Ireland’s Leading Genealogy & Research Company For Over A Decade

timeline_mid_logoEstablished in 2006 by Dr. Robert Somerville Woodward and Nicola Morris, Timeline has become Ireland’s most recognisable name in genealogy & historical research. We are the Irish researchers for the BBC television series Who Do You Think You Are? and numerous other radio and television shows, we have also undertaken research for governments, public and  private institutions and thousands of people across the globe seeking to find their Irish roots.

With a wealth of experience in the fields of Irish genealogy and history we are able to offer expert advice and research services across a broad range of areas including;

Individual family trees /  Histories of houses, companies & institutions / Journalism & media research / Irish citizenship by descent applications

We also provide an online genealogy clerk service providing copies of documents, certificates & manuscripts for those undertaking their own Irish research.

Timeline director Nicola Morris is a member and current President of Accredited Genealogists Ireland  (AGI), the only accrediting body for genealogy in Ireland and she has served as a council member and Hon. Secretary of AGI.

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Our Team

Nicola Morris – Co Founder & Director 

Nicola Morris. Director of Timeline Research Ireland Ltd

Born in Kenya to an English father and Irish mother, Nicola draws on a rich family history that can be traced back to the court of Henry VIII, the breweries of Lancashire, the farms of Yorkshire, Cork city publicans and a mysterious Italian great great grandmother.

She grew up in Dublin city and obtained a honours degree in History from Trinity College Dublin.  Nicola is a member of Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI).

Nicola works very closely with the production company for the BBC TV programme Who Do You Think You Are? as well as the Irish and US versions of the show, which aired on RTE, NBC and TLC networks. Nicola has appeared on screen with Rosie O’Donnell, Jeremy Irons, Graham Norton, Chris Moyles, Julie Walters, Emma Willis and Paul Merton.

Nicola was also one of the presenters of the first series of The Genealogy Roadshow for RTE. She was a researcher for and contributor to The Tenements, an award nominated series for TV3 as well as a researcher and presenter on The Great House Revival for RTE and she works closely with other Irish and international production companies on programmes about genealogy and Irish history.

Nicola lectures on genealogy at University College Cork and University of Limerick, as well as the AGI run Family History courses at City Colleges and has also lectured on the Archives and Record Management MA in University College Dublin. She has given talks at various events, such as Back To Our Past and lecture series at the National Archives of Ireland and National Library of Ireland.

She has had articles published in the Who Do You Think You Are? and Irish Roots magazines and has also written a history of the Fulbright Commission in Ireland.

As well as offering a professional genealogical research service, Nicola also works on house and building histories and histories of institutions and organisations.  In 2017 she was appointed to the Board of the Irish Manuscripts Commission  and was more recently appointed to the Genealogy and Heraldry Committee of the Board of the National Library of Ireland.

John Grenham – Senior Researcher

John-Grenham-GenealogyJohn Grenham was Project Manager with the Irish Genealogical Project from 1991 to 1995 and later went on to develop and market his own genealogical software, ‘Grenham’s Irish Recordfinder’.

In 2005, he was the first Genealogist-in-Residence at
Dublin City Library. He was awarded a fellowship of The Irish Genealogical Research Society in 2007 and of the Genealogical Society of Ireland in 2010.

He is the author of  
Tracing your Irish Ancestors (4th ed. Dublin, Baltimore MD, 2012), the standard reference guide for Irish genealogy, The Atlantic Coast of Ireland (2014), Clans and Families of Ireland (1995), and An Illustrated History of Ireland (1997), among other works.

He also wrote the “Irish Roots” column in
The Irish Times from 2009 to 2016, develops heritage databases, and ran the Irish Ancestors website in conjunction with The Irish Times . He now runs the successor website at

Gillian Johnson – Senior Researcher

Gillian-Johnson-GenealogyAs a local studies graduate of Maynooth National University, Gillian Johnson  has a keen interest in local studies of all aspects. In particular Gillian ‘s university thesis focused on the slums of Dublin and the social history of this period.   Gillian completed the genealogy course delivered by Sean Murphy in the National Library of Ireland, and after a period as a affiliate, she was admitted as a member of Accredited Genealogists Ireland in 2023 and is on the Genealogy Advisory Service panel of the National Archives of Ireland.

