British and Irish research: the differences

British and Irish research: the differences

by Brian Donovan

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British and Irish research: the differences

Ireland was England’s oldest colony, so many assume the records will be the same. They are not precisely because the two country’s histories and their relationship to each other were different. We all know about the terrible loss of Irish records, but there are great treasure troves of surviving records which don’t exist in England - records about war, rebellion, security and land control. So while there are great obstacles (record loss, language, differing histories), there is a great wealth of resources rarely accessed by genealogists. This talk will examine these differences in records and research techniques between Britain and Ireland, why Irish records were created, or destroyed, and how they can be used to unlock your past.


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Presenter: Brian Donovan

Brian Donovan is the Global Head of Irish Collections at He previously lectured in history at Trinity College Dublin in the 1990s and since then has lectured throughout Ireland and the US on history, genealogy and digitisation. Brian's experience in digital technology, as well as his background in history, helped motivate the founding of the well-known Irish genealogy company Eneclann in 1998. He played a key role in establishing the Irish collection at Brian oversees all aspects of the development of the Irish record collection at

Brian Donovan