Fellows of the Irish Genealogical Research Society
The IGRS describes an award of Fellowship as a “distinction granted to members and others who have performed outstanding services for the IGRS, contributed by their scholarship to the advancement of Irish genealogical studies, and/or encouraged the sharing of historical knowledge and documentation for the benefit of people in Ireland or who are of Irish descent.” Such is the stringent criteria for consideration for Fellowship that since the IGRS was founded in 1936 less than 90 names had been placed upon the roll up to the time the Society celebrated its 75th anniversary 2011.
An alphabetical list of the Fellows is given below. To find out more about each Fellow, click on the surname to be taken to a citation or other details of the individual. Please note that each citation was written at the time of the award of Fellowship to the individual but some were updated in 2013 or after to reflect subsequent achievements and recognition.
► Acton, J A 1997
► Barnwall, Rev S B 1970
► Begley, Donal F 1997
► Bellhouse, Lindsay 2009
► Blackall, Sir Henry 1969
► Blake, Philip Haslewood 1987
► Blakeny, Major Herbert de Courcy 1938
► Blunden, Dermot Michael 1987
► Bredin, Robert 2001
► Butler, Patrick Theobald Tower 1983
► Butler, Theobald Blake 1945
► Cantwell, Brian J 1978
► Casteleyn, Mary T 1986
► Chamney, Dr Anne Rosemary 2001
► Chartres, Thomas George 1976
► Clare, Rev Wallace George 1937
► Clarke, Prof Richard S J 2001
► Clayton, Linda 2014
► Clifford, Andrew J 1995
► Coleby, Rosemary Melian E 2005
► Davidson-Houston, Lt-Col W E C 1955
► Denham, Charles H 1937
► Disney, Group Captain Hugh Anthony Shipley 1997
► Drought, Major J J 1945
► Durie, Dr David John Bruce 2011
► Eakin, Terry 2012
► Egan, John 2001
► Egan, Michael J S 1991
► Ellis, Eilish 1997
► Fanning, Arthur G 1976
► ffeary-Smyrl, Steven C 2007
► FitzGerald, Dr Richard T D 1957
► ffolliott, Rosemary 1966
► Findlay, Robin McNee 1996
► Flatman, Richard M 1992
► French, Frances-Jane 1996
► Gallwey, Lt-Col Hubert D 1970
► Garland, John L 1986
► Gegan, Walter George 1945
► Gill, Randal 2011
► Glin, The Knight of 1989
► Goodall, Sir David 1978
► Gorry, Paul 2005
► Grey, Edward Stewart 1938
► Greeves, Lt-Col J R H 1970
► Grenham, John 2007
► Guerin, Dr Thomas 1949
► Heard, Stawell St Leger 2005
► Heffernan, Major Patrick 1945
► Hennessey, Graham H 1987
► Johnson, Keith A 1987
► Kelly, Zita A 1991
► Lambert, Guy W 1970
► Leader, Michael Edward Basil 1960
► Lonergan, Sister Margaret Philomena 2001
► Mac Conghail, Máire 2005
► MacLysaght, Edward 1966
► Magan, Brigadier William Morgan Tilson 1997
► Manning, Peter 1987
► Manning, Philip Stanley 2003
► McAleese, Mary, President of Ireland 2011
► McAuliffe, Eric J 1972
► MccGwire, Lt-Col J E 1938
► McCutcheon, Roz 1996
► McDowell, Henry 1989
► Moran, Thomas Whitley 1974
► Morris, Dr Henry F 1981
► Morton, Marilyn Miller 1990
► Nicholls, Kenneth W 1978
► Nugent, Oliver 1981
► O’Brien, Donough 1945
► O’Brien, Ivar 1987
► O’Byrne, Eileen 2005
► O’Connell, Basil 2005
► O’Ferrall, Edward More 1980
► Payton, Frank B 1987
► Poer de la, Nigel K 1994
► Preston, Professor Thomas A 1997
► Punch, Dr Terrence Michael 2009
► Quirke, Dr Therence Thomas 2003
► Reddan, Richard Nicholas (Nick) 2006
► Rencher, David E 2006
► Richards, Dr Christopher 2009
► Rosbottom, Lorna Gwynfa 1971
► Smythe-Wood, I Alistair (Patrick) 1983
► Santry, Claire 2013
► Spearman, Charles R 1981
► Toppin, Aubrey J 1945
► Walton, Julian C 1975
► Ward, Cyril Gordon 2003
► Williams, Jill 2013
► Wilson, Dr Lorton A 1949
AM FSG FRAHS
Keith Johnson has been elected a Fellow of the Society in recognition of his long and distinguished career in genealogy, during which time he has been to the forefront of developments in the field in Australia. Keith became active in history and genealogy circles in the early 1960s, joining the Royal Australian Historical Society (RAHS) and the Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG). Subsequently, he joined the IGRS in 1983.
Since 1980 he has been involved in publishing, originally in print but more recently online. His first significant publication was the Census of New South Wales, November 1828, which he edited with Malcolm Sainty. In partnership with Malcolm, he founded the Australian Biographical & Genealogical Record (ABGR) in 1982, an ambitious project to build a biographical database of everyone born or arriving in Australia from 1788 to 1900 (including Aboriginal people). Through the ABGR they published various muster lists for the early colonies in Australia. In 2006 they set up the Biographical Database of Australia (BDA), a non-profit project, now online, which continues the work of the ABGR. Keith is Vice-President of the BDA Board.
Over a period of a quarter century, the work for which Keith (working with Malcolm Sainty) has been most widely known internationally is the editing of the annual Genealogical Research Directory. Published from 1981 to 2007, the GRD provided an opportunity for family historians to connect with others throughout the world with shared research interests. In genealogy circles, before the internet made such contact possible in different ways, the GRD was unrivalled.
Keith’s long and distinguished career in genealogy has been acknowledged through various prestigious honours. He is a Fellow of both the RAHS and the SAG, as well as the Society of Genealogists (London). In 2003 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). In 2006 he and Malcolm Sainty were awarded the Annual History Citation from the History Council of New South Wales “for outstanding achievement and contribution to history and genealogy in Australia for over forty years”.
He is the 92nd person to have been honoured with the Fellowship of the IGRS in its 84-year history. He is the sixth Australasian (and fifth Australian) to be so elected, following Andrew Clifford (New Zealand, 1995), Rosemary Coleby (2005), Nick Reddan (2006), Lindsay Bellhouse (2009) and Terry Eakin (2012).
Linda Clayton has no Irish ancestors at all. However, her interest in genealogy led her to undertake research in the later 1990s for her Irish friends which in turn encouraged her to undertake the UCD Diploma course in genealogy, taught by Sean Murphy MA. After completing the course in 1999, Linda began to work as a professional genealogist. It was then that she joined the IGRS.
For her diploma, her final year’s research project comprised the construction of a database for pre-1864 applications to the Trust Fund of Thomas Charleton (the collection documents the marriages of the children of day labourers in County Meath and notes important biographical details).
Having heard widely that Linda displayed a quite remarkable grasp for research she was offered a freelance position as a researcher with Massey & King, Ireland’s leading firm of probate genealogists, in 2002.
In the conduct of her work as a probate genealogist Linda has shown that she has a quite brilliant instinct and tenacity that has allowed her to solve what often appear to be impossible cases, successfully establishing the existence of kin where others have failed.
Possibly Linda’s greatest contribution to Irish genealogy is her generosity. Shortly after joining the IGRS she became the Ireland Branch Hon Secretary, serving ever since in that position with only a three-year break during the years 2005-2007. Her ability to juggle many tasks at one time was a significant part of the overall contribution which in recent years has reinvigorated the Society’s Ireland Branch.
Linda happily allowed her role as Hon Secretary to encompass convening meetings, taking and writing up minutes, following and implementing decisions, cajoling perspective speakers to agree to talk, compiling hand-outs and copying them, finding venues and, some years, organising most of the annual summer outing, always making sure the Chair was kept informed and consulted. For many years now Linda has been the public face of the Ireland Branch, the first point of contact.
If that wasn’t enough, Linda also agreed to take on the position of Hon Secretary of the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO). Her commitment to CIGO has been no less than that she has given over the years to the IGRS. Her impeccably organised administration has made the work of CIGO run far smoother than might have been the case.
All the more surprising is that Linda only joined the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland relatively recently, in 2010. When occasionally asked if she intended to apply for membership she would shyly say that she didn’t think she would “make the grade”. In fact, when Linda did eventually apply she was admitted on her first attempt, at which achievement, while it surprised none of those who knew her, she herself was amazed.
Linda is a member of the working committee which runs the UCD Certificate Genealogists’ Alumni Group and was a member of the committee that organised the 4th Irish Genealogical Congress, held in Trinity College Dublin in 2001.
Claire Santry has been awarded a Fellowship of the Irish Genealogical Research Society on account of her outstanding contribution to the promotion of the Society in the short time she has been on Council.
She joined Council immediately after the celebrations held for our 75th anniversary and set about producing the highly popular and interesting monthly e-bulletin which is now sent electronically to all IGRS members. In addition Claire took on the not inconsiderable tasks of marketing and promotion for the Society, which has helped to update and modernise the IGRS image. She has also been instrumental in designing and finalising the new IGRS website, and uploading much of the online data for the benefit of members. Her workload has been unremitting but has led to more frequent and greatly improved contact with the Society for the membership.
Claire is a full-time journalist and publishes Irish Genealogical News, an online Blog and Irish Genealogy Toolkit, a free online guide to Irish Family History research. (Revised 2014.)
BA, FCCA, HDipEd
Jill Williams was elected to the Council in October 2010. She brought with her boundless energy, enthusiasm and knowledge which she has unstintingly used for the benefit of the Society. Jill will frequently be found lecturing on behalf of the Society and also manning the IGRS library, now operating from the Society of Genealogists, and assisting visitors with their enquiries.
Jill’s special and outstanding talent is the success she has made of the IGRS Facebook page which has over 16,000 ‘likes’, and rising. The news items are updated, mainly on a daily basis, and include a very wide range of Irish topics and characters; in short, a huge variety of Irish related subjects. This is without doubt proving a great asset and has been instrumental in raising the modern profile of the Society to many who had never previously known of its existence. The rise in our membership can be partly attributed to the success of the IGRS Facebook page. (Revised 2016.)
Terry Eakin joined the IGRS in 2004 and has been a faithful friend to the Society ever since. A resident of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, his Eakin ancestors originated in the townland of Tirglassan, parish of Banagher, Co. Londonderry in the far north of Ireland. In New South Wales Andrew Eakin (grandfather) and his brother Matthew married sisters, colonial-born of co Tipperary parents (Winifred Bannon and John Ryan) of Holycross and Ballycahill, North Riding.
His interest in genealogy stretches back to 1982 when he was an early member of the Mount Isa Family History Society, shortly afterwards becoming a member of the Society of Australian Genealogists (SAG) in 1984. He soon joined a team compiling a microfiche index to monumental inscriptions, burial registers and newspaper cuttings for the Mount Isa, Cloncurry and Burketown districts of Queensland (where he was residing at the time), and which was subsequently published in 1987. Terry worked for Mount Isa Mines Pty Ltd from 1969 to 1997, when he retired.
In 1995, he published an Irish research guide entitled Notes on Genealogical Research in Ireland with Particular Reference to the nine Counties of Ulster, which was updated and republished in 1999. In November 1998, he launched a monthly newsletter distributed by email called All Ireland Sources Newsletter, which has proved to be very helpful in disseminating information worldwide about the myriad sources and census substitutes available to those researching in Irish genealogy.
Many such researchers have also benefitted from Terry’s work in meticulously transcribing and indexing published and unpublished Irish records. Worthy of particular note is his work on transcribed gravestone inscriptions and school records across the North of Ireland. Terry gathered more than 20 original school registers from co Londonderry and after indexing them, deposited the originals in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI). Disappointingly, at the time some early registers could not be found. However, he subsequently found a school register for Dee Street, Belfast, for sale in Sydney, NSW. Needless to say, he purchased the volume, had the contents microfiched and then donated the original register to PRONI, which closed the gap in the records for this school.
He has also given much time to projects transcribing the 1901 census of co Clare and co Tipperary, as well the 1911 census of Belfast City. In another project, now complete and published on CD-ROM by SAG, Terry inputted over 700 pages of the 1901 Index to Townlands of Ireland book with Dr Perry McIntyre, who co-edited this work with him.
More recently, Terry completed a database consolidating all the indexes to the National Archives of Ireland’s series of records known as the Census Search Forms. These forms generally relate to an applicant making a claim for the Old Age Pension (effective from 1909) and who needed to obtain proof of their age. Terry’s completed work is to be made available on the Internet by SAG and the UHF (Belfast). He has also recently finished his work on unofficial place names in Ulster, which he hopes to have published by the UHF.
