Northern Ireland

Locate the top websites for Northern Ireland Genealogy research

Selecting the most relevant sites for genealogy research in Northern Ireland can be challenging as so many websites relevant to research in the Republic are also relevant north of the border.

To provide clarity, I selected several databases which specifically target Northern Ireland genealogy research, though anyone exploring their Irish ancestry in any of the six counties should also refer to my other lists (both free and pay-to-view) of online resources.

These lists can be found at the bottom of each page under Related Pages.

These websites or databases have earned their place on this shortlist by providing access to much if not all of their information at no cost.

Here, the sites are organized alphabetically.

Ancestry Ireland, operated by the Ulster Historical Foundation, is one of the major genealogical research agencies, family history publishers and education providers operating in Northern Ireland. Based out of Belfast, Ancestry Ireland operates globally with regular updates provided.

The Ulster Historical and Genealogical Guild specialises in Irish and Scots-Irish research and offers both study programs and membership services to members.

AncestryIreland provides an abundance of records of genealogical interest for researchers. Among these items are detailed civil parish maps and lists of townlands by county; ebooks; as well as an expansive searchable database with birth, marriage and death records as well as gravestone inscriptions and street directories – to name just some!

There are also a handful of free to search and view collections.

The Ulster Historical Foundation publishes and distributes numerous books of interest to Irish genealogists and historians, both localized to Northern Ireland as well as covering the island as a whole.

Eddie’s Extracts
Eddie (Connolly) has collected an array of records in Eddie’s Extracts that span many sources – most notably newspapers – in an attempt to compile them. As its name implies, these documents contain many types of records which have been extracted by Eddie for publication here.

These records include birth, marriage and death notices; rolls of honour (war dead), court reports, inquests and books. Eddie is particularly strong when it comes to Presbyterian records but anyone conducting genealogy in Northern Ireland should take a good, hard look at Eddie’s collection – it’s all free, too!

Emerald Ancestors is a subscription-only website focused exclusively on Northern Irish genealogy records.

Its database offers access to parish baptism registers from 1796-1924 and marriage registers covering 1823-19041 for six counties that now make up Northern Ireland.

The Death Records Collection includes graveyard inscriptions and burial registers from six counties plus Donegal, Louth and Monaghan of Ireland as well as an index from Irish Wills Calendars for these counties.

Additionally, this archive holds extracts from both 1841 and 1851 Irish censuses as well as church censuses and school registers – you can get a good overview of its holdings here.

Once we launched our revamped site at the end of July 2017, it now boasts many free resources such as family tree building tools and, for members only, access to free downloadable ebooks.

One month of subscription costs PS9.99; six months cost PS24.99 and one year costs (as of January 2019).

GRONI At the end of March 2014, the General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI) introduced their online family history service. While searching is free and may provide useful results, most will require to access additional data that requires payment by credit/debit card – though fees tend to be quite manageable.

Irish Genealogy Toolkit offers an excellent database for Northern Ireland civil registration records (see also Irish Genealogy Toolkit’s Northern Ireland civil registration records page.)

PRONI, founded after the partition of Ireland into Republic and Northern Ireland in 1923, serves as an official repository of public records in six counties: Antrim, Armagh LondonDerry Down Fermanagh Tyrone.

This free site features databases containing details about those who signed the Ulster Covenant (1912), pre-1840 Freeholder records, street directories from 1819-1900 and will calenders 1858-1965; as well as 93,000+ wills transcribed.

This site also provides free online access to Revision/Cancelled Books that carried on Griffith’s Valuation from mid 19th century until 1930s and features an outstanding historical maps viewer.

See PRONI’s selection of free databases.

Download some extremely helpful guidance leaflets specific to Northern Irish genealogy and local history research, such as the Church Records leaflet (3) which gives an overview of what microfilms or paper records PRONI has available by denomination for which years.

PRONI also offers, exclusively to personal visitors, computer terminals that link directly to GRONI database – giving access to both historical and modern birth, marriage, and death civil records for viewing via pay per view subscription services.

Ulster Ancestry’s primary business may be targeting potential paying customers, but they also provide a number of free databases such as muster rolls (dating back to 1631), local directories, gravestone inscriptions, clergy lists, marriage records and ship passenger lists that may prove invaluable for research purposes.

Fascinating material. Kudos to the site owner for making it available freely online.

Although an ebook version of the Belfast and Ulster Directory for 1852 must be purchased separately, more recent editions such as 1910 can be searched freely from this page.

A total of 160 towns are linked to pages providing brief details (market day, number of inhabitants), post office officials (including clergy members) and local places of worship (including their services) as well as adult inhabitants – their occupations and often, addresses.

This directory stands out from others published previously, which typically listed only gentry, local officials, and tradespeople.

Although much of this data can now be easily found through free access to the 1911 census, its unique format (along with additional details about each community’s’social structure’) makes this database an indispensable part of Northern Ireland genealogy resources.

Discover this site, you will also discover pedigrees and 1862 Directories covering both Ulster and the Republic – all completely free.