JILLIAN VAN TURNHOUT NÉE HASSETT is a respected children’s and human rights expert and former Senator in the upper house of the Irish Parliament. Throughout Jillian’s career, in both the private and public sector, her achievements have been recognised including winning the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Politician of the Year Award. Most recently, her work has been recognised by the President of France who awarded her the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite, the second highest national Order of France.
Parallel to this work, Jillian has been developing her skills as a genealogist and has researched her own and clients’ family history throughout Ireland, the UK, USA and Canada. Jillian is passionate about family history and understands the richness and fulfilment that goes with finding out about your ancestors and their lives. She joins with other genealogists campaigning for the publication of the 1926 Census of Ireland.
Despite the current laws in Ireland presenting a number of roadblocks, Jillian has broken through barriers and assisted former adoptees in tracing their roots. During her time in the Irish Senate, Jillian championed the right of adoptees to have their right to identity firmly established in law.
Through her extensive voluntary and professional career, Jillian has developed an extensive network of contacts throughout Ireland. In 2010, Jillian was awarded the ‘Freedom of Killarney’, County Kerry.
Jillian has attended genealogy conferences and seminars in Ireland, the UK and USA, including Roots Tech in Salt Lake City, the largest family history event in the world.
In the words of Roots author Alex Haley “In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage – to know who we are and where we have come from.” Jillian has decided to dedicate herself full time to bringing the richness of your Irish family history to life for you.
DRS. MICHAEL VAN TURNHOUT was born in The Netherlands, served as a Second Lieutenant in the Dutch army and has a Doctorandus degree from Tilburg University.
He has been living in Ireland for over 20 years and has totally immersed himself in Irish life. Michael has always had a keen interest in history and on arriving in Ireland he toured the country researching its diverse history and folklore. Michael has researched the history of townlands, local monuments and houses.
Michael also has a fascination with maps. Combining maps with his spatial ability and the fact he is a keen walker, Michael has been able to find the location of many old monuments, streams, former land boundaries, and so forth.
Michael helps clients appreciate the timeline in question, adding context with his knowledge of history of the locality and its landmarks. His mapping and spatial skills come to the fore in being able to pinpoint where your ancestors lived and how they interacted with their neighbours. Through these combined skills, he adds depth to understanding the life of your ancestor. Michael has published articles in his Local History publication, after which he began taking commissioned work.
Michael has been involved in several voluntary organisations on a national, regional and local basis. He is the current Chair of his local resident’s association and an active member of his local history society.
HILERY CONDRON assists Jillian and Michael in their work. Hilery has a Masters in Research from Waterford Institute of Technology.
Jillian and Michael have travelled throughout Ireland in search of family stories, meeting family and extended family members, local people and historians. They have trawled through archives and are willing to go the extra mile to find out a minute detail or secure a missing photo. Only recently, Jillian found a missing photo of the past President (1932) of the Royal Dublin Golf Club Howth and by tracing his history she was able to find his grandnieces.
With over 10 years of experience in family and local history research, Jillian and Michael are specialists in the field and are now undertaking individual commissions for research. They can do the entire investigation for you, but they are equally happy to become your trusted partner. If you are just starting, they can show you the way with an initial investigation and point out further avenues for research and give advice of how to proceed. If you already have started your family tree but do not know what to do next, or have hit a brick wall, they can help you move forward. They can also verify your research for you, to ensure you have found the right people.
In addition, they can enrich your tree with an understanding of the local history where your ancestors lived. They will travel throughout Ireland to find sources that can only be viewed locally. They also offer design services to help you bring all your information together in a great looking presentation – slide show, video or booklet – for that next family gathering or as a personal gift. To discuss your research needs contact them. They would love to hear from you and will strive to meet your research needs.