Tag Archives: Find my Past

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.

Ireland’s World War One Dead: The legacy


My grandfather, Rickard Donovan, fought in the First World War. There is nothing unusual in this, hundreds of thousands of other people in this country have a relative who fought in that “war to end all wars”. What is extraordinary is the lack of interest, and the widespread ignorance about Ireland’s part in that war.

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Brian Donovan, Director of Eneclann.

People are at a loss to know how to remember or even commemorate, and what they should remember or commemorate. Naturally many people here have no desire to engage in the sort of glorification of imperial military engagements across the planet. They have no desire to wear the official British Legion poppies that adorn all commentators, politicians and TV presenters across the water. Why would you wear something that is intended to raise funds for an army who fought against us during the war of independence, or were responsible for more recent horrors in the north? In short most of us have no interest in “celebrating” militarism or engaging in any form of British national patriotism.
But the fact remains that over 240,000 Irishmen fought in the war. Moreover up to 49,000 of them died as a consequence. The sheer scale of this tragedy is hard to comprehend. These numbers are 10 times more than the casualties of the “troubles” that afflicted our island for 30 years, and concentrated over a much shorter time span. The extent of personal loss, the permanent scar left on families up and down the country was profound. It is difficult to imagine as we have never seen anything like this in living memory. But it can only have been made worse by the state sponsored amnesia that existed. It was not that the dead or injured didn’t officially exist. They did, its just the general view was that it was of no significance or relevance. That’s an awful way to treat the victims of this European calamity. We have been paralysed in our treatment of the war by the fact they fought (mostly) in British uniform. Given that Ireland was still part of the UK at the time, we should not be surprised.

The first time the Irish government officially marked the deaths of the war was in January 2005 when at the War Memorial gardens in Islandbridge the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, John O’Donoghue TD, launched a DVD publication by Eneclann of Ireland’s War Memorial Records, a republication of the exceptionally rare 8 volume work which documented those Irish soldiers who died. The Minister made two important points during the launch, which to this day reflect the government’s general view. Firstly he maintained the fiction that the dead were mostly from the north, and that the government was trying to reach out to Unionist opinion by commemorating their dead. Secondly, he remarked that while he recognised their pain, his loyalty was to the men who were imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol following 1916. The two were treated as mutually exclusive.
It may be seen as a progressive development that our government has finally recognised the special suffering of the Unionist community by marking the battle of the Somme and the War in general, but that is just perpetuating a myth. The 8 volumes mentioned above record more than 49,000 deaths. Many of these were not born in Ireland, but were of Irish parentage or viewed themselves as part of the diaspora. There have been quite a few commentators who have tried to argue that we should exclude those people as not really Irish at all (a rather difficult position to maintain in light of our current appeal to the diaspora!). But even if we just include the 31,000 who give a place of birth in Ireland, just 37% come from what is now Northern Ireland. True, it is proportionately higher than the rest of the country, but it remains that at least 19,000 people from the twenty-six counties died in the war. Of these, nearly 5,000 were from Dublin, more than 2,000 from Cork, over 1,000 from Tipperary, 754 from Galway, and so on. In fact the precise numbers who died are only now being tracked down comprehensively by scholars like Tom Burnell, John Kirwan and others. By ignoring the deaths from outside Northern Ireland we have allowed Unionists to portray WW1 as exclusively their history. It is not.

It is also a fallacy and utterly a-historical to posit WW1 against the 1916 rebellion or the war of independence which followed. In fact the war was an important part of that story. Not only was the campaign against conscription in Ireland in 1918 a key driver in the campaign for independence, many of the central military figures who fought for independence were veterans of WW1 like Tom Barry or Emmet Dalton. Arguably the very success of their guerrilla war stemmed from their real military experience, and their ability to train volunteers effectively because of it. Many more Irishmen might have fought beside them for Irish independence but lay dead in one battle or other across Europe. So when Irish nationalists in the past referred to veterans as “mercenaries” or “national traitors” they simply show their own historical ignorance.

It is high time that Ireland starts to remember the dead of WW1 as part of our story. We don’t need to follow the imperial jingoism of our neighbours in Britain, France and elsewhere. Perhaps we can best commemorate the Irish war dead of WWI by a public reflection of the horror of war and the danger when militarism is fused with nationalist ideology, or maybe our opposition to imperialism and the cost of Empire in human lives? English, German, French, Turkish, Indian, Armenian, Russian, African, American and Irish men were slaughtered in their millions over a few short years a century ago. They deserve to be remembered.

Brian Donovan is CEO of Eneclann Ltd. and Business Development Director of findmypast Ireland


You can also view the edited versions of these articles in The Independent.ie

“It’s high time we honoured war dead as part of our story”

Eneclann’s latest Newsletter 28/02/2014

Eneclann Newsletter

In this issue:

Who Do you Think You are? Live 2014.

