Programme

Each day of the conference presents delegates with a choice of assisted research in the archives with our team of experienced genealogists or an excursion to a place of historic interest, including Newgrange burial tomb, Derry/Londonderry, Barons Court, Kilmainham Gaol, the Giant's Causeway, as well as locations central to the story of the 1718 migration.

Please note this programme is subject to change.

Monday 03 September

Genealogy Essentials - Day 1

Morning lectures

Irish land divisions
Archives and libraries in Ireland
Nineteenth & early twentieth century census returns
Practical Session: Applying what you just learned – using online resources for yourself

Afternoon lectures
Civil records – birth, marriage & death certificates
Church records for use in genealogical research: registers
Church records for use in genealogical research: administrative records
Practical Session: Applying what you just learned – using online resources for yourself

Tuesday 04 September

Genealogy Essentials - Day 2

Morning lectures
Wills and testamentary papers
School registers & education records
Graveyards & gravestone inscriptions
Occupation and business records
Practical Session: Applying what you just learned – using online resources for yourself

Afternoon lectures 
Griffith’s Valuation & Valuation Revision Books
Tithe applotment books, tithe defaulters, freeholders’ registers
Landed estate papers
Practical Session: Applying what you just learned – using online resources for yourself

Wednesday 05 September

Genealogy Essentials - Day 3

Morning lectures
Printed sources – newspapers, street directories, etc
Law and order records
Workhouse & local government records
Pre-1800 census substitutes
Practical Session: Applying what you just learned – using online resources for yourself

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Day 1 -  Welcome

19.00 - Welcome reception with wine and music

Thursday 06 September

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Day 2 - Tour of Newgrange and the Boyne Valley

08.15 - A choice of: A day of assisted research at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI).

or

Tour of Newgrange and the Boyne Valley wherein delegates will experience 6000 years of Irish history in 6 hours

Proceeding through County Down we will cross the border before our arriving in the Boyne Valley-  Irelands Ancient East. The abundance of historic monuments within this area testifies to being Ireland's most sacred and mythical landscape. Some of the most  important historic sites and monuments in Ireland dot the landscape here for including Monasterboice, notable for its impressive Round Tower and spectacular high crosses; Melifont Abbey, the first Cistercian monastery built in Ireland; the Hill of Tara, a sacred site associated with the High Kings of Ireland and of course the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Brú na Bóinne.

When we arrive in the Boyne Valley we will first visit the Battle of the Boyne battlefield and Oldbridge. This site offers insight into the Williamite War in Ireland and the 1690 battle between the forces of the deposed King James II of England, and those of Dutch Prince William of Orange. After lunch we will then depart for the mysteriously beautiful passage tomb at Newgrange. Newgrange is the best-known neolithic monument in Ireland which predates the ancient pyramids by 400 years and Stonehenge by 1000!

We will then leave pre-history Ireland and travel through the fabled Cooley peninsula, home to many tales from Irish folklore including the Táin Bó Cúailnge and Cú Chulainn before stopping and having dinner in the medieval town of Carlingford. In Carlingford you will find a unique combination of medieval buildings standing proud in the midst of a town full of atmosphere and character.

18.00 - Evening meal

19.30 - Return to Talbot Street

Friday 07 September

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Day 3 - Tour through the Bann Valley, the Glens of Antrim and a visit to the Giant's Causeway

08.15 - A choice of: A day of assisted research at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI).

or

Our journey will begin in Belfast before travelling through the Bann Valley stopping at sites central to the 1718 migration including Garvagh and Aghadowey. We will then continue through the Bann Valley towards Portrush where we will have lunch overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean.

After lunch delegates will experience the stark beauty of the Giant's Causeway a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was voted the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom. After our visit to the Causeway we will journey through the Glens of Antrim along the Antrim Coast, winding between picturesque villages and unforgettable scenic locations, including Rathlin Island, Glenarm Castle and Bonamargy Friary before our evening meal

18.00 - Evening meal

21.00 - Return to Talbot Street


Saturday 08 September

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Day 4 – A Group Tour of Co. Down and the trail of St Patrick including trips to Inch Abbey, Down Museum and Dundrum Castle

08:30 - Delegates will travel to Downpatrick, a town situated in an area central to the story of Ireland's patron saint, Patrick. Our trip will begin in the St Patrick Centre, the only permanent exhibition in the world about Ireland's patron saint before visiting Down Cathedral, the historical burial place of Saint Patrick.

After lunch delegates will then visit Down Museum which is located in the historic buildings of the eighteenth century County Gaol of Down. In addition to incarcerating many people for very minor offences, the Gaol held rebels captured after the battles of Saintfield and Ballynahinch in 1798 and the United Irishman, Thomas Russell, executed for his role in the abortive rebellion of 1803. The Gaol was also a convict gaol and many hundreds of transportees were imprisoned here prior to their journey to the convict colonies of New South Wales.