He has compiled a database of locations of graveyards in all thirty-two counties of Ireland; this has not been published as data is constantly being added. His current project is to record all the unofficial or local place-names in Ireland as recorded on the 1 inch = 1 mile maps for all Ireland’s thirty-two counties. Subsequently, he hopes to repeat the exercise with reference to the 6 inch = 1 mile maps.
Terry has been very generous to the IGRS library, donating numerous books. We were particularly thankful to receive a number of the volumes of O’Keefe Cosh Mang etc in 2010 which allowed us to complete our set. The sixteen volumes which comprise the work of Albert E Casey (published 1952-1971) are a particularly valuable resource for anyone with roots in north-west Cork and co Kerry.
Terry Eakin has proved that, despite living on the other side of the world to Ireland, it is possible to make a very worthwhile and significant contribution to both the IGRS and to Irish genealogy in general.
Randal Gill (1946-2012)
Without doubt, Randal is recognised in Northern Irish genealogical circles as having made an immensely significant contribution to the development of Ulster genealogical knowledge and resources over the past four decades. In very simple terms, Randal Gill put genealogy on the map in Northern Ireland.
Randal had long held an interest in local history but his pursuit of family history began in 1967 when a cousin from Australia came to Northern Ireland; together, they began to research the family of Randal’s mother. This led to visits to Limerick for local research and then the old General Register Office in the Custom House, Dublin. He spent over 45 years researching the Gill family and compiled details of approximately 2,300 family members.
On 29 April 2012, only six months after receiving word of his Fellowship, Randal Gill died suddenly, aged only 66, in Belfast.
Randal had been an outstanding ambassador for genealogy across the north of Ireland for over forty years and was one of the founding and leading members of the North of Ireland Family History Society. He joined the IGRS in 1982 and had been a constant and loyal member ever since.
A Tribute to Randall was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 13 No 3.
Dr David John Bruce Durie
BSc, PhD, FLS, FSAScot, PgCert (AAS), FHEA
Bruce founded and managed the renowned Professional Postgraduate Genealogical Studies programme at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland – a unique online qualification route in genealogy, heraldry and palaeography up to Masters (MSc). Bruce is also well-known for his popular BBC radio programmes, including Digging Up Your Roots and A House With a Past as well as numerous books — his widely-acclaimed best-seller Scottish Genealogy (The History Press) was published in its 3rd edition in January 2013. Understanding Documents for Genealogy & Local History (The History Press) was also published in 2013.
A native of Fife, Scotland (where the Durie name started in 1261), he originally studied Medicine and was recognised as Scotland’s ‘most promising young neuroscientist’ by IBRO-UNESCO in 1977. He then had an academic career in biochemistry and neuropharmacology while also writing science and medical articles, chiefly for New Scientist, Pulse and BBC World Service, and subsequently held various senior university management roles in England and Scotland. After spells as Director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, Director of Eureka!, Halifax and Director of the Scottish University for Industry pilot project at Napier University, Edinburgh, he decided to concentrate on genealogical researches and writing. In 2005-06 he set up the Genealogical Studies programme at Strathclyde which now attracts around 100 postgraduate students a year from around the world (www.strath.ac.uk/genealogy). He and his team manage the Scottish Clan and Families DNA project (www.scottishdna.net).
A long-standing interest in Irish genealogy led Bruce to agree to take on the editorship of The Irish Genealogist in time for the 2006 issue (vol 12:1) and to spearhead the renovation of the IGRS website. He is also a committee member of the Heraldry Society of Scotland, Chair of the Ancestral Tourism Steering Group for Scotland and sennachid to the Chief of the Name and Arms of Durie.
LLB (Belfast), MA, LLD (hc Aberdeen, Belfast, Bristol, Chile, Delaware, Dublin, Edinburgh, Ewha, Harbin IT, Loyala Marymount, Manchester Metropolitan, Mount Holyoke College, Notre Dame, Nottingham, NUI, Otago, QLD, St John’s, St M, Shenzen, Surrey, Victoria UT, Villanova), DLITT (hc ULSTER), DHUML (hc Roch IT, San Francisco), DPHIL (hc DCU), FRSA, Hon FIEI, FRCPI (Hon), Hon FRCSI, Hon FFARCSI, Hon FRCPS Glasgow, Hon FFR (RCSI), Hon F Liverpool John Moores, Hon FUHI, Hon FCGI, Hon FAIT, MRIA, MCIL London
At a reception celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Society, Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, was presented with a decorated certificate, produced by The Genealogical Office, recording her election as a Fellow of the Society.
Dr Christopher Richards
MA, MB, ChB, MRCGP
Dr Christopher Richards joined the Society in 2000 and was elected Hon Treasurer in 2005. In this position, he has maintained the high standard expected from this post. He has kept a close contact with our auditors as well as with the Ireland Branch Treasurer, firstly with Richard Flatman and then with Edward Rowland. He has submitted regular reports to the Council giving detailed flow-charts on our income and expenditure. He remains an active member of the Council giving valuable views and suggestions on numerous topics. His interest in genealogy began after his mother died in 1997 and he realised that almost nothing was known about her ancestors. He discovered her antecedents in East Anglia, Wales and Scotland and her many Australian cousins before turning to his father’s family. On this side, he follows a long tradition of family historians that goes back to the early 19th century. Having checked the information about his Irish ancestors the Richards family to be found in Burke’s Irish Landed Gentry, 1912 edition, hoping to discover the sources used to compile it, he found a series of mistakes which were corrected in “Richards of Solsborough, Co. Wexford”, The Irish Genealogist Vol II no 2 (2003) page 106.
At present, he is much involved with the administrative side of genealogy. In addition to his duties as treasurer of the IGRS, he coordinates one of the FreeBMD syndicates working on digitizing the England and Wales GRO index.
Dr Terrence Michael Punch (died 11 April 2017)
CM (Order of Canada), DLitt, BA, BEd, DipJ, MA (Dalhousie), MA (Saint Mary’s), FRSAI, FRNSHS, FIGRS, CG(C)
The Irish Genealogical Research Society is delighted to announce the award of the Society’s Fellowship (FIGRS), on 3 Oct 2009, to Dr Terrence Michael Punch, who has been a well-known speaker, teacher and writer on genealogy and history for over thirty years. Terry joined the IGRS in 1959 and since then has always been a very regular contributor to the Society’s journal, The Irish Genealogist. He holds masters and doctoral degrees from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada. His thesis at Dalhousie University discussed the Irish adaptation to Halifax from 1815 to 1871. He has held the chair of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, the Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia, the Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes, and the Charitable Irish Society, is a Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland and a former trustee of the Public Archives of Nova Scotia. He is resident genealogist for CBC Maritime Noon, a live radio phone-in.
Amongst Terry’s numerous publications are: Irish Halifax: The Immigrant Generation, 1815-1859, Sons of Erin in Nova Scotia, Genealogical Research in Nova Scotia (4 editions), and four volumes of Erin’s Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada, 1761-1853. He edited The Genealogist’s Handbook for Atlantic Canada Research, and is a regular columnist in The Canadian History Magazine, Saltscapes and the Seniors’ Advocate, and has twice won awards for historical writing from the Canadian Authors Association. His latest book, Some Early Scots in Maritime Canada was launched in May 2011. In the 2011 New Year’s Honours List, he was appointed to the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour. The citation accompanying the award particularly notes “his contributions to the development and popularization of genealogy in the Atlantic provinces” of Canada.
Lindsay Bellhouse is a retired Australian-born schoolteacher of mathematics in England, Australia and the West Indies. He returned to England in 2001 and soon joined the Society to research his Irish Taaffe ancestors. Following requests by the Council for qualified assistance in the library, he quickly offered his services with very regular weekly attendances and became much involved with the sorting, cataloguing and shelving of books and manuscripts as these came back into the library with the progress of our scanning programme which had allowed more shelf space to become available.
He has been much appreciated by numerous members and visitors for his assistance and research, not only in the library but through our email facility. As a member of the Council his attendance has been very consistent, only excusing himself when stewarding at Lords Cricket Ground, or at other Middlesex commitments. His undertaking of the book-binding and repair programme for the Society has ensured that some of our most valuable, but damaged, books have been repaired to a high standard and returned to the library in as short a time as possible, all of this in his own time.
John Grenham is known in genealogical circles worldwide because of his landmark publication Tracing Your Irish Ancestors. He has been involved in genealogy since 1981, when he began work on the research panel of the Genealogical Office. He was a founder member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, and he has been an IGRS member for years. Having worked as a professional researcher for a decade, he became a project manager with the Irish Genealogical Project in 1991, remaining in that position until 1995. The first edition of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors was published in 1992. It has become the most widely used guidebook on Irish genealogy. A fourth edition appeared in 2012.
John’s other publications include: Clans and Families of Ireland (1995); Generations (1996); the chapter “The Genealogical Office and its Records” in The Genealogical Office (1999); and Grenham’s Irish Surnames (CD-ROM, 2003) as well as numerous articles in the magazine Your Family Tree. He also developed his own genealogical software: Grenham’s Irish Recordfinder. From 1998 – 2016, he ran the lrish Ancestors website in conjunction with the Irish Times. Most recently he was Genealogist-in-Residence at Dublin City Library and developed its database of mid-20th Century Dublin electoral lists, now sadly offline due to data protection issues. His lecture at the 2005 AGM of this Society on ‘Irish Genealogy on the Internet’ was well received. His own website hosts a useful series of databases, particularly strong on surname variants.
Steven C ffeary-Smyrl
Steven C ffeary-Smyrl has had a life-long interest in genealogy. As well as being one of the foremost Irish genealogists, he has been a tireless worker – for over two decades – for the IGRS Ireland Branch and for the Council of Irish Genealogical Organizations (CIGO).
He has been a professional genealogical researcher since the late 1980s, and a member of the IGRS since 1989. He was admitted to membership of the Accredited Genealogists Ireland Ireland (AGI) in 1991. Since 1995 he has been on the IGRS Ireland Branch committee, serving as Chairman twice, first in 2002-2005 and for the period 2009-2012. For much of that time, he was the driving force on the committee, organizing most of the branch’s events. His work for CIGO, of which he was chairman 2000-2002, has been of incalculable benefit to all organizations involved in Irish genealogical research, particularly in relation to the reform of civil registration legislation in recent years. In 2010 he was elected Chairman of the IGRS, promising to implement a modernisation project to improve the Society’s web presence, a move which has led to the membership roll increasing by several hundred to around 1,000 members. In 2012 he was elected President of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland.
He is author of Irish Methodists – Where Do I Start? (1999). With his AGI colleague Eileen O’Duill, he also wrote Irish Civil Registration – Where Do I Start? (2000). Steven is the leading authority on the records of Irish Dissenting Protestants and, in December 2009, his extensive research on the congregations and records of Protestant dissenters in Dublin was published under the title Dictionary of Dublin Dissent – Dublin’s Protestant Dissenting Meeting Houses 1660-1920. (Updated 2014.)
David E Rencher
BA, AG, CG, FUGA
David E Rencher, of Riverton, Utah, USA, is employed by the Family and Church History Department in Salt Lake City, where he is the Director of the Records and Information Division.
A professional genealogist since 1977, he is an Accredited GenealogistCM with ICAPGenSM in Ireland research and a Certified GenealogistSM with the Board for Certification of Genealogists®. He is the Irish course coordinator and instructor for the Samford University’s Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR) in Birmingham, Alabama. David graduated from Brigham Young University in 1980 with a BA in Family and Local History. He is a past-president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 1997-2000, a national genealogical society umbrella organization, a past-president of the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) 1993-1995 and a Fellow of that organization. He is also a vice-president of the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU).
He is currently serving as the Chair of the joint Federation of Genealogical Societies and National Genealogical Society committee for Record Preservation and Access and serves as a Director for the National Institute of Genealogical Research Alumni Association (NIGRAA), and Trustee for the Umpstead Jr and Elizabeth Jemima Philpott Rencher and the Winslow Farr Sr, Family Organizations.
Richard Nicholas (Nick) Reddan
MSc, GradDipStats, BEc
Nick Reddan was born and grew up in Queensland, Australia, and was of pre-separation stock on his mother’s side. His father proudly related his Irish heritage of the Reddan family coming from county Clare. From an early age, Nick was intrigued when his mother brought out a memorandum of William Swan Croker, her mother’s grandfather, which was stored in an old briefcase of photos. It mentioned associations with the Customs House in Dublin and a General Croker of India.
