Sunday, 9 October 2016

Big thanks to Lancashire for a great Irish conference!

A huge thank you to Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society ( for its incredible hospitality and enthusiasm yesterday when I travelled down to give a couple of lectures at its irish genealogy conference (on how to use PRONI's resources offline and online, and resources to trace your connections to the Decade of Centenaries 1912-1923). There was a great turn out from the society at the venue in Oswaldwistle, and I spoke to a whole range of folk with individual queries between talks and over lunch. One gent I spoke to was a former B-Special in Northern Ireland, who thanked me for giving him the full context of the 1912-23 period (I covered it from both nationalist and unionists POVs), another was a wee woman with a connection to Whitehead (just outside of Carrickfergus, my home town), and pletnty of other great conversations - I even learned a lot about Icelandic genealogy from one member over lunch!

Towards the end of the day we had a question and answer panel also, where I participated alongside Maggie Loughran (who gave a talk on pre-1865 resources) and Brenda Hustler, the society's Irish expert, where we had a range of interesting questions and scenarios that we tried to work through on the spot. A huge thank you also to all of those who bought copies of my books, I hope they help! (Copies can be purchased also from

If you live in the Lancashire area, the society is a bit like the North of Ireland Family History Society, in that it has various sub branches (including one in London), as well as an Irish interest group - full details are available at Rumour has it they will even accept folk from Yorkshire as members...! :)

Thanks again, and I hope to see you all again one day!


For details on my genealogy guide books, including A Beginner's Guide to British and Irish Genealogy, A Decade of Irish Centenaries: Researching Ireland 1912-1923Discover Scottish Church Records (2nd edition), Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit

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