IGRS experts kept busy at Dublin Open Days

Friday marked the third and final day of this year’s Genealogy Open Days organised by Dublin City Library and Archives (DCL&A) at their premises at Pearse Street, Dublin 2. While the first of the events, held 26th July, was fairly quiet, that cannot be said for those held on 9th and 16th August. From the moment of opening the doors at 10:30am there were queues of people looking for genealogy advice. Most were from the Dublin area, but with a few from around the country and a few more from the US and Australia who were enjoying research trips to Ireland.

On each of the Fridays, a panel of expert professional genealogists was constantly on hand to give practical advice and help. They were John Grenham, Joan Sharkey, Paul Gorry and Mary Beglan – all members of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland. They gave advice on anything from “how do I begin my research?” to “how do I break through this brick wall?”

In addition to the panel of experts, there were stalls manned by family history societies and genealogy businesses, including, of course, the Irish Genealogical Research Society and the Irish Family History Society. Both had a busy time of fielding enquiries about membership and family research.

IGRS chairman, Steven Smyrl, attended the final Friday where he met an American-Dutch couple tracing their Irish Methodist forebears; a gentleman eager to trace his estranged mother, now thought to be living in England; and a lady seeking out her Christie ancestors from Ballyclare, Co. Antrim. The latter enquiry was a welcome surprise as Steven was able to tell the enquirer that he and she were likely related as his own Christie ancestors came from Ballyclare too!

Tara Doyle of Dublin Public Library and Archives should be congratulated on the way she very ably organised the event and marshalled the crowds. These Genealogy Days would be well worth repeating next year!


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