While recovering from appendicitis in Australia’s bicentennial year, Nick took up the challenge of determining how much of the memorandum was real and how much embellishment. These initial researches, aided by a lot of uncommon names, hooked him on genealogy. Over the following two decades, he has compiled and shared an immense amount of information about the Croker and related families gleaned from newspapers, deeds, books and manuscripts of various kinds. In addition, his trawling of old newspapers has provided many interesting and sometimes quirky insights into times past which have been shared through the Society’s newsletter.
Nick’s first degree was in mathematics but he retrained and ended up as an economist in the public service. Fortunate enough to have a few years in London in the early 1990s, Nick joined the IGRS and enjoyed learning from many of the stalwarts of the Society then active. Nick lives in Australia’s capital, Canberra, is married and has a daughter. His website has a lot of his personal genealogy together with his newspaper extracts and other transcriptions.
Nick also initiated and runs a project to produce a name index of the Registry of Deeds in Dublin.
Eileen O’Byrne (1922 – 2016)
Eileen O’Byrne has been involved in Irish genealogy, both professionally and in a voluntary capacity, for as long as anyone can remember. Over several decades, her lectures, her writings and her professional consultancy activities have put many, many hundreds of enquirers in her debt – not least those from home and abroad who have encountered her as a volunteer member of the Genealogy Service provided by the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland in the National Archives in Dublin.
Eileen has quite unselfishly shared her vast knowledge of Irish genealogy, and the sources through which to trace it, with many people over the years. She has spoken at numerous conferences and at every one of the Irish Genealogical Congresses. Her colleagues in Ireland regard her as the country’s most knowledgeable of present living genealogists.
Máire Mac Conghail
Máire Mac Conghail has been a member of the IGRS Council for several years, was chairperson of the Ireland Branch for many years and is currently President of Accredited Genealogists Ireland.
Her first involvement with genealogy was through the Genealogical Office’s panel of researchers in 1959. Over the past twenty years, she has given much of her time to both general and specific causes related to genealogy and the furtherance of public access to source material. This has been achieved through her membership of AGI, IGRS, IGL and the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO). Beyond this, she is a member of the statutory National Archives Advisory Council and, in 2005, was appointed to the new Board of the National Library of Ireland and is on the board’s Heraldry and Genealogy committee.
Paul Gorry is one of the best-known Irish genealogists in the world. He was a founding member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (AGI), and has served it in the capacity of executive council member, hon secretary (1988-91) and President (2006-2009). He initiated the establishment of the Irish Genealogical Congress (IGC) and guided its fortunes with enthusiasm, determination and drive throughout its existence (1991-2001). With IGRS Council member, Márie Mac Conghail, he was joint author of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors – one of the handiest, most realistic and helpful genealogical publications of recent times.
He began his professional career as a freelance researcher for the Genealogical Office, Dublin, in 1979. He joined the IGRS in the following year and has served on the committee of the Ireland branch. He founded the West Wicklow Historical Society (WWHS) and he was its Chairman in 1980-1981. Paul Gorry has written extensively on genealogical topics and lectured widely in Ireland, Britain, the USA and Australia.
Rosemary Melian E Coleby
Rosemary Melian E Coleby, an Australian by birth but with British nationality, gained her BSc studying languages at Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA. The daughter of a diplomat, she met her husband, Tony, when he was seconded from the Bank of England to the International Monetary Fund in the US capital. She was working next door as a secretary in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Her mother’s maiden name was Stawell and her grandfather emigrated from Cork to Australia. Her interest in Irish genealogy heightened in 1970 after giving her own unusual second forename of Melian to her daughter Lauren. She is still working on that Melian name and has discovered a 7th cousin with Cork connections who has also named his daughter Melian. It was the Cork interest that brought her into contact with the late Michael Leader, FIGRS, and Rosemary assumed the Herculean task of typing his wide-ranging researches into the county’s Church of Ireland parochial records.
She became Hon Secretary of the IGRS in 1999.
Stawell St Leger Heard (1942-2015)
Stawell St Leger Heard was a member of the executive council of the Society for many years and served as Hon Treasurer 2003-2005.
He was born in Dublin in 1942, the son of the late Eustace A H Heard, DPA (TCD), and his wife, Sheila, daughter of Dr Joseph Francis Duffy of Ballinasloe, co Galway. Stawell moved with his family to Wimbledon in 1955. His deep fascination in genealogy was inspired by his father, who was deeply involved with the subject. The Heard family lived in the Kinsale, co Cork, area for 300 years. The first of the Heard family to settle in Ireland was John Heard, who left Wiltshire in 1579 and married Mary, daughter of John Haines, Provost of Bandon, co Cork, where he settled and died in 1619. Sir Isaac Heard (1730-1822), who became Garter Principal King of Arms, was also descended from John Heard of Bandon.
Stawell was a retired Lloyd’s broker; married with three children and lived in Mayfield, East Sussex.
Cyril Gordon Ward
Cyril Gordon Ward was born the eldest son of Irish parents in Maguiresbridge, co Fermanagh. His father’s family came from Portarlington (then in Queen’s County) and his mother’s from Monkstown, co Dublin.
Educated at Elm Park in co Armagh, he gained a scholarship to St Columba’s College. Later he entered Trinity College, Dublin, where he became assistant organist to Dr Hewson in the college chapel. Gaining a moderatorship in Natural Science, he became the college’s seventh graduate in geography. BA, BSc, HdipEd, MA (1953).
In 1945, he began a career teaching in preparatory schools, first at Baymount and then at Aravon, Bray, where he was fortunate to have some promising pupils; one of these became an Irish ambassador, another a Fellow of All Souls College, and a third a Life Peer. While a classics master, he also taught geography and ran a Science Club. For a time, he was on the committee of the Geographical Society of Ireland.
To gain wider experience he moved to England, took a University of London course in meteorology and for a few years was a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society. After a three-year teaching spell at St Neots, Eversley, Hampshire, he moved to Lambrook school in Berkshire where he spent 20 years teaching Latin and geography and looking after junior cricket. He retired to live in Somerset, his wife’s county, where he has been elected vice-chairman of the Somerset Organists’ and Choirmasters’ Association. He is a foundation member and a vice-president of the Leprechaun Cricket Club.
His main retirement interest has been genealogy and, apart from his IGRS membership, he belongs to the Society of Genealogists and the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society. He has a basic knowledge of the Irish language and the old script. While attempting to trace his own ancestry from all directions, he is continuing to list his late father-in-law’s substantial collection of family photographs as well as transcribing the oldest letters of the Dublin Connor family and their relatives.
Many years ago, his father, the Rev E G Ward, made transcriptions of some parish registers which are now in the Library of the Representative Church Body in Dublin. In his father’s memory and in recognition of the IGRS fellowship he has been awarded, Cyril is presenting the IGRS library with a transcript (indexed by himself) of an old vestry book of Aghavea parish, co Fermanagh (the orginal is in PRONI). His father’s family thought they were Huguenot, but it now seems the line is English and is likely to have stemmed from a John Ward who settled in Portarlington in 1704. Cyril has an established descent from the son of an innkeeper who was a tenant farmer in the area around the year 1800.
On his mother’s side are a number of medical men traced back to a surgeon-apothecary of Scottish ancestry in Sligo in the mid-1700s. He has also found two Gaelic lines: Macnamara of Ayle (Slioght Donall Ballagh) and O’Kelly of Screen. Two Welsh lines, Evans of Kilereen and Matthews of Springvale, co Down, have also been traced, but so far only one Scottish one: Todd. His great-great-grandmother and her sister, from a Dublin Carey family, each married husbands named Betham who were Heralds. One of the Kelly family, Mrs Campbell, was Keeper of the Privy Purse to Princess Charlotte.
Dr Therence Thomas Quirke, Jr (1929 – 2016)
Therence Thomas Quirke was born in 1929 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. His mother was Anne L Mcllraith, a fourth-generation Canadian of Scottish descent. His father was born and raised in Brighton, Sussex, England, and his grandfather, Michael, was born in Limerick City, Ireland, son of Thomas Quirke and Catherine Morrissey of Clonmel, co Tipperary. Through this descent he acquired Irish citizenship.
He was raised in Illinois where his father was Professor of Geology at the University of Illinois. He followed into his father’s profession and received a Bachelor of Science degree in geology at that university and went on to earn Master’s and Doctor’s degrees in geology at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. After two years as Assistant Professor of Geology at the University of North Dakota he became a research and exploration geologist with the International Nickel Company of Canada, Ltd (latterly INCO Ltd) in northern Manitoba. In 1975 he returned to the United States as part of the head office for exploration in the States. He retired to Golden, Colorado, in 1990, just 25 miles west of Denver in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
In 1958, he started researching the genealogy of his mother’s Mcllraith line and published a compilation in 1989; subsequently he produced a genealogy of the Grace line (his paternal grandmother’s line) of East Sussex and the Goble line (his paternal great grandmother’s line) of the Rolvenden area of Kent.
Work on the Quirke line started in earnest in 1990 with research at the PRO into his great-grandfather, Thomas Quirke of Clonmel, ultimately a sergeant in the Kings 64th Regiment of Foot. He and his wife were stationed in Ireland, the British Isles, Jamaica and Nova Scotia, having at least eight children here and there. Their descendants have been traced except for one daughter, Eliza, born in 1842. These Quirke descendants are now represented in most major English-speaking countries of the world: South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, United States and, of course, England. Seemingly, no descendants exist in Ireland.
The research skills he now applies to genealogy were honed while completing his PhD in geology – particularly the necessity of scrupulously citing sources of information used. These principles are directly applicable to genealogical research.
For many years he has held Certified Genealogist status from the Board for Certification of Genealogists, Washington, DC. Besides being a Fellow of IGRS he is a member of the Irish Genealogical Society International, the Colorado Genealogical Society, the Computer Interest Group of the Colorado Genealogical Society, the WISE (Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England) Family History Society, the Ontario Genealogical Society, the Kent Family History Society, the Sussex Family History Group, the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History and the Society of Genealogists.
Philip Stanley Manning
This Fellowship was awarded for outstanding practical help to the Society. On several occasions Mr Manning, not a member of the Society, has rendered immense assistance during library moves, packing library contents such as books, manuscripts and equipment; dismantling and re-erecting bookcases and loading and unloading these materials at new locations. In addition, he has housed the overflow of the library for several years at no charge to the Society. (Citation reconstructed.)
Dr Anne Rosemary Chamney (1931-2008)
Dr Chamney pursued the study of genealogy for many years and held the Diploma of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies. Her service to the Society was mainly as a member of Council, by helping in the Library on Saturday afternoons, and by her work in the Annotations to the Convert rolls. She also did some paid research for other people. The names of Chamney, Symes and Warren were of particular interest to her; she contributed a number of articles to the journal.
A tribute to Dr Chamney was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 12 No 4.
John Egan (1927 – 2014)
John Egan joined the Society in the early 1980s and has been a regular member of the small team of volunteers who, on Saturday afternoons, helped to keep open the Society’s library in Eaton Square, London. He was elected to Council in 2001.
Born in Hampshire, of Irish parents, he was educated at St Phillip’s Grammar School, Edgbaston, the University of Birmingham and Ohio State University. He held a commission in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment but chose journalism for his career, particularly political journalism. He was Chairman of the Parliamentary Lobby Journalists in 1973-74. In 1978 he joined the Post Office as Head of Public Information, later becoming Controller of the Press and Broadcasting, in charge of day-to-day relations with journalists and broadcasters. For three years he was visiting lecturer on political journalism at the City University. In retirement, he worked as a specialised writer and consultant.
In 1993 Mr Egan was awarded a London University diploma for his descriptive study and analysis of the life and work of John O’Neill (1778-1858), Irish shoemaker and temperance poet. He has edited, and prepared for publication in book form, the memoirs which O’Neill wrote on his 50 years in London (1808-1858). With help from other members of the Catholic Family History Society, he has transcribed and indexed the Bishops’ Register of Confirmations in the Midland District of the Catholic Church in England, 1768-1816 (published by the CFHA, 1993).
More recently, Mr Egan transcribed the journals covering the years 1847-1856, written by John Keegan, a surveyor from Moate, co Westmeath, who worked for the Ordnance Survey and privately in England, mainly in Yorkshire, and in many parts of Ireland. John Keegan (1818-1898) was the grandfather of Father Wallace Clare who, in 1928, published Keegan’s vivid journals covering the period 1836-47.
Mr Egan took an active part in the Clan Egan Association, which holds regular rallies in Ireland, the United States and elsewhere. He was a member of the Catholic Family History Society, the Society of Genealogists, the University of London Extra-mural Society for Genealogy and History of the Family and the Irish Literary Society.
