Category Archives: Ireland

TGP 37 – Elaine Hannon, Irish Genealogy

Featured Guest

Elaine Hannon

Elaine Hannon owns Elaine Hannon Genealogy, a genealogy research business based near Dublin, Ireland that reconnects people to their Irish families.

A search to locate her American grandfather stoked Elaine’s interest in genealogy after her Elaine Hannonsecretarial assistant career ended when her boss, a government official, retired. At the urging of her husband, Elaine sought formal education to fuel her passion. After an intensive three months, she earned a Diploma in Family History – Genealogy from Independent College in Dublin. Elaine then opened Elaine Hannon Genealogy in 2011.

In this episode, Elaine discusses how she started a new genealogy business, to include taking a social media course, attracting clients, and finding a focus. Her guiding motto as she has grown a successful business is “Start small, and work your way big.”

Elaine was born in Dublin, Ireland and now lives in County Meath, within a short train ride to Dublin’s research facilities. Elaine obtained a Diploma in Family History Research (Genealogy), ICM Professional Development Award. This course was run through the Independent College of Dublin in Spring 2011. The Diploma course is delivered in conjunction with the Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI). Elaine is a member of the Accredited Genealogists Ireland (Formerly the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland), Irish Genealogical Research Society of Ireland (IGRS) and the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG).

Elaine is a listed Researcher with the National Archives of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland.

Contact Links

Facebook Page – Elaine Hannon

Website – Elaine Hannon Genealogy

Other Links

Diploma in Family History – Genealogy from Independent College Dublin

Irish Genealogical Research Society of Ireland (IGRS)

Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI)

Association of Professional Genealogists (APG)

Facebook Page – Irish Roots Hunters

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Seek formal training. It will get you on the right track so you will feel confident in your own research.

Recommended Book

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors  by John Grenham

Productivity Tool

Family Tree Maker – software to simplify clients’ family trees (undergoing change in ownership)


Do not give up. Try, try again. Once you start, keep at it.  It’s not going to happen overnight.  It will all turn out right in the end, as they say in Ireland.

Action Item

It is interesting to hear how genealogists around the world get their education and how they start their businesses. Elaine used the internet and Facebook to attract new clients. In the past, Elaine Hannon was a Genealogist Adviser for Irish Roots Magazine on their Facebook page where she gave advice and guidance on tracing your Irish ancestors and all aspects of Genealogy/Irish Family History. This was a great step in promoting herself as a professional Genealogist and her genealogy business.


Elaine talked about using Facebook as a form of marketing. While it may not be practical for you to partner with a magazine, you can still make the most of Facebook. First, do some market research. Search Facebook for groups that cover the topic of your niche. For instance, if you do French Canadian genealogy then search for French Canadian groups. Second, join the groups and get involved. Don’t ask people for business. Instead, provide value. Answer questions, be helpful and share your expertise. It will be the first steps in building relationships with your potential target market.

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2 upcoming, new Mastermind groups:

A Mastermind is a 12-month group coaching session for genealogy professionals to discuss goals, strategize plans, and for members to get support and encouragement for achieving business success. Marian leads two Mastermind groups which are limited to 10 members each. These groups are most ideal for genealogists who have completed either the ProGen course or the BU Certificate program.

Two new Mastermind groups will be starting in March 2016. You can find information about signing up either on The Genealogy Professional website or on the Marian Pierre-Louis Facebook page.  The cost is $99 per person for the year. Sign up quickly because there are limited spots and no extra groups will be added.

* NEW * Facebook group for The Genealogy Professional podcast:

The new Genealogy Professional (TGP) podcast Facebook group is free and a place to talk about the action items from the show and to ask questions. Join the group by signing up for the mailing list on The Genealogy Professional website.  You’ll receive an invitation via email to join the Facebook group.


TGP 19 Eileen O’Duill – Probate Research

Featured Guest

Eileen Ó Dúill

Eileen Ó Dúill, has been a professional Irish genealogist since 1990, specializing in legal and probate genealogical research. She is currently the only Certified Genealogist in Ireland. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and served on the board of the as the International Trustee for Britain and Ireland (2007-2012).Eileen O'Duill - Heirs Ireland on The Genealogy Professional podcast

Eileen has lectured at national and international conferences in the US, Ireland, Canada and the U.K. from 1999 to 2014 and co-presented a webinar on Irish genealogical research for She was a course tutor and lecturer on the Diploma in Family History (Genealogy) at the Independent College, Dublin and currently teaches on the summer school programme at University College Cork. She has been admitted as an expert witness in the Surrogate Courts in 6 counties of New York.

