Since 1997, Ballymoney Borough Council has attempted to collect in a single depository the most significant local genealogical resources (such as householders lists, trade directories, hearth rolls etc.) relating to the town of Ballymoney and the villages of the present day borough – Balnamore, Cloughmills, Dervock, Dunloy, Loughguile (or Loughgiel), Rasharkin and Stranocum. The Ulster Historical Foundation was commissioned to compile databases of sources including workhouse records, school registers, estate records, valuation records and will indexes. Background information on these sources was also provided by the Foundation.
These records have been released online in a free, searchable database which holds over 55,000 individual family history records. Ballymoney Ancestry was the first website of its kind in Northern Ireland and was supported by the European Union Building Sustainable Prosperity Fund. Along with a genealogy database, it also provides essential information for everyone planning a family history vacation in the Ballymoney district. The site has attracted people from the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Scotland, England and, of course, Ireland.
The benefits of the website are widespread and Ballymoney Borough Council is extremely satisfied with what has been achieved so far. Not only will it assist visitors with their research into local genealogy archives, it is also expected to lead to an increase in North Antrim tourism. It is hoped that, having had the opportunity to research their ancestry on-line, more and more people will be encouraged to come to the Borough of Ballymoney and walk in the footsteps of their ancestors.
Anyone interested in the Old Church Graveyard in Ballymoney should go to http://ballymoneygraveyard.com