €6.50 per name for 2nd 50 names
  • €5 per name for additional names
  • €8 per photograph.
  • + Printing cost   + P&P

Printing costs

  • A3 with text:  €10 per print
  • A3 with text and photograph(s): €20 per print
  • A1 budget printing: €25 per print
  • A1 deluxe printing (on card with colourfast photo quality printing): €75 per print
  • Other sizes & costs available on request

Types of Family Tree:

There are 4 main types of family tree and each may have many variations in size, style, number of generations and inclusions amounting to an almost infinite number of possibilities.

1The descendent Tree

The Descendant Tree chart usually has the principal person or couple on the top of the chart with their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc. (and their spouses) fanning out generation by generation below. A simple descendant tree may show just two generations i.e. a couple and their children whereas a five-generation tree where each descendant has six children quickly grows to over two thousand descendants!

2. The Ancestor Tree

The Ancestor Tree chart has the principal person at the bottom and his/her direct ancestors only i.e. parents, grandparents, great-grandparents etc. spreading out from there. We each have sixteen great great grandparents (whether we can name them or not). The siblings of the principal person – who obviously share the same ancestors – are sometimes included in an ancestor tree.

3.The Hour Glass Tree

The hourglass tree is simply a combination of types 1 and 2 above.  It has the principal person or couple in the middle with their respective ancestors above and their shared descendants below.

4. The Ancestor Plus Tree

The Ancestor Plus Tree includes not only the direct ancestors of the principal person or couple but also the siblings of each ancestor.  This tree can be quite complex to construct but given that it includes all branches of the family the finished chart is guaranteed to be impressive.  Colour coding of generations maintains visual clarity.

A special present for a special occasion

Are you looking for a thoughtful present for a special person? Perhaps it’s Granny’s 80th birthday or Mum and Dad’s 40th wedding anniversary? A three or four generation Descendant Tree to include all the children and grandchildren – and with photos too – would be a unique and meaningful gift. And all the information needed i.e. Dates of birth etc. should already be known within the family – so no need for research online or in the archives.

Contact Tony at Great Great Great Family Trees

If that’s all a bit too much information to take in why not just drop Tony a line atwaterfordorigins@gmail.com to start the conversation and let him help with some of the decisions as it is what he does best and would love to hear from you.

Great Great Great Family Trees can be explored further on.www.waterfordorigins.com

A note to the Professional Genealogist

Family trees can be created to enhance a genealogical report where they can provide clarity and readability at a glance. They usually are A4 in height and can if required extend to c.3ft / 1 metre and are supplied folded. A full family genealogical report may be supplemented with four descendant trees (one for each branch) and one ancestor tree.

Waterford Origins card rev1 b

‘Virtually every town and village had someone who died in the war’


As John Meagher from TheIndependent.ie discovers, researchers here atEneclann are hard at work digitising the records of Ireland’s war dead so that they shall never be forgotten, Brian Donovan Eneclann Researcher and Director gives us his take on World War 1 and how “We owe it to these men who died in this war to ensure that their contribution isn’t written out of history” Read the full article here.

Brian Donovan of geanology and research company Eneclann


The offices of Eneclann are to be found in a non-descript building on busy Aungier Street inDublin‘s south inner city. Thousands walk by every day and have no idea that it is here that vitally important work to commemorate the Irish men who died in World War I is being conducted.

The genealogy and history research company has been digitising the records of all 49,000 from this island who perished in one of the most savage wars the world has ever seen.

The exhaustive project is being carried out alongside tech giantGoogle and the Belgian World War 1 museum, In Flanders’ Fields, which was named after the famous war poem from Canadian lieutenant colonelJohn McCrae.

Brian Donovan, the historian who established Eneclann with his wife Fiona Fitzsimons in 1998, says the painstaking work has brought home to him the enormous scale of the carnage.

“In one month alone, July 1916, more Irish – some 4,669 people – were killed than during the 40-odd history of the Troubles,” he says. “That is not to diminish the horrors of The Troubles, but it gives a sense of the enormous numbers of Irish men who lost their lives. Could you imagine that number of Irish people dying in a single month in 2014? There would be uproar.”

Spend even a short time with theTrinity College history graduate and one gets the sense of a man who is anxious that Ireland’s war dead be given their due once and for all.

