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Research in Northern Ireland

Family group Tithe applotment book Parish church

The General Register Office, Northern Ireland (GRONI)

GRONI Opens a new browser window. holds civil registers of births, marriages and deaths for Northern Ireland.
In Ireland, all non-Roman Catholic marriages were registered from 1845 onwards.  All births, deaths and marriages were registered from 1864 onwards.

The Presbyterian Historical Society

The Presbyterian Historical Society Opens a new browser window. holds printed and manuscript material relating to Presbyterian ministers and families.  These include the records of some Presbyterian churches throughout Ireland which have not been copied by PRONI.

The Methodist Historical Society of Ireland

The Methodist Historical Society of IrelandOpens a new browser window. maintains an extensive archive relating to Methodism in Ireland.  It holds original records of individual churches and has runs of Methodist journals and periodicals with indexes to names and places.  When looking for information on Methodist ministers and preachers then the biographical information collected by the Society will be extremely useful.

Family History Centres

The Family History Centres Opens a new browser window. in Northern Ireland (Belfast, Londonderry and Coleraine) are part of a worldwide network providing access to the microfilms of the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints based at Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
The most important microfilm records are early civil registers of births, marriages and deaths, along with their indexes.  The originals are held by the General Register Office Opens a new browser window. (Republic of Ireland).
Microfilms are available to search online via the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and the Irish section is available in microfiche form in PRONI (main PRONI Reference MF/1/6C -1992 edition only).

Irish Genealogy Project Centres

Northern Ireland has four county based Irish Genealogy Project Centres for family research under the Irish Family History Foundation Opens a new browser window..
They are:
  • Derry Genealogy Centre based in Londonderry City
    for County Londonderry
  • Irish World based in Coalisland, County Tyrone
    for Counties Fermanagh and Tyrone
  • Armagh Ancestry based in Armagh City
    for County Armagh
  • Ulster Historical Foundation based in Belfast
    for Counties Antrim and Down, including Belfast
Each centre has computerised indexes to records for their particular county or counties - church records, civil registers of births, marriages and deaths, census records, tithe records, valuation records and gravestone inscriptions etc.
The centres accept requests for searches and can offer to carry out research for a fee, alternatively you can search onlineOpens a new browser window. yourself on a payable website.
To find the relevant centre, go to the Irish Family History Foundation Opens a new browser window..website, select the county you need and scroll down to find the contact details at the bottom of the page.

The North of Ireland Family History Society Library

The North of Ireland Family History Society Opens a new browser window. library stocks books, journals and periodicals for family historians, including street directories, gravestone inscriptions and published indexes.
The library is for branch members only, but the Society now has 11 branches you can join.
You can access indexes to church records and civil registers of births, 1922-71, and deaths, 1956-71, for Northern Ireland.
The website Opens a new browser window.  includes an index to ‘census strays’ – people born in Ireland but who are recorded in English census returns.  However, the entries rarely record the exact address in Ireland.

The Linen Hall Library, Belfast

The Linen Hall Library Opens a new browser window. is the last subscribing library in Ireland and the oldest in Belfast, holding over 350,000 books, periodicals, pamphlets and newspapers.  Contains Irish and local studies collections and printed material relating to genealogy and heraldry .  Usefult to the family historian are:
  • the histories of individual families
  • copies of Hart’s army lists, 1843-75 with gaps
  • the Greeves pedigrees
  • indexes to births, marriages and deaths in the Belfast Newsletter, 1738-1864 and 1945-60
Only members can borrow books, but non-members are free to consult the collections.

The Centre for Migration Studies at the Ulster American Folk Park

The Centre for Migration Studies Opens a new browser window. is the leading institution for the study of Irish migration.  Although not a genealogical centre, its library of periodicals and books may be of assistance to the family historian.  It also holds copies of Griffith’s printed Valuation lists for Northern Ireland on microfiche.
The Centre has created an Irish Emigration Database - a searchable computerised collection of primary source documents on Irish Emigration to North America (USA and Canada) in the 18th and 19th centuries.  It contains transcripts or digital images of emigrant letters, advertisements and articles in newspapers, passenger lists, government reports, etc.  
The database can only be accessed at the Centre, Northern Ireland’s public libraries Opens a new browser window. and at PRONI.

Banbridge Genealogy Services

Banbridge Genealogy ServicesOpens a new browser window. holds indexes to the civil registers for County Down and has an online enquiry form.
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