'Irish Roots' archive



Irish Roots


February 1 2016

Who makes a living from genealogy in Ireland?

The prospects of making a living from genealogy in Ireland aren't great. There is no career path, very few employers and loads of competition. But many people involved with family history want to do nothing else, meaning there are quite a few groups and individuals who use it to try to earn a crust.

Accredited Genealogists Ireland (accreditedgenealogists.ie), of which I am a member, is a standards body aiming to provide potential clients with security about the quality of commissioned research, and some collegiality for individuals involved in the field.

Eneclann (eneclann.ie) is a long-established company providing high-quality research and archival services. They employ a small number of researchers.

ProGenealgists (progenealogists.com) is an American company affiliated with Ancestry.com that provides research mainly to North Americans. They have recently taken on a small number of Irish genealogists based in Dublin.

Ancestor Network (ancestornetwork.ie) is a company based in south Dublin that uses a group of part-time researchers, most of them connected with the Genealogical Society of Ireland (familyhistory.ie).

In addition, there are many individuals offering themselves for research. The National Library keeps an unvetted list, which is the first step for most people trying to get into the field, available at nli.ie/en/commission-research.aspx.

As for courses that lead to qualifications, again the field is thin.

UCC runs a two-year part-time adult education course in Cork (goo.gl/dG3rNe) that leads to an NFQ level 7 qualification, the equivalent of an ordinary-level primary degree. The University of Limerick runs a postgraduate MA in the History of the Family - goo.gl/fUJylN - which is as much sociology as family history, I think. Seán Murphy used to deliver a well-regarded three-year Certificate course in UCD, but that has been discontinued. Seán is continuing with courses other than the Certificate: goo.gl/i8Qo4l

And City Colleges in Dublin (citycolleges.ie) has a ten-week intensive course that aims to provide a detailed overview of sources and methods, which I deliver myself - the next one starts on February 11. Roll up, roll up.

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