Genealogy Centres in Antrim
Ulster Historical Foundation
12 College Square
Main Surnames of Antrim and Down
Smith, Johnston, Thompson, Wilson, Campbell, Stewart, Robinson, Bell, Brown and Boyd.
The Ulster Historical Foundation is designated by the Irish Family History Foundation to provide a genealogical research service for the counties of Antrim and Down (including the City of Belfast) in Northern Ireland.
In addition to having access to civil records of birth, death and marriages, valuation and tithe records the Ulster Historical Foundation has computerised the following church records:
- Roman Catholic records commencing in 1798
- Church of Ireland records commencing in 1637
- Presbyterian records from 1675 and
- Non-Subscribing Presbyterian records from 1757.
It should be noted that whilst our database currently comprises almost two million records it is still developing and, as yet, we have not computerised many protestant church registers outside of Belfast (this work is in progress). We have computerised almost all the pre-1900 Roman Catholic church registers for Counties Antrim and Down, including Belfast. We have also computerised almost all the pre-1922 civil marriage registers (protestant 1845-, Roman Catholic 1864-) for this area. In addition to this type of record searching of our computerised holdings, we can provide a full archival research service that will cover records not yet captured on our database.
Famous Persons of Antrim and Down Ancestry
The following US Presidents have roots in the counties of Antrim and Down: Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, Chester Alan Arthur, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.
Main Towns on Antrim and Down
The chief towns in the centre's designated area include Belfast, Ballymena, Antrim, Lisburn, Newry, Downpatrick, Kilkeel, Banbridge, Bangor, Newtownards and Larne.
Famous Places in Antrim and Down
Among the many internationally known locations in this centre''s catchment area are: The Linenhall Library in Belfast, Belfast City Hall, Queen's University, Belfast Folk and Transport Museum, The Ulster Museum, The Giant's Causeway, The Mourne Mountains, St. Patrick's Grave, Bushmills Distillery, The Glens of Antrim and the Europa Hotel.
Emigration from Antrim and Down
Unlike other parts of Ireland this area has a tradition of emigration, in the main to North America which stretches back to the 17th century. This steady stream of Ulstermen and women were largely Presbyterians. Emigration on a large scale became commonplace in the first half of the 18th century. The decade of the Great Famine added impetus to this haemorrhage and again Belfast was the focal point and North America was the destination. However, Britian and Australia also received emigrants in greater numbers.
The Great Famine
Belfast was Ireland's main industrial centre and attracted many people from the adjacent counties and from Ulster in general. Between 1841 and 1851 the population of Belfast increased by one third to c.103,000. The urban population suffered severely from fever with over 2,500 dying during the cholera epidemic of 1847/1848.