Dublin's Shelbourne hotel has appointed a genealogy butler in a bid to lure high-spending American guests to the first lady of Dublin.

The genealogist, who'll take up residence from tomorrow, will offer guests one-hour advisory sessions and help them to draw up practical research plans.

Those who can't wait to get started on the historical trail can also email forward their family details before they arrive to give the genealogist a head-start.

"When you look at the Americans coming here, a lot of them are coming to trace their roots so this makes sense," said Shelbourne general manager Liam Doyle.

Bill Marriott, chief executive of Marriott International which has the management contract for the Shelbourne through its Renaissance brand, said the service was a "wonderful idea".

The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh has teamed up with genealogy expert Sheila Duffy to introduce Scotland’s first ever hotel Genealogy Concierge service for visitors to Scotland.

It is estimated that 50 million people world-wide are of Scottish descent, and this service provides a unique opportunity for guests from America and other Scottish "hotspots" to explore their heritage.

The Scottish records go back to 1553 and are widely recognised to be the most accessible in the world but few know how to fully harness this ancestral information. The Genealogy Concierge will enable guests to trace their family roots, by discovering where they lived, where they might be buried, what sort of lives they led or what further documentation may have survived.

JP Kavanagh, general manager, Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa added, "The Genealogy Concierge is a unique and interesting project for us at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa and we are delighted to be able to offer the services of Sheila Duffy to our vast American market, and any others interested in tracing their roots."

As a first step, a questionnaire form will be provided prior to check-in, which will give the Genealogy Concierge a starting reference from which she can base her initial research.
Sheila will then sit down with guests for a one to one, hour long consultation for a fee of £70 ($139.1).  She will establish what the guest already knows about their Scottish connections, and give practical advice about how to develop their search for their Scottish forebears.
Rather than giving all the answers, the aim of consultation is to provide the knowledge and skills on how and where to look for information.

Sheila Duffy, Genealogy Concierge commented: "I’m particularly excited at the prospect of partnering with the Sheraton to provide Scotland’s first hotel Genealogy Concierge service. Working with people has always been a particular strength of mine and I revel in any opportunity to broaden the understanding of Scotland’s immense heritage."