Mr Robert Bredin is a United States citizen of Ulster extraction. He has, over the past ten years, given the Society a substantial collection of genealogical material, and, when in England, is frequently to be found at work in the Library.
Professor Richard S J Clarke
MD, PhD, FFARCSI
Richard Clarke was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Queen’s University, Belfast. He was consultant anaesthetist at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, and is Emeritus Professor of Anaesthetics at Queen’s University. His interest in genealogy goes as far back as his schooldays, and it was probably when he was a medical student that he joined the Society.
He can remember visiting the Reverend Father Wallace Clare, principal founder of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, in Ipswich.
Over the years 1966-98, in conjunction with the Ulster Historical Foundation, he has transcribed gravestone inscriptions which have been published as Gravestone Inscriptions County Down vols. 1-3, Gravestone Inscriptions County Antrim vols. 1-3 and Gravestone Inscriptions Belfast vols 1-4. He has also published a substantial history of the Royal Victoria Hospital, 1797-1997.
To complement the work already done for the clergy and other professions, Professor Clarke has compiled A Directory of Ulster Doctors (who qualified before 1901) in two volumes, published by the Ulster Historical Foundation in 2013. Another project he has in hand is a biography of a former, distinguished colleague, Sir Ian Fraser.
The family names of particular interest to him are Bomford, Briscoe, of Longford and Westmeath, Cassidy, Gray, of Cork, Jessop, Martin, McMaster and Wood.
Sister Margaret Philomena Lonergan (1931-2008)
Sister Margaret Lonergan was born in London of Irish parents, whose roots were in Tipperary and Kerry, and she was educated by the Ursulines. She entered the Little Sisters of the Assumption, a nursing order, where she qualified in Nursing and Midwifery. Her flare for history lead to her being asked to organize the archives of her Province, beginning, in 1880, in England and, in 1946, in Scotland. After in-house training, Sister Lonergan studied at the School of Archives, University College, London, where she gained the Certificate in Archive Studies. In the early eighties, she joined the Catholic Archives Society, and was a member of its Council for six years. Its archives have been described by Sister Lonergan in the journal, Catholic Archives No. 11, 1991, and summarized in British Archives No. 600.
Sister Lonergan joined the Irish Genealogical Research Society in 1998, when the Society was still based at the Challoner Club, Pont Street. Living in London, as she did, enabled her to make full use of the Society’s library, and to help other users by answering queries, maintaining the card index, labelling folders and advising on books to be purchased, on the location of records and on diocesan boundaries. With seven Donals in her own immediate family, Sister Lonergan was particularly intrigued by the 12th and 13th century O Lonergan archbishops of Cashel, Donal I, Donal II and Donal III. Research into the first Sisters of her order was another of Sister Lonergan’s enthusiasms, which she shared with other specialists in religious archives.
Group Captain Hugh Anthony Shipley Disney (1917-2009)
Hugh Anthony Shipley Disney is the author of “Disneys of Stabannon” and has worked on the pedigree “Disneys in Ireland. 1650-1850”; he could trace his descent back to Hugues d’Isigny, a compatriot of William the Conqueror. Hugh Disney was educated at Winchester, where he was a contemporary of Lord Dunboyne, our former President, and at Brasenose College, Oxford, graduating as Master of Arts. Having trained with the Oxford University Air Squadron, he joined the Royal Air Force at the outbreak of war in 1939 and and flew anti-submarine patrols in the North Sea and later searched for U-boats in the Mediterranean. After the war, he remained in the Air Force and, in total, served for 24 years.
An obituary to Group Captain Hugh Disney was published in The Daily Telegraph, 30 December 2009.
Brigadier William Morgan Tilson Magan (1908-2010)
Bill Magan was born in Athlone, co Westmeath, and passed his early years in Ireland. Commissioned in 1928, he served for 20 years in the Indian Cavalry, became a Persian interpreter for the Government of India and an Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Defence. In 1951 he was appointed Director of MI5’s E-Branch (overseas liaison) and he went on to direct both F-Branch (counter subversion) and C-Branch (protective security). He retired from MI5 in 1968. He was a Master of Foxhounds in co Westmeath for the 1938 season.
He was a keen genealogist and an enthusiastic member of this Society. He wrote Umma-More – the story of an Irish family (Element Books 1983), An Irish Boyhood (1996), Middle Eastern Approaches (2001) and Soldier of the Raj (2002). He also lectured for this Society. He died, aged 101 on 21 January 2010; an obituary and portrait were published in The Daily Telegraph.
Donal F Begley
Mr Donal F Begley was Chief Herald of Ireland for 13 years until he retired in June 1995. Formerly a teacher, he joined the staff of the National Library, Dublin, in 1963, and was posted to the Genealogical Office where he worked as assistant to the then Chief Herald, Gerald Slevin.
Mr Begley is the author of the Handbook on Irish Genealogy (1970) and has edited Irish Genealogy: A Record Finder (1981). He was President of both the First and Second Irish Genealogical Congresses.
John A Acton
Mr J A Acton is the longest-standing member of the Society, and is No 1 in the list of members. He has compiled genealogical material on the Acton family, presented copies of his records to our library and contributed to the Journal. He has also worked in the library of Lloyds of London and in the National Archives of Canada.
A member of the Leeds and Grenville Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, he has generously helped members of our Society engaged in Canadian research. He also maintains a regular correspondence with a wide circle of genealogists.
Eilish Ellis (nee Clune) (1919-2009)
Mrs Eilish Ellis was Ireland’s foremost genealogist. After graduating as a Master of Arts from the National University of Ireland (University College, Dublin, Department of History), Mrs Ellis began researching genealogy and heraldry, in the Genealogical Office, under the late Dr Edward MacLysaght.
A founder member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, her publications include State-Aided Emigration Schemes from Crown Estates in Ireland c. 1850 and Registry of Deeds; Abstracts of Wills, Vol. III. 1785-1832.
A Tribute to Eilish Ellis was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 12 No 4. A further tribute can be read on the website of AGI.
Professor Thomas Alexander Preston (1927-2009)
Professor T A Preston (‘Tom’ to his many friends) was educated at St Edward’s School, Oxford, The Leys School, Cambridge, and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, where he graduated as Master of Arts. He served as a naval airman and a Pilot Officer in an Ulster squadron. He was a professor of agricultural as production-engineering and a management consultant.
In 1963, he joined the IGRS. Although his career in agriculture frequently took him abroad, he pursued his genealogical interest with vigour, his object being, in his own words ‘to unravel the confusion surrounding the several families named Preston who have lived in Ireland.’
Once retired, he joined the Council in 1980 and held various posts as Hon Secretary, as acting Hon Treasurer and as acting Chairman, and was made a vice-president of the Society in 2007. He supported and facilitated the formation of The Ireland Branch in 1986.
Rosalind G McCutcheon
Roz McCutcheon has worked unflinchingly for the Society over many years. She has been Editor of the enormously popular IGRS Newsletter since July 1991. Now in its 23rd year of her Editorship, Roz has performed a vital role of reaching out to our members, two or three times a year, of keeping them informed, as well as providing very individualistic touches of brilliance in the genealogical content of this publication.
For many people Roz is the IGRS, not only through Newsletter, but by being readily present in the library, week after week, to open up and to assist researchers. This is no mean feat. She is so often the face of the Society and a valuable asset to it on the lecture circuit, having developed a highly interesting and original programme of talks. And she is always ready to promote the Society at Genealogical and Family History events in England and Ireland.
Roz instituted a programme of scanning and re-organising the manuscripts in such a way as to save valuable space in the library. And Roz has listed many of the manuscripts to make them more available to researchers. She has been working for years in contributing to Nick Reddan’s online index of memorials from the Registry of Deeds; a mammoth task. Roz’s unique contribution to Irish Genealogy is her online and freely available Irish Marriage Index taken from various sources and which now tops 100,000 names. (Revised version (2014) of the citation published for Roz’s election as a Vice-President of the Society, vol 13, No 4, 2013.)
Frances-Jane French (1929-2002)
Tributes to Frances-Jane French were published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 11 No 1 and No 2 and an Obituary was published in The Daily Telegraph on 16 November 2002.
Robin McNee Findlay (1934-2009)
Robert McNee Findlay joined the Society in 1988 although he had been involved with his Irish ancestral research for quite some years. He was a member of several societies including The Irish Family History Society, The North of Ireland Family History Society and The Ulster Genealogical and Historical Guild, through which he was able to amass a large amount of genealogical knowledge and a collection of over 230 books on Irish genealogy, emigration and history, to assist him with his research. His several interests lay in co Tyrone, where he had discovered that his great-great-grandfather Charles Finlay had married Catharine McNicholl at Newtownstewart in 1849, and in immigrant communities, such as the Irish in Glasgow and Lanarkshire, and the Huguenot and German immigrants to London.
Robin, as he was known as, was born in Highgate, North London, on 28 August 1934. As a young adventurous boy, he lived in the small Scottish Argyllshire village of Innellan, situated five miles from the town of Dunoon on the banks of the Firth of Clyde, where, during the war years, his father Robin John Findlay, a Major in the Royal Corps of Signals, had been posted. He recollected many an adventure was had with his brother Johnnie exploring the local area including the formidable Castle Toward built by that Kirkman Finlay. As a very young man he was boarded with the De La Salle Christian Brothers at St Joseph’s College, Beulah Hill, London, which had a great influence on him. Here he joined their novitiate and stayed with them for two years becoming a Senior Monitor. National Service followed and he signed up for three years with the Royal Corps of Signals, serving in Singapore and Malaya, becoming the youngest sergeant in the corps.
Robin’s professional career as a journalist began with his local newspapers, The South London Advertiser and The Brentford & Chiswick Times. In 1956 he secured a post in Manchester with The News Chronicle. When this was taken over in 1960 by the The Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers), he moved to London and rose to the senior position of Deputy Night Editor. He also had the distinction of being elected twice as Chairman of Council of the Newspaper Press Fund (the journalists’ charity) where he gave much of his time raising funds for the residential homes in Dorking. His energy knew no bounds, and Robin found time to become a member of the board of The Contemporary Review, a distinguished independent, serious, monthly magazine.
With his enthusiasm for genealogy, he offered to act as ‘anchorman’ for Finley Findings International, offering to be their representative on this side of the Atlantic giving guidance to fellow members in certain areas of research in Ireland. In 1991, with his indispensable organising skills, he oversaw the move of The Irish Genealogical Research Society, with its large library and manuscript collection, from the Challoner Club in Pont Street to the Irish Club in Eaton Square. He was elected to the Council in 1992 and became its Chairman in 1993, in which he was pro-active and robust. Under his chairmanship, duties of other officers were defined. In February 1996 he was elected a Fellow for his services to the Society. He continued as Chairman of the Council, serving until 1998 when ill-health required him reluctantly to relinquish this very active post, although remaining a member of Council until 2005. His intention was to retire to Cornwall with his wife, but his untimely death on St George’s day, 23 April 2008, did not allow him to fulfil this ambition. A friendly and kind-hearted man, he will be sorely missed. He leaves his widow Margaret and four lovely daughters, Alice, Catherine, Emma and Harriet. (Originally published as Robin’s obituary in The Irish Genealogist, Vol 12 No 4 2009.)
Andrew J Clifford
Andrew Clifford is a New Zealander. Whilst working in London, he joined the Society and rose to be Chairman of the Council in 1999, as well as acting as Hon Treasurer, a post he assumed in 1988. Andrew’s genealogical links are with the Clifford’s of Donegal, Fermanagh, Kerry, Sligo and Wexford. He also established links with the families of Patton, McMenamin and Quinn. Andrew was one of the officers who co-ordinated the urgent move of the library at the end of 1990 from the Challoner Club to The Irish Club in Eaton Square, London.
Andrew undertook a great deal of work for the Society. He worked on the Swanzy Will Abstracts and published his findings in The Irish Genealogist Vol 9 No 4. 1997. He also produced a Two thousand Year Calendar from 1st January 101 to 31st December 2100 AD; this, with notes and explanations, was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol. 9. No 1, 1994. He was a visionary who wrote about the future of the Society and the way forward with the introduction of the Internet and online sources of research data (The Irish Genealogist, Vol 10, No 2 1999). He compiled the first Roll of the Fellows of the Society from 1936-1996 (The Irish Genealogist Vol 9, No 3, 1996) in which he calculated periods of service to the Society up to 31st December 1996. At that time he calculated that Edward Stewart Gray was our longest serving Fellow with 51 years’ service. Andrew remained on Council, always active on behalf of the Society, until he returned to New Zealand in 2002.
Nigel K de la Poer (1941-1998)
Nigel de la Poer was elected as a Vice President in 1991. He had a deep understanding of Irish genealogy and specialised in the records of the Power family of co Waterford.