Gillian also has  experience in the museum sector, tour guiding and working within the education department.   

Gillian is one of Timeline’s Senior Researchers and also manages Timeline’s Genealogy Clerk services. 

Janice Mann – Senior Researcher

Janice, a 6th generation Canadian, caught the genealogy bug from her mother, and became particularly interested in finding her Irish roots when she married a Westmeath boy. So far she has found her ancestors in Counties Cavan, Roscommon, and Tyrone.

With a Bachelor of Science and Medical Doctor degree, she worked for many years in medical research before making the jump to become a professional genealogist. (It turns out the techniques for searching and evaluating the medical literature are pretty similar to genealogical research – just with different sources!).

She has completed courses in Irish and Canadian Genealogy with the National Institute of Genealogical Studies and is always looking to learn more. Janice is working towards becoming an affiliate member of Accredited Genealogists Ireland.

Des Murtagh – Junior Researcher

Des MurtaghDes Murtagh was born and grew up in Dublin and now lives in Kildare.  Over the years he has worked in all sectors of the Irish educational system and his educational qualifications entailed developing extensive research skills. Des holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and in 2014 he successfully completed a Diploma in Family History Research (Genealogy).

Des has had an interest in family history / genealogy for most of his life and for more than 20 years has developed a deeper approach to genealogy by working extensively constructing and documenting his own family tree, which spreads out to several continents.  This work required familiarity with records, repositories and resources while at the same time discovering alternative routes to obtain new information when faced with obstacles and challenges, often referred to in genealogy as ‘the brick wall’. 

Des now works as a full-time professional genealogist providing assistance to others in tracing their ancestral family members and he is also a member of Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI).

Cathal Brennan – Junior Researcher


Cathal Brennan has been working with Timeline as a researcher since 2014. He has a BA in History from Trinity College Dublin and qualifications in TV / Video Production (Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology), Media Production (Marino College) and Research Skills for TV (Screen Training Ireland). 

He is an occasional contributor to the Irish Story website and he also co – presents and co – produces the Irish History Show for Near FM.  He also presents the Timeline Irish Genealogy Podcast with Nicola Morris.


Dr. Robert Somerville-Woodward – Co Founder (retired)

Robert Somerville-Woodward Director of Timeline Research Ireland Ltd

Initially educated in England at the University of Southampton. Robert went on to receive a First Class Honours Degree in History and Geography at the University of Bradford. He then gained a Masters Degree in Peace Studies and scholarship awards from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Geraldine Cadbury Trust.

From 1994 to 1998 he attended University College Dublin in the Combined Departments of History under the supervision of Professor Mary Daly.

A recipient of a three-year postgraduate scholarship under the Ireland-UK Scholarship Exchange Scheme from 1996 to 1998 he was awarded his PhD in 1998 for his thesis: ‘Language Without a Mouth: The Development of an Irish Language Consciousness in the English Language’.

In 1998 he was one of the winners of the inaugural Beckett Gold Medal in Modern Irish History for his monograph The Dublin Ossianic Society, 1853-1863.

Since 1998 Dr. Somerville-Woodward has worked as a genealogist, professional researcher and writer in the field of Irish history. One of  his larger research commissions was undertaken for Ballymun Regeneration Limited, an eighteen-month project resulting in the two-volume Ballymun: A History c. 1600-1997.  

Robert has left Timeline to relocate to the United Kingdom.

Customer Testimonials 

Our Clients Include

  • The Fulbright Commission
  • Shed Media
  • Irish Theatre Institute
  • Wall to Wall
  • One Productions

Appeared On Broadcasters

  • NBC
  • BBC
  • RTE
  • TV3
  • Radio Canada

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