10 October 2006


WELCOME! This blog provides some links to online (and other) resources for those with an interest in family and local history, especially in the north of Ireland. You will not need everything you see here; rather, you must scan, sift and select those resources which are of relevance for your assignment. And you can of course add other resources which relate to the needs of the work you will be doing on this assignment. (Links to Google and Wikipedia are available on the right of the main screen.) Much of what you will find is free. Do not pay for any information or links from these sites. This site is a useful starting point; you can return to the magazine site later. And look at this. Please post COMMENTS when you find items of particular value in each of these areas. Please make suggestions and nominate other sites and online resources which can be included here.

09 October 2006

The North of Ireland Family History Society

The NIFHS site has much of merit for those starting research in this subject area. This is a registered charity, based in Belfast.

05 October 2006


OnlineNI is a general site for further links to locally based resources.

GRONI - General Records Office

This is the official source for records of births, deaths, marriages and adoptions in Northern Ireland.


This official government site is a useful starting point for your research.


IrishGen is an important source for local and family historians in Ireland.

04 October 2006

Ordnance Survey

This organisation's website can be a value of both modern and historical maps.


The Society of Genealogists orthern Ireland has a website with some links to other resources.


The sparse website of The Society of Ulster Genealogists & Record Agents promises more content and links in the future.

03 October 2006

Magazines - Practical Family History and Family Tree

These are two popular magazines for those interested in family history in the British Isles and beyond. The websites for these magazines merit a few minutes for exploration. They give regular updates on the contents and useful links to sites related to the articles in the magazine.

02 October 2006

Genes Reunited

Many who have got this far may have explored Friends Reunited: the most popular of all recent sites in Britain and Ireland in recent years. GenesReunited is the companion website for those with an interest in family history. It continues to grow quickly as more and more people discover it and populate it with content of value to others.

National Archives

This is a large official site. Explore its content to find any resources for those who are using its content for the first time. Then post a short comment on its potential value for your own research. For those with a particular interest in houses: look at this guide.

Discussion - Paying for Genealogical Data

For discussion Some sites require payment for access to data which has been put online from public records and from documents they have received (often at no cost to themselves). What are your views on this?

Police Museums

The site may be of interest with aspects of police history in other places. Look, for example, at the website and archives of the Garda Síochána; they have links to a host of other police (and related) museums.

The Federation of Family History Societies

The website of the Federation of Family History Societies is likely to be of considerable interest to those who cannot easily visit other areas of the country.


From this website:

  • FindMyPast.com (previously 1837online.com) is based in London, England and is part of an independently-owned business that is dedicated to providing high quality genealogical services to professional and non-professional researchers.
  • 1837online.com is a sister company to Title Research, an independent business which has existed for nearly 40 years and provides probate and succession genealogy services to lawyers and corporate and public trustees around the world.
  • 1837online.com has invested a great deal of time and money in bringing you the indexes of Births, Marriages and Deaths for England and Wales.
  • As researchers ourselves, we know the value of seeing original material. 1837online.com lets you see faithfully scanned images of the originals, enabling you to make informed decisions based upon your own skill, judgement and experience.

DNA for Genealogists

Several online sites provide a DNA profiling service for those interested in family history. One good example is Oxford Ancestors, which draws on the work of Bryan Sykes, a Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford. (Be aware that many DNA sites focus more on paternity suits than on genealogy.) Use your online research skills to find other reputable providers of such services.

Discussion - The Data Protection Act

For discussion What do you think are the issues associated with including personal (and sometimes sensitive information) in family trees?

Glenravel History Project

Joe Baker runs this project, with its related publications, website, etc.


ScotlandsPeople, one of the largest online sources of original genealogical information, states it has almost 50 million records.


This site has strong links to those with North American connections.

Irish Roots

This site provides a starting point for those researching families throughout Ireland.

Ulster History Circle

Are any of the people included on this site of particular use to you in your research for the assignment?

Centre for Migration Studies

This site is now based at Queen's University in Belfast.

The Ulster Local History Trust

This site contains some links to related sites, especially in the south west of Ulster.

The Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme, and those who suffered there, are remembered at this site. Please post a reply with TWO more links to other resources which may help those researching this topic.

The Famine in Ireland

This site provides a series of images taken from contemporary publications to illustrate social conditions at this time.
  • Think of one other significant event in local history
  • Use your online research skills to identify TWO resources which may be of value to those researching the topic
  • Post a short COMMENT to identify these, explaining why you like them.
(Are you aware of IMAGES at http://images.google.co.uk?)

Irish Linen Centre

This is an example of a site with a clear focus on one major industry in the north of Ireland. Is there another industry in which your ancestors (or those living in a particular area) worked?
  • Think of one other significant local industry
  • Use your online research skills to identify TWO resources which may be of value to those researching the topic
  • Post a short COMMENT to identify these, explaining why you like them.

