January hibernation

Is it too late to say Happy New Year? I’ve just about made it in under the wire for a newsletter this month, which has been busy. I’ve been writing and delivering some talks, with several more to come in February and March. Here’s a list with timezones shown for the US talks. As far as I can tell from the websites, all these venues are fully accessible.

  • Saturday, 10th February at 15:00 in Ballywaltrim Library in Bray, Co. Wicklow. Book via the library. Introduction to tracing your family tree.

  • Monday, 12th February at 18:45 in Donabate Library, Co. Dublin. Book via the library.Using DNA test results to add to your family tree.

  • Monday, 19th February at 18:45 in Howth Library, Co. Dublin. Book via the library. Using DNA test results to add to your family tree.

  • Thursday, 29th February at 08:00 MST at Rootstech, Salt Lake City, Utah. Anatomy of a Hint

  • Friday, 1st March at 13:30 MST at Rootstech, Salt Lake City, Utah. Getting started with Irish Civil Records.

You can add my talks to your schedule in the Rootstech app or on the website. If you are attending in-person, please do let me know. I’d love to say hello. I’ll also be spending some time at the booth of the International Institute of Genealogical Studies (where I’m the Director of Irish Studies) in the Expo Hall.

If you’re like me, you love books. I love reading them and buying them, which I consider totally separate hobbies! I found this graphic online recently, which particularly spoke to me.

I have some reviews of books to mention. First up, a self-published book written by a former client of mine, Denis O Sullivan, who I helped to find his birth parents, after he was illegally adopted shortly after birth. I’ve already published this one on my website so have linked to the post.

One of my Christmas presents included The Forever Witness by Edward Humes, which chronicles the murders of two young Canadians in Washington state in 1987 and how CeCe Moore used genetic genealogy to find their killer. I really enjoyed it, but it didn’t have the same nitty gritty on the DNA work that other books of this genre have featured.

Next up is a book I’m still reading, because I only got it yesterday. As part of Dublin’s Festival of History, I attended a talk with author Clair Wills (yes, she does spell it like that) on her current book: Missing Persons or My grandmother’s secrets. This is, sadly, another story about how Ireland of the past let down children who were born to single women, but Clair has tried to explore the society around this. It’s also a personal story of her own family. A child in her family was in the infamous Bessborough Mother & Baby Home in Cork. Having worked with people who went through that home, I’m particularly interested in this topic.

Lastly, a re-read. I’m a lifelong learner and I constantly read and watch lectures so I can become a better genealogist. Advanced Genetic Genealogy: techniques and case studies, edited by Debbie Parker Wayne, is a hugely important book in its field. I’m interested to see how techniques have changed since it was published. I wanted a refresher, so I took it out of the library. It was a hugely expensive book when it first came out and it still is today 5 years later.

February is imminent and that means Spring. I hope you’re seeing what we call the “grand aul stretch” in the evenings, if you’re in the northern hemisphere. If not, knuckle down inside, there’s always more ancestors to kill off!