This week celebrates archival institutions and document repositories with ‘Explore your archives’ events. We are fortunate in Belfast to have a number of important archives on our doorstep. This is an ideal situation for our own research team and visitors who are here to seek their own ancestors in the records.
Institutions such as Linen Hall Library, the Presbyterian Historical Society, the Newspaper Library at Belfast Central Library and Special Collections at Queen’s University can provide key sources to help with family history.
Most people’s first stop for genealogical research is the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), situated in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, a short walk or bus-ride from the city centre. Here you will find the majority of Church registers for the north of Ireland, as well as vast collections of records such as landed estate papers, land and valuation records, workhouse registers, wills and school registers, to name just a few – all of which are free to access. And increasingly many sources can be accessed online via PRONI’s website.
For many the thought of visiting an archive for the first time can be daunting and overwhelming. In this the Foundation can help. We run a number of family history courses and conferences throughout the year designed to help family historians get the most out of their time in the archives, whether they are just beginning their research or have been at it for many years. Working with our team of experienced researchers, participants are able to identify records most likely to be relevant to their family and local community.
More information about our 2018 events is available here:
If you are unable to visit Ireland at this time, we also offer a range of research services: www.ancestryireland.com/research-services