We will then journey to the 12th-century Cistercian abbey, Inch Abbey before travelling to the 13th-century Anglo-Norman castle at Dundrum. The castle was built to control access into Lecale from the west and south of the country and stands on the top of a rocky hill commanding fine views south over Dundrum Bay and the Mourne Mountains.

Delegates will then be brought back to Belfast and have a free evening to enjoy the city.

Sunday 09 September

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Day 5 - Free day for delegates to savour the delights of Belfast

Free day for delegates to spend as they choose. Some may care to visit the church of their ancestors, explore the city of Belfast or visit the many fantastic attractions the city has to offer.

A full day can be spent taking in such sites as the award winning Titanic Belfast visitor centre and the Pump House and Thompson Gavelling Dock where you can learn about the Titanic and see where the ship was actually built. You could also visit the recently refurbished HMS Caroline, a lone survivor of the Battle of Jutland in 1916. A short bus ride will also allow you to take in such sites as the Crumlin Road Gaol, the Ulster Musuem and Botanical gardens as well the Ulster Folk and Transport museum at Cultra.

A visit to St. George's Market is highly recommended. Located in a charming Victorian building (constructed 1890-1896) the market is one of Belfast's oldest attractions offering delicious food, local crafts and antiques.

In the evening, why not take in a performance amidst the Victorian splendour of Belfast's Grand Opera House or the recently refurbished Lyric Theatre with its marvellous views of the river Lagan and then finish off the day with a modest libation in Belfast's most famous pub, the Crown Liquor Saloon with its period gas lighting and cosy snugs.

Monday 10 September

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Day 6 – Tour of Northern Ireland's second city, Derry/Londonderry and Donegal

08.15 - A choice of: A day of assisted research at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI).

or

08.15 - Coaches collect all delegates for our journey through the Sperrin Mountains to Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland's second city.

One of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe, we will walk on Derry's famous walls and explore the amazing sites that the city has to offer which can include visits to the First Derry Presbyterian Church;  St Columbs Cathedral; Tower Museum; Siege Museum; the historic Guildhall; St Augustine's Church;  Long Tower Church.

Following lunch we will make the journey into Co. Donegal and visit the Monreagh Heritage Centre.

18.00 - Return to Talbot Street

Tuesday 11 September

Day 7 - Tour of Dublin including a guided tour of Kilmainham Gaol and Trinity College, home to the Book of Kells

07.15 - Outing to Dublin with the choice of: A morning and afternoon of assisted research in the National Archives or National Library or Registry of Deeds (please note that the number of visitors to the archives is limited)

or

A tour of Kilmainham Gaol. Now operating as a museum we will receive a guided tour of this forbidding bastion of  punishment and correction, one of the largest unoccupied gaols in Europe. Leaders of many Irish rebellions were detained  in Kilmainham including Robert Emmet and Eamon de Valera.

We will then proceed to Trinity College for lunch before our tour of this renowned seat of learning, (the oldest university in Ireland) and home to the magisterial Book of Kells. This 9th-century gospel manuscript is housed in the the university's Old Library which also contains 200,000 of the library's oldest books (in the magnificent Long Room).

Delegates will then have free time to explore the area near Trinity College in which Dublin's premier shopping street is located (Grafton Street) as well as visit sites such as the National Museum of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland and the National Gallery of Ireland.

18.00 - Evening meal

20.30 - Return to Talbot Street

Wednesday 12 September

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Day 8 – Tour to Barons Court, the home of the Dukes of Abercorn and a trip to the Ulster-American Folk Park and Mellon Centre for Migration Studies

08.15 - A choice of: A day of assisted research at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI).

or

Tour to Barons Court, the home of the Dukes of Abercorn (Ulster’s only dukedom) plus a trip to the Ulster-American Folk Park and Mellon Centre for Migration Studies

We will proceed to Hill of the O'Neill - the ancient capital of Ulster and a key location in the Flight of the Earls. Following morning coffee we will tour the stronghold of the famous O’Neill dynasty and view the surrounding area from the top of the site.

We will then visit the Ulster American Folk Park and Mellon Centre for Migration Studies. Described as 'the ultimate in living history' the outdoor museum at the Folk Park includes the famous Mellon homestead, buildings from America, an Ulster and American street and a full-scale dockside galley and ship. On the same site as the Folk Park, the Mellon Centre is a research library housing an extensive collection of materials relating to the history of the peoples of Ireland worldwide.

Visitors also have access to the Mellon Centre's Irish Emigration Database and talks will be given by migration experts Dr Brian Lambkin and Dr Patrick Fitzgerald. Delegates may prefer to spend most of their time touring the Folk Park or researching at the Mellon Centre or a mix of the two. The choice is yours.

Our day in Omagh then will culminate in a tour of  Barons Court, the grand home of the Duke of Abercorn. Barons Court is not normally open to the public and for delegates this will be a rare opportunity to see inside this fascinating house. Following our tour of Barons Court we will then return to Belfast for our final group meal together.

19.00 - Evening meal

21.00 - End of Conference