Maeve Mullins features on Your Best Self podcast

Finders International Ireland’s senior researcher Maeve Mullins took part in Faye Rowlands’ Your Best Self Podcast in March discussing the career change she made almost eight years ago and why she loves her job so much.

Maeve took redundancy from her job as an IT project manager for the Bank of Ireland to pursue her interest in history and genealogy. Maeve had inherited her father Dan’s interest in family history and had been studying genealogy on the side. She and her father had both investigated their family tree – her father doing it the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper, and hours of scouting the old microfiche records in the days before digitisation of parish records, birth certificates, etc.

As Maeve told Faye, you are never done exploring your family history. New records come online all the time allowing for further expansion of knowledge. The internet was made for genealogy and genealogy was made for the internet. She recalled finding her poetry-writing grandfather in the 1911 census where he described himself as an agriculturalist, rather than just a farmer.

Full-time genealogy

When Maeve had initially taken redundancy, she had worried that genealogy would not be able to provide her with a full-time career. However, this proved to be unfounded when she started to work for Finders International.

In the main, queries to Finders International take two forms. In a typical inquiry from a solicitor, the deceased person’s will states names and addresses of those they name as their heirs but those addresses are either old or the heir themselves has died, and Finders Ireland needs to search for those named people or their relatives.

The other typical inquiry is where someone has died without a valid will in place and Finders Ireland must trace all the entitled relatives.

Fascinating and sad

Such research can often uncover fascinating and sad stories. In one recent case, a solicitor contacted the firm about a man who had died and who had never had any children or married, although he did have a niece and nephew who were entitled to a share of an estate.

However, the gentleman had initially named a woman he had been engaged to in the deeds of his house. The woman’s family had not approved of the man and forbade them to marry. She eventually married someone else and had a family, although the man never changed his will. When Finders Ireland traced the woman, she was saddened that her former fiancé had not married himself.

In another story, Maeve and her team searched for the family of a woman who had been born in the same mother and baby home that featured in the film, Philomena. The woman had two children and did manage to leave the home with her daughter and son, rather than them being put up for adoption. Her daughter had later emigrated to the US, while her son went to the UK. The brother and sister lost touch with each other, and by the time the woman died in the States, her brother had passed away too.

50 percent of presidents have an Irish background

In the podcast, Maeve and Faye talked about Irish American links. Genealogy research shows that of the 46 American presidents to date, 23 of them have Irish ancestry, including the current incumbent, Joe Biden.

Maeve does not find this surprising. While most people are aware of mass Irish emigration during the famine years in the mid-19th century, emigration had been going on long before and long after then.

She and Faye are both looking forward to the first US female president who has an Irish background!

When Finders Ireland contacts people out of the blue, they are often far less interested in the money they have inherited than finding out more about their Irish history. Family history research, Maeve says, is full of interesting twists and turns. You never know where it is going to take you. Difficulties arise with common names, such as John Murphy but the Finders team has so many years of experience, there isn’t a case they can’t eventually crack.


You can find Your Best Self on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox and more.