Eileen was able to turn a lifelong hobby into a business providing a professional genealogical research service. Being an American living in Ireland for 39 years, has enabled her to have a unique perspective on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and an understanding of her fellow countrymen in their quest for their Irish heritage.

Contact Links

Heirs Ireland website

Other Links

Celtic Connections Conference, Waltham, MA – August 15 & 16, 2014

Back to Our Past, Dublin, Ireland – October 17-19, 2014

University of Cork, Genealogy Summer School program – June 29 – July 6, 2014

The Gathering, Ireland (2013)

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“1) Get a copy of Professional Genealogy and 2) follow the Transitional Genealogists mailing list.

Recommended Book

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors by John Grenham

Productivity Tool

Drop Box – Tool for sharing large files


“Practice, Practice, Practice! Learn by doing. Get as much experience as possible.”

Action Item

This week, since Eileen and I talked quite a bit about public speaking, let’s warm up to the idea and get you thinking about incorporating public speaking into your offerings.  You won’t actually try to arrange any public speaking engagements. First we need to make sure you are prepared in advance.

ACTION: Before you can do any public speaking you need to get prepared with a potential talk, some equipment and a target venue. Here are the three steps for this week’s action item:

1) You Need a Talk

Think of a topic or project that you could turn in to a potential talk. If you are brand new to public speaking stick to a beginner topic or a subject that you know inside and out.

2) You Need Equipment

To do public speaking you will need to have a laptop computer (or borrow one) and have the corresponding software. For Windows computers this is typically PowerPoint. Keynote for Mac users. If you don’t have this equipment currently can you plan to get it in the future or can you borrow it for your talks?

3) You Need a Venue

Select a location to target for your first talk. Ideally it will be a local historical society, genealogical society or local library.  Hopefully you have already established some relationships with the folks in these organizations. If not, go back and do your networking first.

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TGP 16 Fiona Fitzsimons – Irish Research

Featured Guest

Fiona Fitzsimons

Fiona is a founder and Director of Eneclann, a Trinity College Campus Company established in 1998, that specialises in history and heritage services.

As Eneclann’s Research director, she plays a key role in developing and ensuring quality in the company’s digital publications and the online resources at and Fiona Fitzsimons of Eneclann on The Genealogy Professional

In family history, Fiona is probably best known for tracing President Obama’s Irish family history. In 2013 Fiona gave a private presentation on the President’s Irish roots to Michelle Obama and her daughters on the occasion of their visit to Trinity College Dublin.

Fiona and her team have also brought you the Irish research for Who Do You Think You Are?, PBS’s Faces of America and Finding Your Roots, RTE’s Ancestors During the Famine, and others.

Fiona and her research team have also completed some of the largest historical research projects ever undertaken in Ireland, developing new methodologies to be tested and used by other resarchers. Work includes an audit of the accuracy of the Irish Genealogical Project’s database of church records, and the Irish Battlefields Project for the Department of the Environment.

In 2013 Fiona was elected to the Board of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Contact Links

Eneclann website

Eneclann Facebook page

Eneclann Twitter page

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

Familiarize themselves with Irish genealogy websites.

Recommended Book

Anything by Jorge Luis Borges, the former Director of the National Library of Argentina

Productivity Tool

Drop Box – Tool for sharing large files


“Keep detailed research notes. Stay on top of your own records. Build up your own research library.”

Action Item

This week we focus on Fiona’s suggestion to build up our own research library. There are certain books that all of us need to have at arm’s reach at a moments notice.  For every researcher this will be different based on where you live and what your research specialties are.  You may not own all of the books right now but you can strive to get them later.

ACTION: Make a list of the top 10 books that would appear in your genealogy reference library.  You might have some now and others might be on your wish list. What is crucial for you to have at moments notice? Share your list in the comments below!

Here are six that are on my list:

Professional Genealogy edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills

Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills

The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. Greenwood

Red Book by Ancestry

Land & Property Research in the United States by E. Wade Hone

The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual
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