Friday 26 June 2015

Of scoops and poops

Last weekend, Eneclann*, one of Ireland's largest genealogy research companies and partner to FindMyPastIreland (part of D H Thompson Family History), chose to follow up on an issue raised in the June issue of the Genealogical Society of Ireland (GSI)'s Genie Gazette.

It concerned Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI), the much respected collective of some of the country's top genealogists, some of whom have 30 or 40 years of professional experience. Many of them also have formal genealogical qualifications. The group recently changed its name from the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (APGI).

Eneclann, in its newsletter's newly-created 'Polemical Corner' conveniently quoted GSI's Genie Gazette: ' Neither APGI nor the newly named AGI [have]… any State recognition as a professional accrediting body.'

Eneclann declared this a 'scoop'.

But it surely can't have been a scoop or a revelation to Eneclann because the company’s director, Fiona Fitzsimons, was a member of APGI for several years. She even served on its Council in 2000. Surely she can't have been unaware that her accreditation did not have state recognition? The association has never claimed it had state recognition.

Ms Fitzsimons resigned from APGI (now AGI) in December 2013. I've been told by more than one APGI member that there was a personal dispute between her and some of her APGI colleagues.

But back to Eneclann's 'Polemical Corner'....

In it, Eneclann advocates formal genealogy qualifications rather than accreditation as the way forward for Irish genealogy.
So I popped over to the company's website to 'Meet the Team' page (click the image, right, to view a copy of the page as I found it). Either the company has forgotten to acknowledge its staff's educational prowess or Eneclann has only one member of staff with a formal qualification in a family history related subject*.

Given its high profile in the industry and its partnership with FindMyPastIreland, this might be the real scoop.

*The Meet the Team page reports that one member of staff has a 'Masters in Family History from the University of Limerick'. There is no such course currently running and I can find no details of a past course of that name . The University of Limerick runs an MA in 'The History of the Family'. You can view a copy of the 2013-14 prospectus here (this was the most up to date I could readily find). The course looks fascinating and I'm sure it could be argued this is genealogy-related subject, but is it a genealogical qualification?

UPDATE, 30 June: See Genealogy courses at universities in Ireland blogpost.

UPDATE: June 2016: Eneclann has rebranded as Irish Family History Centre.