Discover your Ancestors – Find your Homeplace

Senior genealogist: Heather Flanders
Member of SGNI (Society of Genealogists Northern Ireland)

Ulster Ancestors

280 Castlereagh Road, Belfast, BT5 6AD
Consultant historian: Dr Steve Flanders

Home | Services | FAQs | Contact | Counties
Parishes | Townlands


Are your roots in Ireland? Would you like to know about those whose blood runs in your veins? Would you like to discover exactly where and how they lived and the surroundings which would have been so familiar to them? It is said we are truly forgotten when those who remember us are gone. Why not discover your long-forgotten ancestors? How pleased they would be!

We will research your family history from the full range of primary sources available, not relying on third party databases. These primary sources include civil registration of births, deaths and marriages, parish records, church registers, tithe records (around 1830), Griffiths Valuation (around 1860) and subsequent revisions of Griffiths, school registers, Wills, gravestone inscriptions, landed estate records – often giving details of tenants and leases, Registry of Deeds 1708-1929, Land Registry records, emigration lists, business records, newspapers and the 1901 Census and 1911 Census. Only remnants of previous government census records have survived so we will check the many census substitutes such as Muster Rolls, Books of Survey and Distribution, Hearth Money Rolls of the 1600s, Subsidy Rolls and Voters, Poll and Freeholders Records.

Church registers are an important source as civil registration of births, deaths and marriages was not introduced in Ireland until 1864, although non-Catholic marriages were subject to civil registration from 1845. Many church registers and parish records have been microfilmed and these microfilms are held by the Public Record Office for Northern Ireland (PRONI), but some are in local custody and require visits to the local areas.

If your ancestors appear in the Griffith's Valuation records it is usually possible to find the precise location of their house or farm.

It is sometimes possible to trace living relatives and, with their permission, put you in touch with them.

It is often a good idea to commission only a couple of hours to begin with. This will allow for some work to be done and for a research plan to be drawn up based on results, the information you have and the survival of records which appear relevant.

Time charges vary between £16 and £18 per hour depending on the number of hours commissioned. Please note that postage charges and fees imposed by registry offices (if applicable) will be added to these time charges.

The more accurate and detailed facts you can supply about your ancestor, the better results we will obtain. The most important details I need to know are your ancestor's approximate date of birth; place of origin - this would be the county or parish, or, best of all, townland - and religion. The name of his or her father would also be important. Any other information you can supply about the family whilst still in Ireland, including other family members and date of emigration, if applicable, would help with the success of the search.

Click on the relevant button, above, to locate the counties, parishes and townlands of Northern Ireland.

If practicable in terms of travelling time and expenses it is sometimes meaningful if we visit your homeplace and see where homesteads, churches, farmlands, schools and so on are in relation to one another and take photographs of the area for you. If you commission our services, we can discuss the practicalities of this. You may prefer to wait and discover the area for yourself when you visit. If it is necessary to visit your homeplace to view parish or church records or inspect gravestones, we would agree this with you in advance, if and when the need became clear.