A Tribute to Nigel de la Poer was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 10 No 1.
Smythe-Wood, I Alistair (Patrick) (died 1997)
A Tribute to Mr Smythe-Wood was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 9 No 4.
Richard M Flatman (1943-2016)
Richard Flatman served as Hon Treasurer for the Ireland Branch and was a key member of that Branch from its inception, greatly aiding its success by his assiduous and devoted service. Later, as Chairman of the Ireland Branch, he edited and oversaw the publication of the 2 volumes of Tombstone Inscriptions which were published by the Ireland Branch as a millennium project in 2001.
In 1989 he became a member of the committee that instigated the first Irish Genealogical Congress, a week-long international conference on Irish genealogy worldwide which was held at Trinity College, Dublin, in September 1991. He played a major role in the organising and running of that event, as well as two subsequent IGCs, held in 1994 and 1997.
He has also been an officer of the Irish Family History Society for many years.
He edited an extensive series of articles in The Irish Genealogist entitled Some Inhabitants of the Baronies of Newcastle and Uppercross, co Dublin circa 1650 (Vol 7. No 4. 1989, Vol 8. No 1. 1990, Vol 8. No 2. 1991, and Vol 8. No 3. 1992)
There is an obituary for him Irish Family History Vol 32 (2016) pp7-9.
Dr Michael J S Egan
Michael Egan has been a member of the IGRS since 1984. He was a founding member of the Irish Family History Society, established the same year. He edited Memorials of the dead, Dublin city and county, which were published between 1988 and 1995 in nine volumes. The first three volumes were published by the IGRS’ Ireland Branch, with the remaining six volumes being published by Dr Egan himself. The series comprises transcriptions of gravestone inscriptions from across co Dublin.
He has served for many years on the committee of the Irish Family History Foundation, the overall body for the various genealogy indexing centres scattered across Ireland, generally on a county basis. In addition, he served for many years on the committee of the IGRS Ireland Branch.
Zita A Kelly
Miss Kelly was the Hon Secretary of the Society from 1986-1991. She very efficiently looked after library users and dealt with library visitor enquiries over a period of years. In addition, she undertook voluntary work for members in the Registry of Deeds in Dublin, as well as in the National Library, Dublin, and in the British Library Newspaper Library, London. (Citation reconstructed.)
Marilyn Miller Morton
Marilyn Morton was head of the Genealogical Studies Department of Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
The Knight of Glin (1937-2011)
Desmond FitzGerald was the 29th and last Knight of Glin. One of Ireland’s foremost art historians, his publications with Dr Anne Crookshank are considered definitive works on Irish art. He was President of the Irish Georgian Society from 1991 to 2011.
Peter Manning, with the help of Charles Spearman, has been able to pursue the ramifications of his extensive family – the O’Mainnins of Galway and Roscommon – back to their ancestral seat at Menlough Ui Mainnin in co Galway. His Origins of my Family is to be found among the printed books in the library.
He joined the Society in 1981, was elected a Fellow in 1987, a member of Council in 1993 and Chairman in April 2001. He has established a reputation in the vital work of indexing, including indexing The Irish Genealogist and writing some twenty-one other volumes of indexes to genealogical manuscripts and journals in the Society’s library. He recently completed an index to Father Clare’s notes to the Convert Rolls and his latest project is to index a 200-page manuscript, recently donated to the library. This manuscript, which contains about 11,000 names, was found in the attic of a house in the parish of Kilcummin, co Kerry. It records householders and their descendants in that parish from the early nineteenth century.
He has also indexed 90,000 names from the Hussey-Walsh Mss, and the names of 35,000 persons extracted from the Irish Patent Rolls of James I (1603-25). He runs the Members’ Interest Scheme and the sale of back numbers of the Journal and the Newsletter. Mr Manning retired after 31 years service in the Kent Fire Brigade and took on the post of Company Fire Safety Officer in an American medical distribution company in Kent.
Dermot Michael Blunden (1933-1997)
A Tribute to Dermot Blunden was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 9 No 4
Frank B Payton
Mr Payton was Hon Secretary of the Council from 1979-1986. He contributed to The Irish Genealogist: English Index to the O’Clery Genealogies (Vol.5 No 6) and A Glossary of Words Commonly Found in Gaelic Genealogies (Vol 5. No 1 pp19-20). From 1980 onwards he founded and edited a quarterly Newsletter devoted to the study of the name O’Peatain and the Irish Families of Patten, Patton, Payton, Peaten, Peaton, Peyton etc.
After a career in the Army, and with British Coal, he opened a very successful bookshop called ‘The Book Shelf’ in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, dealing in both antiquarian and new books. He was founding Secretary and later President of The Nottinghamshire Family History Society. In retirement he is the author of Hawkswood’s Sword, a novel about Captain John Hawkswood, a mercenary in 14th century Italy and France (Fireship, 2013).
He was the author of O’Brien of Thomond – The O’Briens in Irish History 1500-1865 (Phillimore, 1986) and for years managed the Members’ Interest files for the Society.
Graham H Hennessey (1923-2012)
Graham Hennessey was a Captain in the Royal Marines and had a strong interest in military and family history. He was a council member of The Irish Genealogical Research Society and member of the Society of Genealogists.
Philip Haslewood Blake (1907-1994)
Philip Blake was a senior and enthusiastic member of this Society and a professional genealogist. He was a contributor to The Encyclopaedia Britannica and wrote for many Journals and publications including the Belfast publication The Northern Whig ,for which he was a sub-editor. He was the Secretary and Director of Research for The Society of Genealogists in the early 1960s. He founded the Association of Professional Genealogists in 1968 in London and was Vice President of this Society
A tribute to Mr Blake was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 9 No 1.
Mary T Casteleyn
Mary Casteleyn, a qualified Librarian, joined the IGRS on 30 September 1971. She is recorded on the list of new members of the Society in the 1971 edition of The Irish Genealogist, along with another new member who also proved to be a great asset to the Society, the late George Chartres. Mary regularly visited the Society’s library, then located in the Irish Club in Eaton Square, Belgravia, London, and began to assist the Hon Librarian George Chartres by using her skills and experience as a professional librarian for the benefit of the Society. This included re-organising the library, the production of a classification scheme and a catalogue of printed works. She also brought to light many of the Society’s somewhat neglected manuscripts such as Father Clare’s work on the conformity rolls.
Mary was instrumental in acquiring for the Society the papers and registers of the late Michael Leader; it took her one year to list these papers. Likewise she also persuaded the late Rosemary ffolliott to donate to the Society, during her lifetime, her genealogical working papers and collection of parish registers which complemented those in the Michael Leader collection. She also listed both the Frances-Jane French collection and the Brian de Breffny collection of manuscripts. She has written articles for The Irish Genealogist, including ‘The O’Brien’s of Fairfield, Co. Galway’ (2004), ‘Archibald Fitzgerald of Dublin and Texas’ (2005) and ‘The Origins of Count O’Sullivan’ (2006), ‘The Old Limerick Journal’ and ‘In the Shadow of the Steeple’. Over the years she has reviewed many books in the Society’s journal, never flinching with her honest and comprehensive views on the contents of newly-published works acquired for the Society’s library. Her great depth of genealogical knowledge has always been much appreciated in the library and at genealogy events and venues, such as the British Library and WDYTYA? Mary has given many lectures and talks on behalf of the Society and has been the speaker at Annual General Meetings as far back as 1988. In addition, over the years, she has organised visits to various archives and libraries for members of the Society. She recently contributed background genealogical information to The Dublin Bordeaux Letters, 1757: correspondence of an Irish community abroad (OUP, 2013), which was complemented by an exhibition, running until April 2014, at the New York University Bobst Library, Washington Square South.
Mary Casteleyn was elected to the Council on 16 May 1981 and elected a Fellow of the Society in 1985. She held the position of Vice-Chairman during a period of three years from 1990 to 1993, and was re-elected to this position in 1999. As Vice-Chairman Mary attended the reception held at the National Library of Ireland, Dublin, on 31 May 2011 to mark the Society’s 75th anniversary. The keynote speaker was President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, and Mary had the honour of replying to the President’s speech on behalf of the Society. Later she appeared in an RTE programme expounding the work and value of the IGRS. Mary has also represented the Society on Radio 4, in her family county of Kilkenny and in America.
For several years Mary willingly answered many genealogical questions sent to the Society by both members and visitors alike via the then newly-opened email account. She was also involved with the development of the Society’s first website, and liaised with the Irish digital publishing company, Eneclann, in the initial agreement to scan the Society’s past journals to CD-ROM. In addition to everything else, Mary also acts as a catalyst to encourage our latest innovations, such Facebook, the Member’s online Discussion Forum and the e-Bulletin. Her help with domestic matters at many of our AGMs has been greatly appreciated, especially with the baking of cakes! When Mary moved to Birmingham, to be closer to her son and family, she kept in touch with members of Council and after a short period returned to Council with renewed vigour even filling in for the Hon Secretary.
Mary was part of the senior management team for Westminster City Libraries and also served for many years as a National Councillor for the (British) Library Association, of which she is a Fellow. She was seconded to the British Council to work in both Malawi and India and was awarded the Library Association Centenary Medal in 1998 for services to the library profession. (Revised version (2014) of the citation published for Mary’s election as a Vice-President of the Society, vol 13, No 4, 2013.)
John L Garland
John L Garland was an expert on the subject of the service of Irishmen in other nation’s armies. He contributed an article to the Journal which was based on a talk he gave to the Society on 20 July 1985; ‘Irish Military History and Genealogy as Aids to Each Other’ in The Irish Genealogist Vol.7. No 1. 1986. He also wrote for The Irish Sword Vol 17 No 66 1987: ‘Michael Corcoran and the Formation of his Irish Legion’. He was based in Rayleigh in Essex.
Patrick Theobald Tower Butler, Lord Dunboyne (1927-2004)
Lord Dunboyne, the 28th Lord Dunboyne, a circuit judge, was the 2nd President of the Society from 1971 until 1991, succeeding the first President, the Marquess of Ormonde. He always took a keen interest in the Society, writing for the Journal and personally chairing every Council meeting whenever possible.
He was very active in The Butler Society from its foundation in 1966, being the genealogical record keeper. He was also active in The Irish Peers Association. Lord Dunboyne was the principal authority on the genealogy of the Butler families of Ireland.
A Tribute to Lord Dunboyne was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 11 No 3. An Obituary was published in The Daily Telegraph on 20 May 2004.
Charles R Spearman (1920-1986)
Mr Charles Spearman was a highly efficient Hon Treasurer from 1977 to 1986.
An appreciation was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 7 No 1.
Oliver Nugent (1915-1988)
CBE, MA, LLB
Oliver Nugent traced his descent from the Nugents of Drumaree, co Westmeath, and had long and distinguished connections with the Nugents of Antigua. He served in the RAF during the war and, on returning to civilian life, began work with the Director of Public Prosecutions, eventually becoming Assistant Director.
He worked as the archivist for the Society for a number of years before taking on the role as Hon Treasurer in 1986. His papers concerning the Nugent family have been deposited in the library.
An obituary to Oliver Nugent was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 7 No 4.
Dr Henry F Morris (died October 2016 aged 98 years)
MA, LLB, PhD,
Dr Morris has served many years on the Council from 1974 and was Editor of The Irish Genealogist for a number of years from 1984. He has made a major contribution to Irish genealogy with the outstanding work he has done indexing births, marriages and deaths from early Irish provincial newspapers. He was elected a Vice President of the Society in 1990.
Edward More O’Ferrall (1908-1991)
An appreciation of Edward More O’Ferrall was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 8 No 2.
Kenneth W Nicholls
Kenneth Nicholls is the leading authority on Irish genealogy prior to the 18th century. He has contributed many learned articles and reviews to our journal, and has given a number talks at meetings. He has often advised the Hon Editor on matters within his period of specialization.
He is a contributor to A New History of Ireland and to The Gill History of Ireland, and was a lecturer in Irish history at University College Cork.
Sir David Goodall (1931-2016)
Sir David was the third President of the Society and acted in that capacity from 1992 until 2010. He had previously served on the Council from 1972 and had contributed many articles which were published in The Irish Genealogist including The Freemen of Wexford in 1776, in three instalments.
He was formerly British High Commissioner for India. His acceptance message was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 8. No 2.
Brian J Cantwell (Died 1992)
Brian Cantwell transcribed the pre-1880 monumental inscriptions of the entire county of Wicklow, which thus became the first county in the Republic to be completely recorded. He presented four bound volumes of his work to the Society’s Library, as well as to certain major libraries in Ireland. In all, about 8,600 inscriptions were recorded by him between 1986 and 1992 before he moved on to tackle other areas.
