An Educational Charity | Charity Reg. No. NIC100280
+44 (028) 9181 2073 |
Charitable Objectives

Connecting People and Place

 Exploring Your Ulster Roots

Saturday 13 May 2017

More and more people would like to know how to trace their ancestors or to learn more about the history of their community. The study of history for personal research is a hugely enjoyable, rewarding, sociable and life-enhancing pastime. This event is aimed at anyone interested in finding out more about their ancestors or the local area where they live. It is free of charge and open to everyone irrespective of skills or experience – novice and more experienced researchers alike are welcome.

Family and local history go together like hand in glove. Many of the sources used and the research techniques employed for studying family and local history are the same, and an interest in one commonly leads to a growing involvement in the other. And the story of our families is embedded in the local community in which they lived, worked, loved and died.

The presentations will focus on historical sources which are becoming easier to access, especially through their increasing availability on the internet, as well as introducing beginners to the more substantial collections held in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and other local archives.

Using a wide variety of interesting sample records and drawing on valuable case studies, the presenters will demonstrate just what can be achieved using archival sources. Moreover it will be an ideal opportunity to get to know the Record Office through guided tours of PRONI which will be provided, in addition to having access to the extensive knowledge and resources of local experts who will be on hand to offer advice and share information.

The event is free to attend and light refreshments and lunch will be provided on the day. However registration is essential, individuals must register in advance of the event.

To register please contact the Ulster Historical Foundation on:

Tel: 028 9066 1988 or e-mail:

Click here to download brochure

Programme partners

Ulster Historical Foundation

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Federation for Ulster Local Studies

North of Ireland Family History Society

This programme has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund via its ‘Celebrate’ stream.


Morning Programme (10:00AM–12:45PM)


Keynote speaker

Joe Mahon: People and Place

Gillian Hunt: An introduction to family history research

Janet Hancock: Getting started online at PRONI




Roddy Hegarty: Making connections with local and family history: a case study

John Dooher: The local press in Strabane in WW1, shared narratives and diverging priorities




Afternoon programme (1:45PM–4:00PM)

Rosemary Murphy: Glenelly My Home: A Facebook project in local and family history

Brian Mitchell: Sources for family history in North West Ulster


Valerie Adams: Church records [TBC]

Dr Brian Lambkin: Migration records

Dr William Roulston: Landed estate records

Ann Robinson: The resources of the North of Ireland Family History Society

Facilitator: Fintan Mullan



Joe Mahon is the well-known presenter and producer of the successful and much-admired UTV programmes Lesser Spotted Ulster and Lesser Spotted Journeys, where Joe travels the length and breadth of Ireland meeting local and intriguing characters along the way.


John Dooher is a long time member and past chairman of the Federation for Ulster Local Studies and current editor of their journal, Due North. He has spoken at local history seminars and events and has contributed to a number of publications.


Janet Hancock is Deputy Head of Public Services at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.


Roddy Hegarty is Director of the Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich Library & Archive and previously served as the Development Officer of the Federation for Ulster Local Studies. He has spoken widely on local history subjects.


Gillian Hunt is Research Officer with the Ulster Historical Foundation and is responsible for the Foundation’s genealogical services. She has spoken on family history across Britain and Ireland, Canada and the USA.


Dr Brian Lambkin is Director of the Mellon Centre for Migration Studies at the Ulster-American Folk Park Omagh, and past president of the Association of European Migration Institutions.


Brian Mitchell is genealogist with Derry Genealogy and an accredited member of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (MAPGI). He is an international speaker on the subject of Irish research and author of a number of successful genealogy reference books.


Fintan Mullan is Executive Director of the Ulster Historical Foundation he has spoken widely in the USA, Canada and Britain about Irish family history.


Rosemary Murphy has been the driving force in establishing and developing the Glenelly History Society and has demonstrated how Facebook can be used to internationalise local studies and create lasting links with the diaspora.


Ann Robinson is President of the North of Ireland Family History Society (NIFHS) and has been active in family history research for many years.


Dr William Roulston is Research Director with the Ulster Historical Foundation and author of a number of books looking at different aspects of the history of Ireland’s northern province.


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Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC100280