Allow me to introduce you to the 


Chairperson: Jane Halloran Ryan
Secretary: Larry Parks
Treasurer: Dolores Murrihy
West Clare Representative: Dolores Murrihy
Funding liaison officer: Eric Shaw
PRO and Diaspora Liaison person: Larry Brennan
PRO: John Bradley
CIGO Representatives: Paddy Waldron & Aileen Wynne
Research Officer: Declan Barron
Webmaster: Paddy Casey
Deputy webmistress: Aileen Wynne

Australian Diaspora Coordinator: Chris Goopy
U.S.A. Diaspora Coordinator: Kate Welch
Linda Hogan
Mary Hester
Chairperson emeritus: Gerry Kennedy
Chairperson emeritus: Paddy Waldron

This is the introduction on the CRS site... do wander through and have a look at our publications which are numerous, and very well researched...

The Clare Roots Society, brainchild of Ennis man Larry Brennan, was formed in April 2006 as an amateur family history, genealogy and heritage group in County Clare. The Society meets once a month in Ennis, and now has well over 100 members. Anyone with an interest in tracing their family tree is welcome to join. Some members are experienced genealogists while others are novices in the field. In addition to local members, we have some 'virtual' members who live overseas but who follow our genealogy activities via email, and dream that they are in County Clare*. Many of these overseas members participate heavily in Society transcription projects. Activities of the Clare Roots Society are advertised in the local press and in the Ennis Cathedral bulletin. The society works in partnership with Clare County Library in order to add to the wonderful fund of genealogy information already available on its website
* Individuals who live abroad and wish to participate in the Society's projects (e.g. transcription projects) can become members by sending their names, addresses and email addresses to the Secretary. Their names will then be put on the mailing list so that they are kept advised of Society events and projects. Until or unless they become resident in Ireland they will be exempt from the annual Society subscription. An annual subscription fee is levied on members who are resident in Ireland and thus able to participate in the Society's activities in person.

Every now and then, I will add a short Bio of the various members of the CRS Committee... in no particular order...

Jane Halloran Ryan

Jane Halloran Ryan is an American of Irish descent who has been residing in Tulla for the last 26 years.  Her own interest in genealogy began in her teens when her mother began researching her own family tree and later with her paternal grandmother who was also very active with the family history. 
Jane is a non-practising member of the Law Society of Ireland having qualified as a Solicitor in 1997.  In addition, she completed an undergraduate degree in Accounting at Fairfield University in Connecticut.  She returned to school in 2012 and completed a Certificate in the History of Family and Genealogical Research Methods from the University of Limerick.  She continued with study and she recently completed her M.A. in Local History at University of Limerick where she presented her paper “The Causes and Reasons for Outrages and Agrarian Crime in Tulla, County Clare, 1852-1894”. 
 Jane is a director and volunteer with the Tulla Courthouse and she also volunteers with the Ireland Reaching Out project acting as a parish liaison for Tulla.  Jane was the Volunteer of the Year in 2013 with the Ireland Reaching Out project.   She  has recently taken on a part-time consultancy with Ireland Reaching Out as their Volunteer Coordinator.  Jane oversees the many volunteers who assist all visitors who engage with the project.
  In addition, Jane has spoken at the Genealogy Event Conference in Limerick for the past several years, East Clare Heritage Centre, Milwaukee Irish Fest 2013 and 2014, and Cork Genealogical Society Conference in 2014 on genealogy research and local history sources available for genealogy research.   Jane is a member of the APG and an Affiliate with the AGI (formerly APGI).  
Jane was part of a local team from Tulla who took part in the Historic Graves project and the Memory Trail project which train communities to preserve and document their local heritage.  Jane has been transcribing the local parish registers and recently completed the burial register for Tulla graveyard.  She is hoping that transcription work which Clare Roots Society has done so well in the past, will continue.

Paddy Casey

Paddy Casey's primary interest was his Casey family ancestry in the parishes of Tubber, a rural metropolis which straddles the border between north Clare and south Galway. This interest rapidly snowballed into research on the family and local history of the Tubber area and Clare in general, some of it summarised in the websites and pages at

construction because waiting for local input).

He was a founder member of the Clare Roots Society. He set up the CRS website at and, together with Aileen, curates and maintains it. 
He has initiated and/or participated in numerous Clare transcription
projects (Clare parishes, emigrants), the resulting data of which has been published and curated on the Clare County Library website at

He is a member of, and contributor to, the Clare Past forum at


Aileen Wynne 

Aileen has been working on her family history and genealogy for over 20 years. 

She completed the Certificate in Genealogy/Family History in 2004 and was awarded a diploma in Genealogy from U.C.D in 2006. She joined Clare Roots Society in 2011 and has been a member of the committee since 2014.

She has given various presentations to fellow genealogists on subjects including presentation skills, genealogy software and DNA for absolute beginners.

A mainframe systems programmer for over 18 years as a ‘day job’, Aileen has many and varied hobbies outside of work. She has been a member of AIB Toastmasters for over 18 years, representing the club at area and division level. When not hunting dead people, she can be found ‘shooting dancers’ as the official photographer for DanceSportIreland. She is also involved in various other genealogical and historical societies.


Kate Welch

 Kate is an accountant, living on the beautiful Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts,  and travelling to Quin, County Clare, several times a year, researching West Clare roots for CROWE, MARRINAN and WALSH. She has a great love of Irish trad music... her favourite places are Co Clare and Dingle.
Kate's great grandparents were originally from Clare and migrated to Connecticut, USA.
 Kate has been involved in numerous transcription projects and has been the Co Ordinator for the American team of transcribers for many years.


