Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland Organises BTOP Presentation Programme

6 September 2013
For immediate publication

Back To Our Past takes place on 18-20 October at the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Today, as organisers of the official BTOP Presentations, APGI are pleased to announce the launch of the presentations programme. As usual, these talks run in two concurrent strands throughout the event, and admission to them is free for all those attending BTOP (first come, first served).

This is the fourth year of BTOP and the third time the presentations have been organised by APGI. This being one of the main Irish heritage events during the year of The Gathering, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, TD, has accepted an invitation to officially open the presentations at 12.15pm on Friday 18 October. APGI acknowledge the close co-operation of (the Irish Family History Foundation), the sponsors of the official BTOP Presentations.

Programme Content

The talks cover a wide range of topics that should appeal to military history and local history enthusiasts as well as the genealogists who normally populate the event. Such diverse subjects as Book Collecting, Priest Hunters and ‘Transport Ancestors’ are included, while two questions are posed: Who Are the Irish Anyway? Who Do the Irish Think They Are?

The military history ranges in time from the Norman Invasion of Ireland to the Irish in the Vietnam War. Absolute beginners in family history are catered for, as of course are the more experienced. Popular topics that are the staple diet of the BTOP audience return again, while sources like School Roll Books make a first appearance, and Place-names are given some scrutiny. Looking overseas, there are lectures on researching in US records as well as in the National Library of Wales and London’s Society of Genealogists.

Familiar names among the speakers include Brian Donovan, Shane MacThomáis and Ann McVeigh. Tony Hennessy is one of the new faces, along with the authors James Durney, Conor Kostick, Colin Murphy and Damian Shiels. Three energetic lecturers – David Butler, Else Churchill and Mario Corrigan – will be delivering two talks each. The full timetable of the presentations may be seen on the Programme Schedule page of the BTOP website.

‘Fringe’ Benefits

This year the two strands of official Presentations are supplemented by a special ‘fringe’ strand of DNA lectures. This strand is being organised by ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogists) on behalf of FamilyTreeDNA. These lectures will run at the same times as the official BTOP Presentations, affording visitors a choice of three talks at any one time. The timetable for the DNA lectures may be found on a dedicated website at