Northern Ireland Genealogy

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Guide to Northern Ireland ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

Northern Ireland Wiki Topics
Northern Ireland locator map.png
Beginning Research
Northern Ireland (post-1922)
Wiki Topics
Record Types
Historic Ireland (pre-1922)
Wiki Topics
Record Types
Ireland Background
Ireland Research Resources

Country Information[edit | edit source]

Northern Ireland is one of the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom (together with England, Scotland and Wales). Northern Ireland, is of fairly recent origin, coming out of the partition of the island of Ireland in 1921. Northern Ireland was retained as part of the UK, and the rest of Ireland, became an independent state, and was known as the Irish Free State in 1922, and after 1949, the Republic of Ireland. The official language is English.[1]

Nomenclature[edit | edit source]

Northern Ireland is often referred to colloquially (usually by Protestants and/or Unionists) as "Ulster". While all of Northern Ireland is within Ulster, not all of Ulster is within Northern Ireland - three Ulster counties Co. Cavan, Co. Donegal and Co. Monaghan are in the Republic. To confuse matters further, the term "province" may be encountered either for Ulster as a whole and Northern Ireland itself, depending on context.

Northern Ireland itself is formed of six traditional counties - Co. Antrim, Co. Armagh, Co. Derry/Londonderry (both names may be encountered), Co. Down, Co. Fermanagh and Co. Tyrone. These six counties all border on Lough Neagh, apart from Co. Fermanagh. They are also represented by the Star of David which is often seen as the symbol of Northern Ireland. The name "Six Counties" is another shibboleth being used by Republicans and/or Roman Catholics.

Unlike Great Britain, but like the USA, county names tend to be called "County X" rather than "X-shire".

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Keep in mind these differences from the rest of Ireland:

  1. Although originally Roman Catholic, over time what now constitutes Northern Ireland became predominately a Protestant country. This trend appears to be reversing due to differing birth rates.
  2. The majority of records are based on English law since it became a part of the United Kingdom, however, some residual laws from pre-partition Ireland remain in force (i.e. when all of Ireland in the UK)
  3. Many of the original records have been destroyed by conflicts and/or accidental damage. Some of these were destroyed in the various conflicts that culminated in the 1921 "troubles", but copies of some records do exist. Water damage and neglect have also damaged a number of records.
  4. Under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, people from Northern Ireland can hold dual citizenship with the Republic of Ireland, if they opt to do so.
  5. Northern Irish records tend to be distinctive in that Irish is not used in an official capacity. The crown also appears on some of them.
  6. Pre-1921 records can be accessed from both Belfast and Dublin. Post-1921 Northern Irish records are not available in Dublin, unless that person has become an Irish citizen.

Getting Started with Northern Ireland Research

Links to articles on getting started with Northern Ireland research.

Northern Ireland Research Tools

Links to articles and websites that assist in Northern Ireland research.

Ask the

Northern Ireland Clickable Map[edit | edit source]

Genealogy records are kept on the local level in Northern Ireland.

FermanaghArmaghDownLough NeaghTyroneLondonderryLondonderryAntrimAntrimArgyllshireDonegalDonegalDonegalDonegalDonegalDonegalDonegalDonegalDonegalLeitrimCavanMonaghanLouthNorthern Ireland's Counties.png

Jurisdictions[edit | edit source]

Genealogy records are kept on the local level in Northern Ireland. Click on a place below to go to the corresponding Wiki article listing more information.

Ulster is one of the historic provinces of Ireland. It consists of nine counties, six of which are in Northern Ireland and three in the Republic of Ireland.

FamilySearch Resources[edit | edit source]

Below are FamilySearch resources that can assist you in researching your family.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Northern Ireland," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 25 April 2016.