Sunday, June 27, 2010

Your Ancestral Family - Oakland Press

The Oakland Press (, Serving Oakland County News
Economy forces workers to reinvent themselves

Sunday, June 27, 2010

By KAREN WORKMAN, The Oakland Press

Michigan has been shedding jobs like it’s going out of style.Job loss has hit the county’s residents hard, creating a chain reaction that has impacted nearly every part of the economy.Some residents, though, are finding ways to turn their bad luck into good.“In a way, I feel it was meant to be,” Bloomfield Township resident Dave Irwin said a of losing his job.Irwin was 47 years old and well established in his career as a sales manager for a company that sold personal and business checks to banks, when he received notice his job was being eliminated in February 2009.He wasn’t alone — a total of 80 people from the company were terminated at once.“I kind of feel like the universe makes things happen and it kind of directs and guides you; it makes events happen in your life that push you toward what you really should be doing,” Irwin said.While Irwin enjoyed his career as a sales manager, he’s also always enjoyed his lifelong hobby of doing genealogy research.“Sometimes people seem naturally born into being a doctor or something; I feel I was born into being a family historian because ever since I was a little kid, I liked hearing about family history,” Irwin said. “My grandmother was kind of the family historian and I used to spend quite a bit of time with her when I was young.”Now, Irwin is running his own business, called Your Ancestral Family, online at

Becoming an entrepreneur was not the first thing on his mind when he lost his job, though.“I was worried — how was I going to pay my bills, and that kind of thing,” Irwin said. “I just decided it was time, that maybe because of the job market — it was so bad that there were like 10 people for every one job — it was time to become an entrepreneur and do what I do best.” While he admits he had his doubts about striking out on his own, he dipped into his savings to launch his business and decided to follow his instincts.Irwin is now available for hire, offering three different packages of genealogical research for people. The service is valuable, he says, because getting started in genealogy can be difficult. He compared it to doing taxes without professional help.“On the one hand, you can do your own taxes, but it’s almost like you’d rather trust having it done right by a professional,” Irwin said.Even with websites such as — where he is listed as professional genealogist for hire — Irwin said it can be difficult for someone without experience to dig up all the records available.“There’s a lot of little tricks that professional genealogists know,” he said.Irwin launched his business in May last year and does have educational training that qualifies him as an expert in the field. “We fully research your family tree online and provide you a view so you can watch as your tree grows and we’ll document your tree and go back as far as records allow us, plus give a research report with a narrative, family tree charts and all the records we find,” Irwin said.

Contact staff writer Karen Workman at (248) 745-4643 or
© 2010, a Journal Register Property

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Surname Map of Ireland

Patrick Edward Reilly born 1670 in Ireland immigrated to Pennsylvania, USA


In medieval times, Cavan was known as East Brefnie, or Brefnie O'Reilly after its ruling Gaelic family since it was a major part of the 11th century Irish Kingdom of Breifne