Borough Councils in Northern Ireland

Use this site to explore online resources for some borough councils areas in which you have an interest.

Local History

This is the site for this large and mature organisation.

Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Northern Ireland Tourist Board's website can sometimes provide useful links to online resources.


This local site is well regarded by those who have experience of such resources. Its content and format are admired.
  • Think of one other significant town or area in the north of Ireland
  • Use your online research skills to identify TWO resources which may be of value to those researching the area
  • Post a short COMMENT to identify these, explaining why you like them.

Killowen Historical Society

Killowen Historical Society is based in south Down. Its website has a number of interesting photographs of people and places in its area.

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

The museum is a great day out! Its permanent and temporary exhibitions have much of interest about aspects of life and social history in the north of Ireland in recent centuries. Much of its website is of interest to specialists, teachers and casual visitors. What parts of the online resources are of particular interest to you?

Glens of Antrim Historical Society

This site will be of particular interest to those with an interest in the history and families of the area. I value the (VERY early) efforts and successes to provide audio downloads of lectures, some more than 30 years ago.

Public Libraries in Northern Ireland

This is the website for public libraries in Northern Ireland. What are the most useful tools and resources available here?

01 October 2006

Coleraine Historical Society

This site is an example of a lively local history society. Can you use your research skills to find a similar site to support your research in another area where you have a personal interest?


This is the website for national museums in Northern Ireland. It complements, without replacing, the experience of visiting the museums in person. Which part of the site is of particular interest to you and your research?

Celebrating Local History 2006

21 October is where it's at! Greenmount College, near Antrim. Try this! It won't do the assignment for you but it will do a lot to guide, help and assist ...

30 September 2006

Hamilton Montgomery

In the early years of the 17th century thousands of Scottish settles came across to eastern Ulster. This new organisation, and its companion website, will be of particular interest to those with family links to County Down.

Police Museum at Knock

The museum at Knock contains much of interest to those with connections to the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

Ulster Scots Agency

The Ulster Scots Agency has recently begun to impelement its substantial development plan, as described on its website.

1718 Migration

Those with family links in North America and elsewhere may be interested in this site.


This site supports a local professional genealogical service. The area which summarises the content of different kinds of record has particular value for those who are new to family history research.

28 September 2006


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) has developed and maintains substantial amounts of information for the family historian. Explore their site to find any information which can be of interest and help for your own research. Look in particular at the areas for those who are starting their research and sample some of the forms which can be used to record information you discover.

The Orange Order

The site of the Orange Order in Ireland contains some useful links, especially for the history of the last few centuries.

The Presbyterian Historical Society

The Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland is located in Belfast. In addition to its website the Society arranges a programme of lectures, talks and visits each year.

Ulster Historical Foundation

The Ulster Historical Foundation is a large and mature organisation; it is based in central Belfast. Its site provides some free material as well the opportunity to access its subscription-based service.

Belfast Family History

The listings and resources here will be of particular interest for those with families in the west of the city.

1916 Rising

This is a site for those interested in this event in the history of Ireland.

PRONI - The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

The PRONI premises are on Balmoral Avenue in Belfast (near the King's Hall).

Ulster Covenant

Signing the Ulster Covenant
This resource is hosted at PRONI. You can search the Ulster Covenant area of the site for individuals who may have signed the Ulster Covenant in 1912. Such searches can identify family members, neighbours, etc. and so identify possible lines for further research.


This site is probably the leading UK subscription service for those who are becoming more seriously addicted to genealogy. You will see its advertisements in newspapers and a broad range of popular magazines. An annual subscription currently costs £69.95 but shorter options are also available. That said, some of its resources are available for free. The Start your Family Tree area may be of special interest.


This site is huge but can be very valuable for those researching individual family names. Browse the Message Board area (in the middle of the page, on the left) for some family names in which you are interested. (You may need to dig down several lelvels.) Remember to explore variations on the spellings of surnames in which you are interested; for example, McKown, McQuowen, McEwan. (Those recording births, deaths and marriages, for example, were by no means always consistent in how they wrote what they heard.)

The Linen Hall Library

The Linen Hall Library is one of the great glories of Belfast. It is the oldest library in the city. It contains a lot of unique material of value to the local and family historian. I observe the Red Hand in the centre: please post a message (50 words maximum) to indicate the origin of this emblem.

Ulster Ancestry

Ulster Ancestry is a more commercial site than many others you will see on this page. It provides professional research services and a range of related merchandise; but there are also some useful free resources.


The BBC's family history site complements Who Do You Think You Are. Explore also some more local resources from the history areas of BBC Northern Ireland.