Irish Family Census Records

UCC Irish Genealogy Summer School 2014

Research Tip of The Week



Dear Eneclann customer,

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2014

Every year Attendees put their family history in the hands of genealogy experts at Who Do You Think You Are? Live in the Olympia London, and of course Eneclann were there to help you understand and find whatever jigsaw pieces you were missing to uncover your family history. The enthusiasm from all the attendees not to mention the exhibitors at the show was second to none, and we were delighted to have been apart of this unique opportunity to offer our Irish Genealogy and History Research services to all. Have a look at some images from the show on our facebook page by clicking on the image above.


WDYTYA Live London 2014 Talks

On Thursday afternoon, Eneclann’s own Fiona Fitzsimons gave a talk on ‘Tracing records of children in care in Ireland 1840s to 1990s.This paper draws on Fiona’s own experience since 1996, working to trace records of children orphaned or otherwise separated from their parents, and raised outside their family.”The information in this talk is intended to be used as a ‘road-map’ for anyone tracing their own record, or the record of an immediate family member, including grandparents and even great-grandparents.”The talk was attended by a small but beautifully formed audience of 40 strong, and interest was such that Fiona was still answering questions an hour after she finished speaking.On Thursday and Friday afternoon of the show, Fiona did some very enjoyable sessions as the Irish expert for the Society of Genealogists.

Eneclann’s Brian Donovan also gave a talk on “Researching Irish Family History Online”. This paper gave an overview of all projects, both private and state funded, to publish Irish records online. There has been a digital revolution in Irish genealogy over the last ten years, but what has been done? And what needs to be done? This talk focused on three issues.Firstly, the background to digitisation in Ireland, and the reasons for the slow pace of development in the past.Secondly, an overview of the major projects in Ireland or abroad dealing with Irish records, and lastly, the options for future progress, and how the genealogical community abroad can help us in Ireland.Brian spent much of his talk focusing on the work of our joint-venture partners findmypast, who have brought so many new records online over the last three years, and gave a sneak peek at what is due for release this year.
Brian also gave two talks on the  findmypast stand entitled “The Irish record collection at findmypast” which gave a beginners overview of the rich resources available there.

     Here are some sneak peek images of records series due for release on findmypast within the next 6 weeks.

1821 Census: Townland of Inisheer,  Aran Islands, Co.Galway

1831 Census: Parish of Ballyscullion, Co. Londonderry

VO House Books: Townland of Killina , Co. Offaly


Irish Genealogy Summer School at Cork University 2014.

There’s a terrific line up of speakers at this years UCC Irish Genealogy Summer School, including Eneclann’s very own, Fiona Fitzsimons and Brian Donovan.

Other experts include Eileen O’Duill, Paul McCotter,Hilary McDonagh,Maeve Mullin and Kyle Betit.

The Summer school is open for online booking see,


Anyone interested can also contact Lorna Moloney directly at


Click on the image below to see the full Timetable of Events.



Research Tip of the Week!

Family names in Ireland can sometimes vary between records.
What at first glance may appear to be a separate and distinct individual, may in fact be the same person recorded by a variant of their family name.
In the last week alone I found a Mary Mulderg who was also recorded in the parish registers as Reddington – the common denominator being the Irish word ‘dearg’ i.e. ‘red.’
When in doubt consult the oracle: McLysaght’s Surnames of Ireland is an excellent guide.

Best wishes, The Eneclann Team

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Eneclann’s weekend at “Who Do You Think You Are? Live” 2014

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Every Year Attendees put their family history in the hands of genealogy experts at Who Do You Think You Are? Live in the Olympia London, and of course Eneclann were there to help you understand and find whatever jigsaw puzzle you were missing to uncover your family history. The enthusiasm from all the attendees not to mention the exhibitors at the show was second to none, and we were delighted to have been apart of this unique opportunity to offer our Irish Genealogy and History Research services to all. Have a look at some images from the show on our facebook page by clicking on the image above,

 don’t forget to like our facebook page and feel free to leave a comment if you spot yourself .

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2014

Eneclann are looking forward to attending Who Do you think you are ? Live  at the Olympia in London from 20th-22nd February.

Our Research Expert, Fiona Fitzsimons, gives a talk on “Orphans, foundlings and outcast: Irish records of Children in care” ca. 1840’4 to 1952 at 12.15pm  on Thursday 20th February, while Brian delivers “Researching Irish Family History Online” at 3.15pm on Saturday 22nd February.WDYTYA_live

Brian also delivers talks on “Irish record Collections of Find my Past” at 3.15pm on Friday 21st  and 12.15pm on Saturday 22nd.

You will find us at stand 544, where we will be waiting to show you all the latest family history findings from Tom Cruise’s Irish Ancestry to President Barack Obama’s Irish links and so much more.

Fiona will also be part of the “Ask the experts” panel on
Thursday the 20th form 4-5.30pm and Friday the 21st from 12-2pm at the Olympia.

see you there.

Find out more about Who Do You Think You Are? Live here