John Cleary

John Cleary

John Cleary lives in Edinburgh and is an associate professor in the School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University. He has an interest in family and community history, starting from his involvement in a couple of community history projects in the West Midlands in the 1980s. He also has an interest in genetic genealogy, and has given regular talks on the subject at Who Do You Think You Are Live, and at Genetic Genealogy Ireland in Dublin, since 2014. He has been an invited speaker by the Guild of One Name Studies and at family history societies around Scotland, and he presented at the International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences in Glasgow in 2016 on “What became of the Scottish Prisoners of Dunbar, 1650?” He holds an MSc in Genealogical and Palaeographic Studies from Strathclyde University. John is a contributor to ‘Tracing your ancestors using DNA: a guide for family historians’, edited by Graham Holton, and to be published shortly by Pen and Sword Books.

Hidden in plain sight: an Irish informer in 19th century London


This talk is the story of an Irish émigré with a dark secret, in London, 1888. Against a backdrop of resistance/sedition, assassins, secret societies, informers and spies, we will hear voices hidden for a century in a tale of family betrayal and friends turned one against another. Recent landmark decisions of the Information Commissioner (2011-2015) […]

Case Study Espionage Social History