A Very Occasional Blog

I’m a genealogist by profession, with credentials from AGI.  I also dabble in local history and the history of Irish golfers, and I’m always writing something!

A Sad Fact about Baltinglass & the Great War

​Those who died in the Great War (1914-1918) are commemorated each year on 11 November. Huge numbers of Irishmen enlisted to fight in the British Army, the Royal Navy or the forces of other countries in the British Empire. They joined and fought for a variety of...

A Little Fact about a Gravestone, Rathmoon, Paris, Pioneering Surgery & Phoenix, Arizona

  ​What’s the oldest gravestone in St. Joseph’s graveyard in Baltinglass? I really don’t know. But I do know that it’s not the one with the earliest date on it. Am I confusing you? Well, there is a gravestone that includes ‘Michael Brophy who gave his life in...

Rex Ingram, the Irishman who put the Valentino into Romance

[The image accompanying this story is not of Rex and Alice.  It is taken from a generic postcard of the period that has a verse about ‘Constancy’ and a heading to relate it to a specific place.  In this case it is ‘FROM BALTINGLASS’.] It’s now exactly a hundred years...

Pat Doyle – a Forgotten Irish Golfer

Pat Doyle in the 1910s. Mark Frost’s 2002 book The Greatest Game Ever Played (later made into a film) is a somewhat fictionalised account of the 1913 US Open at Brookline, where the American amateur Francis Ouimet beat Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in a play-off.  Hidden...

The Irish Walker Cup Player That Never Was

Photo © The University of St. Andrews The 45th Walker Cup match, held in September, saw five Irishmen on the GB&I team for the first time ever.  Gavin Moynihan had already played in the 2013 match, but the first appearances for Dunne, Hume, Hurley and Sharvin...

Tragedy in Kilmurry

It is impossible to imagine the mental state of John Jackson during his meeting with Dr. Dockeray 150 years ago this very day.  John’s mind may have been in turmoil; it may have been numbed by grief.  Whether Dr. Dockeray visited his farm in Kilmurry or John travelled...

The Remarkable Margaret Falley

​Margaret Dickson Falley’s publication, Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestral Research, is remarkable, yet the vast majority of people now pursuing Irish genealogical research have never heard of it.  The most remarkable thing about Falley’s two-volume work is that it was...



Gorry Research,
Co. Wicklow,


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