The Odd Perk of Being a Genealogist at the Irish Family History Centre.

Genealogists are in privileged positions. To some extent, we are like doctors: people tend to put their trust in us with otherwise quite personal and private information. And when a genealogist reveals something new to a client about their family, because it is personal, the reaction can be quite emotional and the client can be particularly grateful. And I have had the pleasure and honour of experiencing that. Here are a couple of stories.

I was on the morning shift one day in July 2016, ending at 13:30, and two English ladies (who were friends but otherwise unrelated) arrived in at about 12:30 and wanted individual consultations. The Gods were smiling on both of them because I found quite a bit of info for each. They were both ecstatic and, because it was now lunch time and I was coming off duty, they invited me to lunch in the noodle eatery in the CHQ Building. I remember I had a large tub of spicy meat and noodles, plus a coffee, and we chatted away for another hour. What generosity!

During the summer of 2016, an enthusiastic lady, who was a professor of education from Florida, came in to trace her County Waterford Whelan ancestors. It proved a difficult case, but I found some leads for her to chase up. It was quiet that afternoon and the professor was in talkative mood. We both shared an academic background, and I told her of my unconventional efforts to enthuse the general public in Irish geology and in Ireland’s minerals, such as by combining geology with genealogy. This got her very fired up and she invited me to speak at the Association of Ubiquitous and Collaborative Educators international (AUCEi) 2017 conference in Dublin (see http://www.aucei.net/dublin-2017.html ). Which I accepted, presented a 30-minute talk, and got fantastic feedback.

And we get our fair share of hugs, too!

There are not many jobs where one might, at any moment, get a free lunch, an invite to a conference, or a hug.

By Patrick Roycroft