Chris Goopy

Chris has been a member of Clare Roots Society from it’s inception… over 10 years ago,  when founder, Larry Brennan, told her she was in the group.  
All I knew was that he was thinking of forming a genealogy group concentrating on his home county, Clare, and that he thought it would be a good idea if we formed a group and got some transcriptions done, index a few graveyards, and anything else we could come up with, with the aim of helping researchers worldwide."

What began as a few transcriptions of Baptisms and Marriages by members of CRS has evolved to a large number of donations to Clare Library, and Ennis Parish Genealogy.  Chris has a number of blogs, with As They Were being all to do with all things Irish…this took the place of the weekly newsletter she began writing to the transcription groups she co ordinated, as well as to the committee. 
As the numbers in the groups of volunteers grew, she became the Australian Diaspora Co ordinator and Kate Welch was seconded to head up the USA team. Transcriptions and family history projects kept a lot of people very busy for a long time, and still do. Chris is Co Admin of a number of Facebook family history groups, the first being for Co Clare. Her Irish born grandmother, Bridget Teresa Dillon Swadling, ‘ born near Ennis ‘ would no doubt be delighted that the granddaughter, who she never got to meet, is so immersed in all things Irish.
Researching DILLON, McGUANE, KEANE to name a few.




There are many wonderful biographies available....

One of the best sites is the Australian Dictionary of Biographies...

 for now, this link will take you to a select group of Irish born women or related to Irish born citizens...

or Tiny URL

 This is just a small selection....

Herring, Dame Mary Ranken (1895–1981)

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, (MUP), 2007
Dame Mary Ranken Herring (18951981), medical practitioner, was born on 31 March 1895 at Carlton, Melbourne, eldest child of Irish-born (Sir) Thomas Ranken Lyle, professor of natural philosophy at the University of Melbourne, and his Victorian-born wife Clare, nee Millear. Mary was educated at Toorak College, where she excelled both scholastically and in sport, and was head of school (1911-12). She studied at the University of Melbourne (MB, BS, 1921), graduating with first-class honours and several prizes in medicine, winning Blues in hockey and tennis and serving on the Students’ Representative Council. Her internship at the (Royal) Women’s Hospital shaped a commitment to advance women’s and children’s welfare.
To read the rest of the post, please go to ....

Sanders, Dorothy Lucy (1907–1987)

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 18, (MUP), 2012
Dorothy Lucy Sanders (1907-1987), novelist, was born on 4 May 1907 at Boulder, Western Australia, second of five daughters of Irish-born William Joseph McClemans, Church of England minister, and his New Zealand-born wife Ada Lucy, née Walker. Sheila McClemans was her sister. Dorothy began writing at an early age, despite her father’s scepticism about her ability. Educated at Perth College (where she formed a lifelong friendship with Alexandra Hasluck), University of Western Australia and Claremont Teachers’ College, she qualified as a schoolteacher in 1928. She taught in Western Australian state schools until 1936. On 5 September that year in the Perth College chapel she married with Church of England rites Colsell Smurthwaite Sanders, also a schoolteacher. She travelled with him to London, where he completed a doctorate in education while Dorothy taught in girls’ schools. They returned to Perth in 1938. Colsell Sanders was registrar (1940-54) and professor of education (1954-69) at the University of Western Australia. The couple had three children.
To read the rest of the post, please go to...

Makin, Sarah Jane (1845–1918)

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Supplementary Volume, (MUP), 2005
This is a shared entry with John Makin
John Makin (1845-1893), drayman, and his wife Sarah Jane Makin (1845-1918), midwife, became notorious as 'baby farmers'. John was born on 14 February 1845 at Dapto, New South Wales, fourth of eleven children of William Samuel Makin, farmer, and his wife Ellen Selena, née Bolton. Sarah was born on 20 December 1845 in Sydney, only daughter and elder child of former convict Emanuel Sutcliffe, miller, and his Irish-born wife Ellen, née Murphy. On 29 April 1865 Sarah married with Presbyterian forms Charles Edwards, a mariner, in Sydney. They had a daughter. On 27 August 1871 Sarah Jane Edwards, a 'spinster', married, with Free Church of England rites, John Makin, a drayman for a brewery; both were literate. They had five sons and five daughters.
To read the rest of the post please go to...




best known as author of Dracula



was originally from County Tyrone in Ireland where he was born C1822. 

There is a great story referring to Charles Colton and various members of the Colton family on the
Queensland State Library Blog, with much of the information from the John Oxley Library.

 An excerpt...

Charles Colton arrived in the colony of Queensland in August 1862 with his brother William on the immigrant ship, Helenslee, which departed from Glasgow with Scottish migrants. In 1862 within 10 days, 2034 migrants had arrived in 6 ships. The Brisbane Courier stated on 16 August 1862 “they are, for the most part, just of the right stamp to assist in the work of colonization and in building up the future prosperity of Queensland.” It was noted later that the passengers brought £30 000, a considerable amount of money that put them above the pauper immigrants the government wanted to avoid. Charles Colton was originally from County Tyrone in Ireland where he was born C1822. He went to Ipswich initially but returned to Brisbane where he purchased 4 acres, 2 roods and 10 perches from John and George Harris in July 1864 on Kedron Brook where he took an early role.

For the full story, including photos, please go to...

 or Tiny URL


1 comment:

  1. If this is inappropriate - delete. My husband and I visited Ennis and surrounding towns in County Clare last year researching part of his family heritage, namely Bartholomew and Bridget McNamara (nee Lenehan) and family from Lisdoonvarna. They migrated to Australia in August 1851. We paid 250 Euros at Corofin for information on the family, which has not eventuated 12 months later. This is after we've sent emails to them enquiring about our request. We are always given the same answer - You will receive it soon.!!! I believe that travellers investigating their heritage are being astray especially seeing they have to leave Ireland and return home. Do you know of any other reliable places to access information not on the internet.


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