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George Chartres (1921 - 2011):
Architect and genealogist

George Chartres was the honorary librarian of the Irish Genealogical Research Society for 40 years and also served as the organisation's vice-president. For five decades, he was one of the most prominent experts on Irish genealogy. 

Chartres was born in County Fermanagh, eldest son of Robert Irvine Chartres of Curragh, County Fermanagh and Georgina Rankin of Trory, also in Fermanagh. He studied at Liverpool University where he graduated in Architecture, and subsequently studied at University College London, qualifying as a chartered architect; he also lectured at South Bank Polytechnic, London. However, his primary interest was genealogy and he was a member of the Irish Genealogical Heritage Society, which had been founded in London in 1936 and became the world’s first and oldest society dedicated to the pursuit of Irish genealogy. With a primary aim being to gather together copies of materials compiled before the 1922 Great Fire at the Public Record Office in Dublin, which was caused by a large explosion during the early phase of the Irish Civil war. The Irish Genealogical Research Society especially built up an impressive library, which became by the time of Chartres’ death the largest and most important collection of Irish genealogical material in private hands. Chartres for decades would, with his innate courtesy and friendly nature as well as his knowledge, was always happy aiding researchers whether professionals of interested amateurs, working on Irish history or simply personal family lines. 

He was also interested in French genealogy, as his family had Orléanais and Norman connections (Orléans is not far from the cathedral city of Chartres), and he was a council member of the Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1976 he was awarded an honorary fellowship of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, and in 1999 was made a vice-president. 

At his particular request, he was interred with his parents in Derryvullen south parish churchyard, near his birthplace in County Fermanagh.

Born: 9 August 1921
Died: 22 April 2011
Richard Froggatt

Irish Times, 18.6.2011;