A tribute to Brian J Cantwell was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 8 No 3.
Arthur G Fanning
Mr Arthur Fanning served on Council as Hon Treasurer from 1969-1976 and remained on Council until 1979. He was awarded his Fellowship in 1976 in recognition for his work for the Society.
Thomas George Chartres (1921-2011)
George was Hon Librarian from 1972. An ardent genealogist since boyhood days, George served on the Council of the Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland for two terms of three years. His interest in French genealogy derived from Orleanais and Normandy. From within the British Isles, the families of Anketell, Auchinleck, Baker, Berkeley, Corry, Courtenay, Crawford, Douglas, Frauncis, Howard, Irvine, Keith, McAlpine, Plantagenet, Potts, Rankin, Scrope, Swindale, Sydenham and Wyndham were of special interest to him.
Julian C Walton
Julian Walton is a graduate of Oxford University. He was a member of the IGRS Editorial Committee from 1970 until 2003, later working as Assistant Editor to Hubert Gallwey, who was then Hon Editor of The Irish Genealogist. Although outside the scope of this citation Mr Walton served as Honorary Editor 1988/89. Mr Walton researched the Family of Aylward, publishing articles in The Irish Genealogist during the years 1970 to 1977 in addition he has contributed many other scholarly articles to the Journal.
He was instrumental in founding the Tombstone Committee in Ireland and acted as its unofficial secretary. This Committee undertook a great deal of fieldwork throughout Ireland in Irish graveyards. The results of this research were published in two Volumes by the Society’s Ireland Branch for a Millennium project, entitled Tombstone Inscriptions (Dublin, 2001). The Tombstone Committee played a large part in galvanizing the Society’s Ireland Branch in the later 1980s into adopting a more formal structure, with an elected committee.
Mr Walton was also involved in bringing to light previously unknown and unusual genealogical sources such as the Carrigan Manuscripts in St Keiran’s College, Kilkenny. These manuscripts had been used by Canon William Carrigan for his four volume work entitled The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory (Dublin, 1905). Needless to say these manuscripts contained notes taken before the fire in the Public Record Office in 1922 and are an invaluable resource for research.
Thomas Whitley Moran (Died 1978)
An obituary was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 5 No 6.
Eric J McAuliffe
Eric McAuliffe was a well-known Irish genealogist. He was born on 27 December 1919 near Kilrush, co Clare, the only son of Dr Michael Joseph McAuliffe and Mai Gertrude McAuliffe (née Corry). His father was a medical doctor with a keen interest in local history, particularly of the co Clare parish of Kilmurry McMahon. It was fitting that his son in later life published Notes on the Parishes of Kilmurry McMahon and Killofin, Co. Clare and Tombstone Inscriptions from Kilrush (1989).
He was educated at Mungret College, co Limerick, after which Eric considered a vocation for the Roman Catholic priesthood, though eventually settled on a career in medicine. However, his studies abruptly ended when his father died and he was obliged to return to Kilrush. Shortly after this, his family moved to Dublin, his mother’s native place. In Dublin, Eric resumed his interest in genealogy and local history soon taking up a career as a professional genealogist. This was unusual at the time, given that few researchers worked independently, virtually all being unattached to the Genealogical Office. Throughout his career he published widely, including frequent contributions to The Irish Genealogist.
His work transcribing monumental inscriptions from Dublin graveyards, undertaken alongside Julian Walton FIGRS and Roderick J O’Kelly-Lynch, was published in The Irish Genealogist. In addition he transcribed and published the names and dates on the coffin-plates in the vaults of St Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church, Westland Row, Dublin. His extensive list to surviving parish records for Dublin Church of Ireland parishes was, for many years, the standard reference for this information. In 1984, Eric published An Irish Genealogical Source: The Roll of the Quaker School at Ballitore, County Kildare.
During his career, Eric carried out extensive genealogical research on behalf of clients from across the world. The many prominent Irish families he researched included the Fitzgerald Kennedys, the Nixons, the family of the Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Mr. Lloyd Thompson, and the famous Texas oil tycoon, Mr Pat Fletcher. Eric also assisted Charles Lysaght with research for his biography of Brendan Bracken, the founder of The Economist.
He was elected Fellow for a second time in June 1980.
Lorna Gwynfa Rosbottom (1914-1999)
An obituary was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 10 No 2.
Guy W Lambert (1889-1983)
CB, JP, Chevalier Légion d’Honneur (1920)
Guy Lambert was a valued and distinguished Vice-President of the Society. He regularly attended the library and guided visitors through their research. He contributed ‘Notes on the Lineage of Lambert of Brookhill, county Mayo’ to The Irish Genealogist (Vol 3. No 10. 1965). This article includes a chart pedigree and corrects the Brookhill pedigree that appeared in earlier editions of The Landed Gentry of Ireland where some of the Brookhill pedigee had been suppressed. A detailed entry for ‘Lambert of county Galway’ appears in Burke’s Irish Family Records (1976). He served on Council from 1964 onwards and was elected a Vice-President of The Irish Genealogical Society in 1971 until his death aged 94 years in 1983.
Guy Lambert was born 1 December 1889, the second son of Joseph Alexander Lambert, JP, and his wife Grace Susan Fane, eldest daughter of William Dashwood Fane, JP, and Barrister-at-law. He married Nadine Frances Gwendolen Nobile on 17 February 1917; they had 3 children. He served in the War Office 1913-1951 and was Assistant Under-Secretary of State for War 1938-1951. Lambert was President of the Society for Psychical Research (1955-57) and the longest serving member of that Society, having been in membership for 70 years at the time of his death.
Lt-Col J R H Greeves (1900-1988)
John Ronald Howard Greeves was born in Belfast in 1900, the son of Arthur Greeves and Eliza Marian, youngest daughter of John Heginbottom of Manchester, England. Colonel Greeves served in World War II and died in 1988.
He was Chairman of a number of organisations: Ulster-Scot Historical Foundation (renamed the Ulster Historical Foundation in 1975); the Board of Governors for Campbell College and his family flax spinning business, J and T M Greeves Ltd. He was a member of the Board of Governors for the Linen Hall Library, Belfast, becoming Secretary and eventually President in 1968. The Greeves Manuscript collection, which is in the Linen Hall Library, comprises Ulster Family Trees, family histories and transcripts of letters relating to about 60 Ulster families. In addition it contains important information concerning the Society of Friends in Ulster.
The Greeves family pedigree appears in Burke’s Irish Family Records 1976. Colonel Greeves wrote several articles for The Irish Genealogist, notably ‘The Will Book of Ballyhagan Meeting of the Society of Friends: abstracts’ (Vol 2. No 8. 1950); ‘Testamentary Records, relating to Greer, Hobson, Hoope, King, Morton, Whittsitt and Whitsite’ (Vol 2. No 9. 1952) and ‘The Griersons of Co Meath’ (Vol 3. No 4. 1959).
Lt-Col Hubert D Gallwey (1915-1983)
He was the Editor of The Irish Genealogist for nearly 16 years from 1968 until his death.
An appreciation was published in the journal Vol 6 No 5.
The Rev S B Barnwall (Died 1972)
The Reveremd Stephen Barnwell, an American member, was an expert on the Barnewall family of Ireland and he wrote extensive and erudite articles on the various branches of the Barnewall family, published in The Irish Genealogist. He was made a Fellow of this Society in 1970 in recognition for the outstanding research he had undertaken into this family.
‘The Barnewall Family during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries in 6 parts.’ Vol 3 No 5 1960 (of Drimnagh Castle and Shankill, co Dublin), Vol 3 No 6 1961 (of Crickstown Castle), Vol 3 No 7 1962 (cadet branches of Crickstown Castle), Vol 3 No 8 1963 (of Trimblestown, co Meath), Vol 3 No 10 1965 (of Robertstown, co Meath), and Vol 3 No 11 1966 (of Braemore, co Dublin).
In addition, he contributed ‘The Family of Barnewall (de Berneval) during the Middle Ages’ in Vol 3 No 4 1959, ‘Barnewall of Rowestown, co Meath’ in Vol 4 No 3 1970, ‘A 17th Century Dublin Leather Merchant’ in Vol 5 No 2 1975, ‘Plunkett of Loughcrew’ in Vol 5 No 4 1977, ‘Barnewell of Kilbrew, co Meath’ in Vol 6 No 1 1980, ‘Darcy of Platten, co Meath’ in Vol 6 No 4 1983, ‘Some Irish in Grenoble, France’ in Vol 8 No 2 1991, and ‘Some Irish Nuns in 18th Century France’ in Vol 8 No 2 1991.
Sir Henry Blackall (Died 1981)
An Obituary to Sir Henry was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 6 No 3.
Edward MacLysaght (Died 1986)
Edward MacLysaght was active in the early part of his life in politics, farming and business. He became a member of the Irish Convention 1917-1919 and elected to the Senate of the Irish Free State 1922-1925. He was a member of the Irish Manuscript Commission 1949-1973, being Inspector from 1939-1943 and Chairman 1956-1973. He was appointed as Chief Herald of Ireland and Genealogical Officer 1943-1949 and Keeper of the Manuscripts for the National Library of Ireland 1949-1955. His position was critical to the advancement of Irish genealogy, not least the collection of manuscript materials and the listing of these materials to make them more accessible to researchers.
He is perhaps best known for his publications. He edited for The Irish Manuscript Commission The Kenmare Manuscripts (1942), The Orrery Papers (1941), Survey of Documents in Private Keeping (1943), The Wardenship of Galway ( 1944) and Seventeenth Century Hearth Money Rolls (1967).
Dr MacLysaght’s name is synonymous with all the standard works on Irish surnames and Irish family history. He published Irish Life in the Seventeenth Century (1950), Irish Families: their Names, Arms and Origins (1957), More Irish Families (1960), Supplement to Irish Families (1964), The Surnames of Ireland (1969) and Short Study of Transplanted Families (1935). He published his autobiography Changing Times in 1978.
He was elected a Fellow of this Society in 1966 and appointed Vice-President at the same time, a post he held until his death in 1986. In 1967 he held an exploratory meeting of the members of The Irish Genealogical Research Society in the offices of The Irish Manuscript Commission at which he and the late Hubert Gallwey were instrumental in having further meetings held in Dublin; this led to the Ireland Tombstone Committee and eventually to the foundation of the Ireland Branch. There is a detailed Appreciation by Eric McAuliffe of Dr MacLysaght in The Irish Genealogist Vol 7. No 1. 1986. A quote from this appreciation sums up his achievements “Mac, as he preferred to be called, was a great and a good man and Ireland, its sons, daughters, and descendants can be proud and grateful that they can claim as their own a man of his calibre and stature…….before he entered this field there was little for a researcher to go on…….His originality of thought, lucidity of expression and regard for detail are apparent in his books.”
Rosemary ffolliott (1935–2009)
Rosemary was a giant of Irish genealogy and is well remembered for her monumental efforts in collecting and organising newspaper extracts and in transcribing church records. She was also a co-founder of the Irish Ancestor.
A Tribute to Rosemary was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 12 No 4.
Michael Edward Basil Leader (1915-1998)
Michael Leader contributed much to the IGRS and donated his genealogical papers to the Society after his death. He collaborated with Rosemary ffolliott for many years. One of his major projects was to transcribe all the extant Church of Ireland parish records of co Cork. This collection is now available in the Society’s library.
In the early nineties, he was a regular Saturday attendee at the Library, always willing to assist the newcomer and the more experienced. He, of course, also liked to break the rules and always had a cigarette going. He liked also to impart his philosophic view against indexed parish records as he considered by going through a set of parish records the familiar relationships would be revealed rather than being obscured by the blinkers of an index.
Dr Richard T D FitzGerald (Died 1995)
An Obituary to Dr FitzGerald was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 9 No 2.
Basil O’Connell (1900-1971)
Basil O’Connell was the youngest son of Sir Morgan Ross O’Connell and of the Lakeview Branch of the esteemed O’Connell family. He served with the Malayan Police and was Commandant of the Police Training Depot in Singapore. He was interred by the Japanese for the duration of the war but had managed to evacuate his wife and two small boys, one only a few weeks old, just before the Japanese invasion on 15 February 1942. During this invasion his meticulous notes about the genealogies of the O’Connell families which he had laboriously collected since 1913 were destroyed by the Japanese. During his confinement he resolved to reconstruct these records and get them into print as soon as it was feasible; no mean task having no access to reference books or personal correspondence. The O’Connell Family Tracts, Vols 1-3 were eventually published by Browne and Nowlan, Dublin and are in the library of the Society.
