If you are researching ancestors in Northern Ireland (or in some of the border counties) you should look into membership at the Ulster Historical Foundation at AncestryIreland. Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to attend one of their seminars across the US during their annual lecture tour. In March of 2014 they did 10 cities from Colorado to Illinois to Tennessee to Pennsylvania and ended in New Jersey.
The Ulster Historical Foundation was founded in 1956 and at one time was part of the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, but has been independent since 1988. They provide research assistance and consultations, publish books and provide online databases for their members. In addition to the members only databases, there are a handful of pay-per-view and free databases, including members’ interests where you might find a cousin who is also researching your family.
I’m always emphasizing the importance of knowing as much about your ancestor as possible such as their townland and their occupation. The databases offered to members run the gamut. Some are quite small such as Derry Insurance Agents 1860 (56 names) to the Index to Printed Will Calendars 1878-1900 (151,800 names). Although the majority of the databases cover Northern Ireland, they include the counties of traditional Ulster, including Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan. But there are also some databases for the Republic of Ireland such as the Alumni of Trinity College, Dublin or the Cahir Directory of County Tipperary. There are also some occupational databases such as Apothecaries Licensed to Practise, 1791-1829 which cover all of Ireland.
So if you have ancestors from Northern Ireland definitely take a look at the list of databases. If your ancestors were from the border counties, check it out as well. Even if your ancestors were from elsewhere in Ireland, take a peek and see if there are records of interest.
One other thing to check out is their BooksIreland site with all types of research books. They also provide some of their books in ePUB format. I am collecting as many of my reference books as I can in digital formats so they are always with me. Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors is one of the books that I’ve used for years in paper format and that I can now have on my iPad for £4.99 or about $8.50.
There’s is still time to register for the
Belfast Research Trip in October of 2014.