I have been tracing my family history of ancestors from the Skibbereen area for almost 15 years. We initially knew very little about our Minihane family from Ballyally, Skibbereen. I contacted the Heritage Centre, and their genealogy service was able to provide a lot of fundamental information such as baptism names and dates. Their guidance and knowledge were very helpful, and have resulted in a great deal of information and “new” cousins in five different countries! As time has gone on, I have stayed in contact with them, through visits and emails. The Heritage Centre contains a great deal of interesting and valuable information, and the knowledgeable staff has helped me put many pieces of our family history together.Barbara Walsh Bouchey
Michele and Michael Marshall Florida, U.S.A.
There is only one word to describe the SKIBBEREEN HERITAGE CENTRE - EXCELLENCE !My husband and I contacted the Skibbereen Heritage Centre in 2016 as we planned a trip to Ireland. The Heritage Centre is a wonderful place to visit and an excellent resource for researching Irish heritage and ancestors. Ms. Margaret Murphy was the researcher who answered my email inquiry and after I sent her the preliminary family information which I possessed she "sprang into action" and gathered a great deal of additional pertinent information and documents about my husband's "Burke" family from County Cork. We cannot thank Margaret and the other friendly staff members at the Heritage Centre for the expert and professional genealogical services which they provide. Margaret, in particular, possesses great enthusiasm for her work and it is very apparent that she loves her job. She is warm, dedicated, and passionate about Ireland and its history. Because of Margaret's guidance we were able to locate the Burke family burial area in the Old Caheragh Cemetery and other important family locations in County Cork.The museum at the Skibbereen Heritage Centre is very interesting to visit. It tells in much detail the story of the Great Irish Potato Famine with displays of numerous artifacts, dioramas, and videos.We highly recommend the Skibbereen Heritage Centre to anyone who seeks to find out more about their Irish heritage. Personally, we cannot wait to visit them again.
Researching your family history in the Skibbereen area? I would truly recommend that you contact the Skibbereen Heritage Centre.On a recent trip to Ireland my wife and I visited the centre and within a very short time, they were able to validate our existing genealogical information and identified other leads and family connections.In addition, due to their local knowledge, staff were able to arrange for us to visit a local family who had purchased the adjacent land previously owned by my ancestors and on which was a ruin of their original house from the 1800’s. The family were kind enough to meet with us and take us to see the ruin. A truly emotional and exciting experience, knowing that my Great Grandmother had spent the first 23 years of her life living there.Subsequent to our visit:• We have made numerous additional email enquiries which have been dealt with expertly and promptly.• The staff identified a descendant of my Great Grandmothers Sister who still lives in the area and arranged with us for email contact. We are still communicating.• Two additional separate researchers of the same family, have also been put in contact with us.An efficient, courteous and most helpful team.
In November of 2016 I travelled to Skibbereen from Bellingham Washington, USA with the sole purpose of researching the background of J.J. Donovan, the son of Patrick Donovan who emigrated to the U.S. in 1850. J.J. Donovan became the most important man in the history of our city. I am writing his biography and needed to learn of his family beginnings. I took a gamble that by traveling to Ireland I might learn of his roots.Fortunately I found the Heritage Centre website and made a thirty minute appointment with Margaret Murphy. I sent her what little information I had about the Denis Donovan family and hoped for the best. I learned upon my arrival at the Centre that there were 6 or 7 Denis Donovans in Skibbereen Parish in the 1840s and that the search would be very difficult.However, after using three computers, and making phone calls to local experts, Margaret was able to identify the family and even locate the 1 acre of rented land on which they lived. In the meantime She gave me a marvelous understanding of how they lived and their economic and social standing and a considerable lesson in Irish History as well, and then in a supreme act of generosity she volunteered on her day off, to guide me to the very location of the Donovan rented land and to the Kilmacabea burial ground where she was sure Denis and his wife and earlier generations would have been buried.I shall forever be grateful for the friendly and professional assistance given me by Margaret Murphy. I returned home filled with the knowledge that I had sought. When published, a copy of Donovan’s biography will be sent to the Heritage Centre as a token of my profound gratitude.Thanks again Margaret- you remain a warm memory in my heart.
Doran Warren Francis Donovangreat, great, grandson of Dennis Donovan.
The Skibbereen Heritage Society was very helpful in researching the Dennis Donovan family. Margaret Murphy worked with me before we arrived in Skibbereen and when we arrived, gave us a tour of the Leap area, including the town lands and cemetery where Dennis may have lived. She also showed us Castle Donovan.My wife and I were very impressed with the Society's Museum and its many publications, especially the one on the Famines as they affected Skibbereen. We only wish we had more time to visit the area. Thank you for all your assistance.