In later life he was a well known Dublin Castle eminent genealogist and an authority of Irish research. His special interest was the genealogy of the old Catholic Irish families; he wrote up the genealogies of the various lines of the Nagle family in The Irish Genealogist. He lived for the last part of his life in Pennsylvania, USA. (Citation reconstructed.)
Lt-Col Wilfred Edmund C Davidson-Houston (1901-1978)
An Obituary was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 5 No 6.
Dr Lorton Alexander Wilson (1879-1958)
Lorton Wilson was born at Skipton, near Craven, in Yorkshire, on 10 August 1879, son of John Forsythe Wilson, MD, and Mary Jane, the daughter of the Rev John Hanna, the Presbyterian Minister of Carntall, co Tyrone. He died on 15 September 1958 in Littleover, Derby. He traced his Irish ancestry from his great-grandfather, William Wilson, a trooper in the Louisa (Muff) Cavalry and a resident of Dirtagh and Gortnamoney, both in the parish of Aghanloo, co Londonderry. His younger brother, Charles, also a doctor of medicine, later served as personal physician to Winston Churchill and was created 1st Lord Moran of Manton in 1943. Their sister, Matilda, died unmarried.
Lorton Wilson was educated at Epsom College and Owens College, Manchester, qualifying as a Doctor of Medicine in 1907. He served in numerous health and insurance bodies, mainly linked to Barrow, in north Lancashire, from 1913 through to the time of his death.
In the First World War he was civil surgeon in the Barrow Garrison from the outbreak of the war until December 1914. He joined the RAMC (TA) as a Lieutenant in March 1915 and was promoted to Captain in October the same year. During February to March 1917 he served in France with the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment. In the Second World War, he was Deputy Chairman, Barrow Recruiting Board 1939-1946 and he served as a Major and Medical Officer Inspector in the Home Guard. He retired with the rank of Major.
In 1909 he married Kathleen Emily Berry at St Paul’s, Barrow-in-Furness. Emily was the eldest child of the Reverend William Berry and Katherine Brabazon Berry (née Hallowes).
In addition to being a founder member of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, Lorton Wilson was also elected a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists. His daughter Ethne recalled that while medicine was her father’s career, genealogy became a consuming interest and a hobby for him. She recalls “…he used to work a lot on his pedigrees, as we used to call them, at the weekends and evenings and so on. He did not get very much encouragement from my mother and it was rather a lonesome job I think.” She also recalled that every year in October during school holidays, the family would travel to places her father wished to visit “to look things up and check things over”.
He is recalled as one of the most industrious genealogists of his time. His 25 volumes of collected papers were presented to the Society.
Dr Thomas Guerin (1886-1963)
OBE, KM, MA, PhD
Colonel Thomas Guerin, was a versatile Canadian of Irish descent, the son of Dr Thomas Guerin, a University Lecturer and one-time Mayor of Montreal. Colonel Guerin was not only a keen historian and genealogist but also a man of considerable academic merit, having obtained the degree of PhD at Montreal. He was the author of five books:—Feudal Canada, The Gael in New France, Caps and Crowns of Europe, From the Crusades to Quebec, and The Guerins of the Glen.
His interests were wide and his activities and honours many. He had a distinguished military career and received honours from France and Belgium. He was a leader of the Irish Community of Montreal. He was Consul General of Austria and Newfoundland from 1930 to 1938, and represented Spain during the Spanish Civil War. He founded the Canadian Association of the Sovereign and Military Order of Malta, and he was Director of a gold mine. He received the Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Malta, was a Knight of the Grand Cross, a Knight of St John of Jerusalem, Chamberlain of the Cape and Sword to His Holiness Pope John XXIII, and almoner of the Priory of Canada of St John of Jerusalem. He died in Montreal at the age of 76 in January 1963.
Major J J Drought (Died 1952)
An Obituary to Major Drought was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 10 No 1.
Aubrey John Toppin (1881-1969)
FSA, York Herald
Aubrey Toppin was a long-serving officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. He was born in 1881 in Twickenham, Surrey, son of Percy Toppin and Margaret Mary Toppin (née Frimston). He secured his first job at the Science and Art Museum in Dublin in 1901 – his family having moved to Ireland in the mid-1890s. In 1906 he was appointed to the post of First Assistant to the Keeper of Irish Antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland. The following year he was promoted to Assistant Keeper of the Art and Antiquities Division, a position which he retained until his retirement and departure from Ireland in 1923. His career in Dublin was only broken to serve during the First World War as a Captain in the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Irish Rifles.
His heraldic career began in July 1923, when Aubrey Toppin was appointed Bluemantle Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary. Later, in 1932, he was promoted to the rank of herald as the York Herald of Arms in Ordinary, a position he held for 25 years, until 1957, when he was made Norroy and Ulster King of Arms. He retired from this post in 1966 and was appointed Maltravers Herald of Arms Extraordinary, holding that position until his death in 1969. (Citation reconstructed.)
Hon Donough O’Brien (1879-1953)
The Hon Donough O’Brien was the fourth son of Baron Inchiquin, born 29 August 1879. His line is the O’Briens of Dromoland who are direct descendants of Brian Boru, the last High King of Ireland. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford University; he was a keen amateur cricketer playing for Limerick and the MCC (Middlesex Cricket Club). He was called to the Bar in 1907 and later served with the Irish Guards as a Second Lieutenant in the First World War. His main interests were antiquities, genealogy and art and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries.
His major printed genealogical work is The History of the O’Briens from Brian Boroimhe AD1000 to AD 1945 (London, 1949). ‘The O’Brien Family’, the substance of a lecture given before The Irish Genealogical Research Society in 1939, appeared in the Irish Genealogist (Vol 1 No 6 1939). His love and knowledge of art is reflected in the publication Miniatures in the XVIIIth and XIXth Centuries (1951).
His papers and O’Brien pedigrees were presented to University College Dublin. O’Brien died in Egypt in 1953. His wife, the Hon Rose O’Brien, donated in his memory a small and exquisite 19th century jewelled miniature painted eye, framed with 20 small pearls with two tiny diamonds as tears, to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Kensington, London. This can be viewed in the Portrait Miniatures Room (90a, case 17).
Major Patrick Heffernan (1888-1971)
Major Heffernan was brought up on the outskirts of Cahir, co Tipperary and was educated in Cork and Dublin. He had a successful career in the Indian Medical Service as an army doctor and later worked in the British Medical Service in Derbyshire, England.
Major Heffernan was a keen genealogist and author of The Heffernans and their Times; a study in Irish History (1940). A review of this book appeared in The Irish Genealogist Vol 1, No 9, April 1941. He also wrote An Irish Doctor’s Memoirs (Dublin, 1958), about his life in the Indian Medical Service. At the time of his death in 1971 he was noted as the Society’s oldest member. (Citation reconstructed.)
Walter George Gegan (1869-1951)
Walter Gegan was born on 3 April 1869 in Maidstone, Kent, son of George Gegan & Hephzibah Gegan (née Woolnough). He worked alongside his father in his gilding and framing business, which he eventually succeeded to. He was a keen genealogist, a founder member of the Society and its first Hon Treasurer, a position he held until the time of his death in January 1951. (Citation reconstructed, 28th April 2014.)
Theobald Blake Butler (1888-1965)
Theobald Butler was born on 8 September 1888 in Urswick, Lancashire, England, one of seven children of Theobald FitzWalter Butler (a native of Glenwilliam, co Clare) and Catherine Elizabeth Butler (née Barraclough). He was a founder member of the IGRS and a distinguished genealogist. He had begun collaborating with his kinsman, Sir Henry Butler Blackall, on the history of their Butler forbears as early as 1911, when he was only 23 years of age. Wanting to obtain all references to Butlers in the records of the Public Record Office of Ireland, he engaged professional genealogists to assist him. Little did he know at the time how fortuitous this decision would prove to be, although sadly not all of his papers survived, a great part of them being destroyed during the Second World War.
He was a regular contributor to the Society’s journal, writing for its very first edition in 1937. Blackall noted in the obituary published for Butler in the Journal 1965, that perhaps of all his articles which appeared, that entitled ‘The Origin of the Butlers of Ireland’ was perhaps the most erudite (The Irish Genealogist, April 1939). In the years 1955 to 1960, he continued the work of the late Professor Edmond Curtis in compiling abstracts for publication from the series of Butler deeds held at the National Library of Ireland. He continued the series from the last produced by Curtis, dated 1608, down to 1715.
The final years of his life he spent arranging the surviving results of his Butler research, which when completed ran to fifteen volumes. He presented a set to the Society.
He was elected to the Fellowship of the IGRS on 20 December 1945.(Citation reconstructed, 28th April 2014.)
Lt-Col J E McGwire (1878-1950)
John Edward MccGwire resided in Folkestone, Kent. He was born in April 1878 son of John Frederick Kane MccGwire (of Somerset Lodge, St Margaret’s-on-Thames, Middlesex) and Juliet MccGwire (née Metcham). He married Jean Elizabeth Adair in 1909 and died in 1950. He had three sons, one of whom was Brian Walter who served with the Leicester Regiment and died during the Battle of Jitra, Malaya, in 1941 aged 21 years.
MccGwire trained first as a barrister and later served as a soldier, completing his time with the British Army in 1933 when he retired with the rank Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Army Services Corp.
He served on the Council of the IGRS from 1940 until his death in 1950. He was elected a Fellow in recognition of his valuable services to the Society, particularly in undertaking to create the card index to the Hussey-Walsh manuscripts, one of the Society’s most valuable genealogical possessions.
Edward Stewart Grey (1913-1989)
Edward Stewart Gray was born in January 1913, the son of Brigadier-General Frederick William Barton Gray and Winifred Frances Agnes Gray (née Stewart). He married Jennie Maxwell Stewart in July 1968. He was one of the founding members of the Society and the original editor of the Society’s journal The Irish Genealogist, serving from 1937 until 1958. He was also a vice-president of the Society. He died in Angus, Scotland in 1989. [Citation reconstructed.]
An appreciation was published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 8 No 1.
Major Herbert de Courcy Blakeney (1873-1954)
Herbert de Courcy Blakeney was born in December 1873, son of the Reverend Canon Richard Paul Blakeney and Elizabeth Blakeney (née Bibby). He was educated at Marlborough College, Wiltshire, and Trinity College, Dublin. During the First World War he served with the East Surrey Regiment where he reached the rank of Major. After the war he became a customs officer in Kuantan and then in Parit Buntar, both in Malaya. His death was noted in the Straits Times: “noted with regret the death of Major Blakeney. There must be many in this country who will remember his outstanding personality and charm of character. Many will mourn him. The “old hands” in the Larut and Matang district who knew “Haw-Haw” (a most affectionate term we had for him) are deeply grieved at his death”.
Major Blakeney was a dedicated Irish genealogist. The IGRS holds two volumes of his manuscripts, mainly covering the counties of Galway and Roscommon, which include abstracts of deeds, wills, notes from Irish parish records, marriage licenses and newspapers, and also from English Admiralty records, War Office records and obituaries. [Citation reconstructed.]
Dr Charles Holmes Denham (1885-1951)
Charles Denham, a founding member of the Society, was born in Dublin in 1885, one of only two children born to John Knox Denham and Celia Mary Denham (née Holmes). The Denhams were a Dublin Presbyterian family and Charles followed in his father’s footsteps when he graduated from Trinity College Dublin (in 1911) and subsequently became a Doctor of Medicine. In addition to English, he was also proficient in French, German and Irish. He served in the First World War and afterwards, when he returned to Dublin, he obtained a position in the bacteriological section of the College of Science. His obituary in The Irish Times notes that that he was at one time President of the Irish Society of Magicians and a Vice-President of the IGRS. His interest in genealogy led him to compile two works on his family connections: Denham of Dublin: A Note on the Irish Family (Dublin, 1936) and of Some Notes on the Cronshaws of Lancashire and Allied Families (University Press, 1934). [Citation reconstructed.]
The Rev Wallace George Clare (1895-1963)
Ipswich is familiar to all readers of this Journal as the town in which was situated the former headquarters of the Irish Genealogist Research Society in the rooms where Father Clare lived and worked as Chaplain to St Joseph’s College for 21 years.
What is not generally known is that on 9 August 1895 Wallace George Clare became the only member of his family to be born in Ipswich. Although his father was a wine buyer from Liverpool, young Wallace was brought up in Suffolk, for Frederick Clare died quite a young man when his son was only two-years-old, and his widow Agnes (née Keegan) decided to settle in Lowestoft with her son and daughter.
Wallace Clare had a varied education, spending some years at Lowestoft College, a year at St Wilfred’s College, Oakamoor, and finally going to Paris.
