Now that the dust has settled on the launch of the National Library’s Catholic parish registers site (, it’s worth reflecting on what(...)

One of the small pleasures of spending time rummaging through record systems is observing the ways in which they slowly deform under the weight of the(...)

Irish Roots

Holding onto your sanity can be tricky when your occupational raw material consists of the legions of the dead. So genealogists have to develop(...)

Like it or not, races and nations do have their own characteristics, their own flaws and talents, and large parts of these stem from inheritance. To recognise this is not racist, any more than ignoring it is egalitarian

In the course of the controversy a few weeks ago over Rachel Dolezal, the American woman born white accused of adopting an African-American identity, (...)

A few weeks back I wrote about Alfred Henry Hunter, the reputed real-life original of Joyce’s Leopold Bloom, to demonstrate just how much information (...)

Finding your roots: Vast jungles of genealogical half-truths and supposition have spread online, and the need for experienced guides has grown, not diminished

Is it still possible to be an independent, professional genealogist? It was always a precarious livelihood, dependent on finding intelligent, trusting(...)

Irish Roots

A few weeks back, the Ordnance Survey Ireland maps website ( was taken offline and the worldwide Fraternity of Historic Map Nuts held its (...)

Alfred Henry Hunter is the Dubliner long known to be the model for the hero of Joyce’s Ulysses, Leopold Bloom. In 1904, after rescuing Joyce from a dr(...)

Back in 2011, Dick Eastman (, the doyen of North American genealogy commentators and a very straight talker, described as “th(...)

I’ve spent most of the past few weeks snout down, tail in the air, happily rooting through the General Register Office indexes on T(...)