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Brian Donovan and Fiona Fitzsimons


Brian Donovan
Director, CEO Eneclann

Brian studied History at Trinity College, graduating in 1989.  He subsequently lectured and tutored in the university and since then has also lectured throughout Ireland and the US on history, genealogy and electronic publishing.  Brian’s experience in digital technology, as well as his background in history, helped motivate the founding of Eneclann, with Fiona Fitzsimons, in 1998.  Brian specialises in Eneclann’s digitisation work, both for commercial clients and for Eneclann’s own publications.  He has overseen the development of Eneclann’s CD catalogue, as well as the Archive CD Books Ireland project.  Brian is also closely involved in developing Eneclann’s online publications, playing a key role in establishing both and www.findmypast.ieBoth of these websites are major online resources for Irish genealogical records.  As CEO for Eneclann, Brian also focuses on project management and business development, including being project manager on large state sector contracts.  Brian was also the technical advisor for the landmark Trinity College project to digitise the 1641 Depositions, as well as many other cultural and educational initiatives.  Similarly, Brian was responsible for the mass digitisation project of church records for the Irish government website

Fiona Fitzsimons
Director, General Manager, Research Director - Eneclann

Fiona graduated in history in 1992, and subsequently tutored at Trinity College Dublin.  Fiona Fitzsimons is Research Director of Eneclann, which she co-founded in 1998 with Brian Donovan. Since then Eneclann has completed over 10,000 individual commissions, ranging from private family history research and house histories to media research for television programmes. Research credits include the British, Irish, Australian and Canadian productions of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, RTÉ’s ‘Ancestors During the Famine’ and ‘Faces of America’ (NBC).  As Eneclann’s Research director, Fiona plays a key role in developing and ensuring quality in the company’s digital publications and online resources at and elsewhere. Fiona and her research team have also completed some of the largest historical research projects ever undertaken in Ireland, developing new methodologies to be tested and used by others. Work includes an audit of the accuracy of the Irish Genealogical Project’s database of 16 million records and the Irish Battlefields Project.  The Irish Battlefields Project, commissioned in 2008 by the Department of the Environment, is the Irish corollary of the U.K. Battlefields Trust Project. This project covers a millennium of Irish history, and in her role as researcher for the early modern period and project manager Fiona drew on her formal historical training.

Areas of specialization include Gaelic lordships and Irish lineages; Irish land law 16th to 20th Centuries; Dublin Guilds and artisan-business 17th to late 19th Centuries; and Irish records for fostering and ‘boarded-out’ children, prior to 1952.  She has also made a particular study of collections including the records of the Valuation Office, the Registry of Deeds, and the Petty Sessions Courts in Ireland.  She has published scholarly articles in academic journals and books of essays, and was also a contributor to The Encyclopedia of Ireland (Rutledge Publications New York), and The Oxford Companion to Irish History (Oxford University Press).

© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2018