Northern Ireland Genealogy

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

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


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.

As much genealogy will pre-date these events, much of the research will involve Ireland as a whole.

Map of Northern Ireland.jpg

The Province of Ulster

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.

Getting started with Northern Ireland research

Researching in Northern Ireland is NOT the same as researching in the Republic of Ireland for the following reasons:

  1. Although originally Catholic, over time what now constitutes Northern Ireland became predominately a Protestant country.
  2. The majority of records are based on English law since it became a part of the United Kingdom.
  3. Many of the original records have been destroyed in the various conflicts that culminated in the 1921 "troubles", but copies of some records do exist
  4. Therefore a knowledge of history of this area and the potential records that could be found is essential


The main records of value to family historians and genealogists are:

  • Census (some)
  • Civil Registration
  • Church Records
  • Court Records
  • Electoral Records
  • Emigration Records
  • Landed Estate Records
  • Local Government Records
  • Military Records
  • Poor Law Records
  • School Records
  • Valuation and Tithe Records
  • Wills and Testamentary Records

A Turbulent History Destroyed Many Records - Records of Ulster ancestors have been lost due to the consistent warfare that occurred in all parts of the island of Ireland. Other countries in the United Kingdom have a more consistent set of records with less loss.

The following lists record types that could be available in some way:

  • Census
  • Census Substitutes
  • Church
  • Valuation
  • Estate
  • Tithe Applotment Books
  • Landed Estate
  • Registry of Deeds
  • Wills and other Testamentary Records
  • Various Printed Sources
  • Emigration
  • Poor Law
  • Local Authority Sources
  • Ordnance Survey Maps and Memoirs
  • Electoral Records
  • Solicitors Records
  • Business Records
  • Crown Records
  • Militia, Yeomanry, and Irish Royal Constabulary

Web Sites

General Information About Northern Ireland

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