Young Wallace early made up his mind about his future: he soon gave up his ambitions to be a soldier or the operator of the Lowestoft swing bridge, having been so impressed by the church services at Lowestoft that, at the age of seven, he had decided to become a clergyman. In fact, by the age of thirteen he had set out on the path he followed to the end. Before he was nine he had already become a bibliophile and his collection of books was his proudest possession; by the age of twelve he had become a genealogist after reading the diaries of his maternal grandfather John Keegan which contained much interesting Irish family history.
It may surprise even those who knew him best to find that Father Clare was born of Protestant parents, but as a result of a childhood visit to a Roman Catholic church his early religious inclinations moved to High Church and then to Roman Catholicism which faith he embraced while still a schoolboy in 1908. His sister followed his example a few years later.
The firmness of his early resolve to enter the priesthood is shown by a letter from the Bishop of Northampton to his mother in 1909 in which he writes “I sent him to Paris because I thought the life would probably suit him . . . You will have the consolation of knowing that he is in good hands and preparing for the greatest grace and honour God can bestow in this world. The reward if he perseveres will be worth all the sacrifice.”
The gift of faith does not come to all so young and the resolve to change one’s Church is seldom made before one’s teens without some external pressure or revelation. Wallace Clare had such a revelation at the age of ten. At that time an elderly agnostic invalid was living in the Clare’s house. One day, after a heated religious controversy in which young Wallace failed to convert the old lady, she closed the discussion by telling him that she would inform him if ever she had occasion to change her views on religion and the hereafter, a promise which she kept, for, some months later Wallace returned for a short holiday and, on going upstairs to his room, met the old lady face to face on the landing: in a moment she was gone. Wallace had not been told that the woman had died the previous day, and his sister well remembers the terror in which he came downstairs.
Having been ordained in 1918, Father Clare was appointed a Curate at Northampton Cathedral where he remained till 1922, so he had his feet firmly on the ladder to advancement. But it was a loss to the Church and a gain to genealogy that his interests were religion and genealogy rather than religion and the Church. His spare time energies were devoted to genealogy, so he chose the life that gave him the time to work at his hobby and turned his back on the preferment that might have been his. Thus it came about that instead of the Ecclesiastical Dignitary of which his early years and remarkable talents gave promise, the man we knew was one who with advancing years approached more and more to the storybook caricature of an antiquarian priest—absent minded in all but his interests, detached from the affairs of the world, careless of his person and possessions, living amid an apparently chaotic mass of books and papers out of which he could always miraculously extract just that reference which the visitor required, and always immersed in his hobby on which, thanks to his remarkable memory, he became one of the greatest authorities.
Those who knew Father Clare will remember a heavy, deep voiced priest with a fringe of snow-white hair, a black overcoat, a slightly skew hat, and a trace of cigarette ash about his person, who had aged prematurely and had the air of a venerable and learned old gentleman long before the founding of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, a man far removed from the curly headed schoolboy nicknamed Bubbles. Hospitable and jovial with a ready wit he could see the lighter side of any subject and was always good company. At times he demonstrated a few eccentricities which would surprise the stranger both in his room and in the chapel! Even Prince, his old Siamese cat was eccentric enough to enjoy being slapped—in a friendly way—and the harder the better! Father Clare was a good friend to all, both colleagues and pupils, but above all to genealogists for whom he was always prepared to devote hours of work. He will long be remembered for his cheerful smile, the ever present cigarette, the inevitable bottle of stomach mixture, and the help and enthusiasm that he imparted to fellow genealogists. The latter were a positive menace: the writer hates to think how many hundreds of hours he has devoted to genealogical research in the past ten years which might more profitably have been spent in advancing his career, due to the persuasive enthusiasm of Father Clare.
It must not be supposed that Father Clare abandoned his activities for the Church, for he always maintained a great interest in both theological and ecclesiastical affairs on which he did much research and writing, and he had amassed a very large and valuable collection of books on every aspect of religion and the Church.
From 1922 to 1935 Father Clare was Parish Priest at March in Cambridgeshire and Ramsey in Huntingdonshire. During this period he started teaching and conducted a small school for educationally backward boys. From 1935 to 1940 he was Chaplain at Thornton College, Buckinghamshire, and from 1940 to 1963 he was Chaplain at St Joseph’s College, Ipswich. His interest in schools led him to amass a large collection of books on the history of English Schools, and to write a well-illustrated book <em>The Historic Dress of the English Schoolboy</em> (no date). His efforts to engage his earlier pupils resulted in the publication of amusing verses illustrated by one of his pupils and entitled <em>Cautionary Tales for Mischievous Angels</em> (no date).
Father Clare’s first genealogical publication was <em>A Young Irishman’s Diary</em> (1928) which was the diary of his grandfather, John Keegan of Moate. In 1930 there followed <em>Irish Genealogical Guides</em> the first of an intended series of guides to copies and abstracts of Irish Wills. In 1932 <em>Butler Testamentary Records</em> was published: it contained abstracts of some 530 Butler Wills. Finally, in 1937, came the most useful of his books, <em>A Simple Guide to Irish Genealogy</em>, the only simple guide ever published, and a book which was revised by Miss Rosemary ffolliott with a view to producing a posthumous edition.
The most important event in the history of the Irish Genealogical Research Society was a meeting held on 15 September 1936 in the room of Mr Aubrey Toppin, York Herald, at which Father Clare outlined his proposals for the founding of a Society devoted exclusively to the study of Irish genealogy. Thus Father Clare founded this Society, and the only surviving founder members are three who were present at that meeting, A J Toppin, CVO, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms, and a Vice President of the Society; Theobald Blake Butler; and Edward S Gray, all now Fellows of the Society. Father Clare was elected Secretary and Archivist, which post he held till his death, and on 15 March 1937 he was elected the first Fellow of the Society. He was devoted to the Society and worked untiringly on its behalf in return for a very small honorarium; but it was his pleasure, his hobby, and his Society, and everyone at Oak Hill and half Ipswich knew all about THE Society.
In spite of his achievements Father Clare had his disappointments. The Irish Genealogical Research Society flourished and prospered, but the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Customs which he also founded faded away as inevitably as the customs it strove to preserve, its only monument being <em>A Roll of Ancient Customs</em> by Father Clare (1941). Lack of money prevented the publication of the second series of both the <em>Irish Genealogical Guides</em> and <em>Historic Dress of the English Schoolboy</em>, and also of ‘Records of the Geoghegan Family’ and a most entertaining biography entitled `Suffolk Boy’, describing everything from boyhood adventures, a ghost story, and Suffolk worthies, to the relative who lent Queen Victoria £1001.
Father Clare’s life work was on the Convert Rolls which he never lived to complete. This great work of making biographical and genealogical notes to the lists of Converts to the Protestant Faith had occupied Father Clare’s whole life, and his failure to finish it was due in no small measure to his own obstinacy in trying to do everything himself.
In his will Father Clare thanks God for the gift of faith and prays for forgiveness for his many shortcomings. Could one of these have been his inability to delegate work? With the assistance of friends the Convert Rolls might have been finished. Father Clare had no idea of office organisation. He had to be both boss and typist so, of course, he had not nearly enough time to be the boss. What useful work might we not have had if only it had been possible to persuade Father Clare to have a typist secretary?
The last few years of his life Father Clare suffered ill health and partial blindness. There will always be the sad picture of him struggling on single handed, breathlessly climbing the steep stairs to his room, poring over records through his strong glasses like Samuel Pepys, and tapping away with one finger at his typewriter, doing all the work of his beloved Society and answering genealogical queries from all over the world.
During these last years Father Clare dreaded the winters, and the exceptional hardness of last winter proved too much for his bronchitis. Yet he fought on till the end, keeping the Society’s correspondence and affairs up to date, and never failing to say his daily Mass till neuritis prevented him from holding either a chalice or a cup of tea. At the end of March he was forced to retire and sought to regain some measure of health in the care of the Franciscan Sisters at Maryland, Milford on Sea, but it was plain to see he was a dying man. The end came quickly and quietly on April 19th. Thus passed Father Clare, peacefully for his body, but, fortified by the last rites of his Church though he was, surely his mind could have found no peace in the realization that the physical body had failed to survive long enough for his restless spirit to complete and publish his life work. His friends hope to be able to complete and publish The Convert Rolls for him so that his spirit may rest in peace.
EDWARD STEWART GREY, FIGRS writes:—
Having been Hon Editor of <em>The Irish Genealogist</em> from 1936 until 1958, I was invited recently to add my tribute to the memory of the late Father Clare, who was not only the founder, but became fittingly to be regarded as the personification, of the Irish Genealogical Research Society. His academic attainments will already, no doubt, have received in these pages the wide recognition they deserve, and so I would like, if I may, to stress his human qualities as a generous host, and of spontaneous sympathy on occasions of sorrow or anxiety. So vividly does the inaugural meeting of this Society remain in my mind, that I find it hard to realize we collaborated—he as Secretary and I as Editor—for nearly a quarter of a century, this being greatly due, no doubt, to the fact that we shared to the full a passionate interest in genealogy, as well as a keen sense of humour, however widely our temperaments may have contrasted in many ways. All of us will wish his questing spirit eternal rest, though not the rest so often associated, here below, with inactivity. That, for him, would spell frustration, as all who knew him will agree!
MISS ROSEMARY FFOLLIOTT writes:—
I have always thought that there are two qualities which, above all others, carry some special radiance, some well-spring of eternal youth, some magic capable of bridging time: and those two are enthusiasm and faith. These Father Clare had in full measure. Though we only met twice, I was most deeply impressed by his genius for imparting them to others. It was he and the late Mr Welply—both men who were then old and might so easily have been saddened and broken by the destruction of their beloved records—who lit some small smouldering fire in me when I was very young and just beginning genealogy. They did it by the force of their own personalities. I never met Mr Welply: his boundless zeal was conveyed entirely through letters. Father Clare I met twice, though only the second occasion was tête-à-tête. Our correspondence, however, was constant, and increased steadily, and even though it was usually on business, yet he would add, and by implication desire, the small news of every day, the weather, word of mutual friends, and scraps of gossip, and in almost every letter his delicious sense of fun would peep through in some pithy comment that would leave me chuckling for an hour.
The second time we met, we talked late into the evening. It was a most happy occasion. I remember thinking how like his letters he himself was, rich in understanding of the frailties of the world, and always with that impish glint of humour which was so endearing. I remember too when he showed me his great work on the Convert Rolls, how he spoke of it with a zest such as a boy might have for his first car rather than an aged priest for one of his many productions. I remember too, how, as at our other meeting some years before, I was both humbled and amazed by the abounding faith of the man, a faith not only in the future but in life, in humanity, in genealogy. And this was only seven months before his death. I hope there is genealogy whither he is gone: I would like to think of him filling in the gaps from the Originals. He deserves it.
Many expressions of appreciation and sympathy have been received by the Hon Secretary; these have been shown to Father Clare’s sister, Mrs Gladys Sherry who wishes to express her gratitude and thanks to the following members:—
The Most Hon the Marquis of Ormonde, President of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, Sir Henry Blackall, QC, the Rev J E Bruns, Mrs Hugh Burnett, George Butler, Esq, T Blake Butler, Esq, Capt H Clanchy, RN, Mrs H d’Albuquerque, Edward G FitzGerald, Esq, Dr R T D FitzGerald, Miss Rosemary ffolliott, Lt-Col H Gallwey, Miss G Garrod, Lt-Col Robert Gayre, E S Gray, Esq, Mrs Melville Harper, C R Humphrey-Smith, Esq, Major W H Hunt, Horace E Jones, Esq, T F Keating, Esq, Michael Leader, Esq, The County Louth Archaeological Society, Eric McAuliffe, Esq, The Rev Diarmuid Maclomhair, Major A S Mehan, Mr R P Minahan, Brian P J Minchin, Esq, Mrs Doreen Miller, Basil O’Connell, Esq, KM, Lt-Col The O’Doneven, Major P O’Kelly de Conejera, R J O’Kelly-Lynch, Esq, Mrs Helen O’Neill, Edward E More O’Ferrell, Esq, Mr William O’Ryan, Percy Paley, Esq, Terence Punch, Esq, Mrs Adeline Pritchett, P . Quinlivan, Esq, The Royal Society of Arts, Mrs L Rosbottom, The Very Rev George Seaver, Dr J C Shaw, Capt M P Shortall, Dr P Smythe-Wood, Mervyn Thompson-Butler-Lloyd, Esq, the Rev O B Waldron-McCarthy, and Miss L M M Wintour. (This is the text from the Obituary published in The Irish Genealogist Vol 3, No 8.) [Amended.]
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