Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm off to Ireland soon; Can I get you anything?

In a couple of weeks I am off to Ireland to conduct research for my work, and, if time allows, family history research. I have a very full work schedule, but am looking forward to just being in Ireland once again.

It's difficult to believe, (perhaps not so difficult, given the Irish economy), that so much has changed with respect to archives/libraries since I was there last August. Due to "a significant reduction in staffing levels", UCD Archives has been forced to reduce reading room access hours. The Allen Library, a veritable treasure trove of documents and ephemera, is now closed. A vast array of materials now sits in boxes until someone can find the money (and the will) to house it properly. This is particularly sad for me because the Allen holds the Christian Brothers School portrait in which I saw, for the very first time, an image of my paternal grandmother's brother, Michael Magee.

In April of this year over 200 archivists, historians, librarians, genealogists and members of the general public attended the 'Archives in Crisis', symposium hosted by the Medieval History Research Centre, Trinity College, Dublin. The event was prompted by the proposed amalgamation of the National Archives of Ireland with the National Library, and the news in January 2010 that state papers due to be released under the 30-year rule cannot be processed owing to a lack of resources in the National Archives. According to my contact at Kilmainham Gaol, "everyone in archives is feeling very unsettled at the moment".


As always we try to make the best of any situation and so I'm wondering, while I'm there...

Can I get you anything? Is there a document I can retrieve for you? Do you have a family member who has been difficult to trace and whose information I might be able to find for you? Is there a grave you would like photographed?

Let me know by email:, or just post a comment here. I make no promises, but I'll do my very best to try and bring it home for you.

Cheers! Jennifer


  1. I have four Irish great grandparents and I am sure there is something that I could use, but I have no clue where do find it....

    Perhaps a 30ish single, cute Irishman for my daughter.


  2. Thank you for your kind offer. I can't think of anything for me....however, I hope you have a wonderful trip and that you find some exciting family research while in Ireland.

  3. Hi Claudia and Lindalee, Thanks for your comments. Claudia if you have any details about your G-Grandparents, I'd be happy to take a look; I'll bring back the Irishman as long as I can fit him into my suitcase. :):)
    Cheers! Jennifer

  4. The mystery for me are my Limerick great grandparents. Patrick O'Rourke b.May 1852, death certificate says Limerick. Father Denis O'Rourke mother Mary ????.

    Patrick's wife Ellen Mortel (Mortell) b. April 1851-52, death cert says Limerick.
    Father Patrick Mortel and mother unknown

    Emigrated in 1872 and married in 1874. Lived in East Pittsburgh PA.

    Grandfather had brother James (PA) sister Mary O'Rourke Rogan (PA) and a sister listed in Mary's obit (1926) as Mrs William Collins of Limerick.

    I would appreciate any ideas, and I think all you could fit would be a leprechaun.

    Have a safe trip.

  5. AS if you have nothing else to do, you make an offer such as this! Wow! I hope one day to make a trip to Ireland myself, but may not be for awhile. Planning on another area first. You have a super time and enjoy yourself. I hope you don't have to work to hard! Cheers to you Jennifer!

  6. Hi Cheryl and Claudia, Thanks for your comments . Cheryl thanks for your good wishes. Claudia I was wondering if you would mind emailing me ( because I think I might have a way of finding out some info for you. J.


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Cheers, Jennifer

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