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S01EP06: ‘The Witness’ with David Ryan

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The Family Histories Podcast - The Witness with David Ryan banner

The sixth episode of Series One of The Family Histories Podcast, The Witness, is now live across Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all the other usual platforms.

In this episode we’re joined by guest David Ryan – a family historian with a Masters in Medieval History, and a strong Irish ancestry. Andrew will be finding out how he got into tracing family history, what it’s like researching Irish records, and what it’s like being a professional genealogist with Ancestry ProGenealogists.

Listen to the episode

S01EP06 – 'The Witness' with David Ryan The Family Histories Podcast

Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and others

The Life Story:
John Hyland

David chose his Great Great Grandfather, John Hyland as his Relatively Speaking life story.

John was born in the early 1850s, in Sceichín na Rince, in Tipperary, at the end of the devastating famine in Ireland, during which many were displaced, emigrated, or died.

Having disappeared in records after the 1911 census, John was found alive and well by a stroke of luck, a record in The National Folklore Collection, which was created when a group of school children interviewed older relatives and members of the community.

This provided David with fascinating insights into his ancestor’s long life – one that witnessed Ireland change dramatically in the eyes of his eventual nonagenarian ancestor.

The Brick Wall:
Honora and Bridget Williams

Everyone hits a blocker in their family history research, and here David picked out the case of two of his 3x Great Grandmothers – Honora and Bridget Williams who are believed to have been sisters.

The puzzle here, is were they really sisters? David has managed to find that they were born just before compulsory registration in about the 1820s, and by the 1840s, the two women were both getting married at Ballyporeen in County Tipperary, Ireland.

If you think you have information that might help David to progress this case then you can reach out to him either directly via his twitter account @ryan_genealogy or via our contact form, remembering to select him in the drop-down list.

Andrew tries to help David with making that breakthrough he needs in his research, and it sort of works….


Episode Credits:
Series One, Episode Six

  • Andrew Martin: Host & Producer
  • David Ryan: Guest
  • Eliot Lees: Foley Artist

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