“For too long, their contribution was forgotten about in this country, or swept under the carpet, because it did not fit with the republican narrative,” he says. “And yet, there wasn’t a single family in the aftermath of the war that hadn’t lost a son or knew someone who lost a son.

“Those who did survive returned to an Ireland that was either uninterested in their experience or simply not able to understand just what they had been through. Some faced open hostility due to a perceived notion that they had been unpatriotic. It is only in more recent times that their bravery has finally been acknowledged.”

Brian Donovan’s grandfather was one of an estimated 200,000 Irish men who fought in World War I. “His name was Rickard Donoghue and he survived the conflict. He was a submarine officer and I often think about the cramped, dangerous conditions he would have had to work in. Submarines were so new and crude back then.

“He died in 1952 when he was 54 years old. Like so many Irish men, he was very young in the First World War. You had to grow up quickly back then – it wasn’t uncommon to be a commander on a submarine by the age of 18.”

The tragedy of war is heightened by the fact that it’s predominately slugged out between young men on both sides of the conflict, and World War I was no different. Boys as young as 14 were permitted to join the British army.

“When you analyse the ages of the Irish who died, you’ll see that most were in their 20s but almost one in five were teenagers,” he says. “The youngest Irish soldier to perish was just 15. He was Lance Corporal Charles Brown, who was from my neck of the woods – Ferns in Co Wexford.”

For most of the Irish, the war was fought on land – with many experiencing the attritional nightmare of the trenches in France andBelgium. It is no surprise that the month mentioned by Donovan – July 1916 – coincides with the Somme, still one of the most savage battles in history. And it’s likely that most of those 4,669 Irish soldiers died in the trenches there.

Eneclann – which is an ancient Irish word concerning the price of one’s reputation – used as its source material the eight volumes of a 1923 book, ‘Ireland’s Memorial Records’, which collected the names of all the Irish who were killed in World War 1 and numbers around 3,000 pages.

Commissioned by Field-Marshall Sir John French, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1919-1922) and honoured by the British as the First Earl of Ypres, the leather-bound volumes were lavishly illustrated by Harry Clarke, who is best known as Ireland’s most significant stained glass artist.

Today, copies are housed in the small book rooms at the National War Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge inDublin and can be viewed by appointment through theOffice of Public Works. The digitisation project from Eneclann, Google and the In Flanders Museum will ensure that the resource can be accessed by all online.

Incidentally, the War Memorial Gardens had been allowed to fall into ruin for much of the 20th century, but have subsequently been beautifully restored. The location was a pivotal stop during the visit ofQueen Elizabeth here in 2011. Its changing fortunes, Donovan believes, has been something of a microcosm about how old perceptions of Irish involvement in the war have faded or been revised.

A newfound appreciation of the Irish contribution to the war effort arrived as late as 2006, with events to mark the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme taking place throughout Ireland. “1916 is obviously a very significant year in Irish history,” Donovan says, “but not just for the events in Dublin that Easter.”

Over the years, Donovan has encountered several erroneous statements concerning World War I passed off as fact – chief among them, the notion that most Irish soldiers were unionists from the northern part of the country. “It used to be said that most of those who died were from what’s nowNorthern Ireland, but that wasn’t the case at all,” he says. “Every single county in Ireland had a significant number of casualties, with places like Cork (2,244 dead) particularly hard hit.”

The data that Eneclann has gathered makes a mockery out of the suggestion that World War I affected northern counties more than southern ones. For example, 1,050 Tipperary men perished in the war, and roughly the same number – 1,059 – were from Tyrone.

To put the scale of those figures into context, the 1911 Census shows that there were 152,000 people residing in Tipperary – and, to extrapolate from that, one in every 76 men from the county were killed on foreign fields between 1914 and 1918.

County Dublin, with 4,918 dead, had the highest number of fatalities after Antrim (which accounts forBelfast – then almost as populous as Dublin city) but even a county as sparsely populated as Leitrim had its own significant death toll too (250).

“Virtually every town and village in Ireland had someone who died,” Donovan says. “Its reach was immense. We owe it to these men to ensure that their contribution isn’t written out of history.

“There will be many significant centenary events commemorated in Ireland this decade – and the 1910s was a remarkably momentous time – but it’s essential that those Irish people who fought, and died, in the Great War are not forgotten.”

It is hoped that the project will be fully digitised by the end of 2014.

 Irish Independent Supplement