Updated: Dec 26, 2018
The walk from the Titanic Hotel to the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland is just a few blocks. Unfortunately, it was a rainy morning. The first stop is the lockers. All coats and bags need to be put into a locker. Computers or files can be taken in. Next, a reader’s ticket is in order. The form can be obtained on the website, or picked up at the front desk. Your reader’s ticket allows you to enter the search and reading rooms, and to order manuscript documents.
Des McCabe, an archivist at PRONI gave a presentation on PRONI, but also discussed the process of being a historian…a family historian. He encouraged the researchers to explore resources for the locality where their ancestors lived rather than simply focusing on births, deaths and marriages. He also encouraged people to use maps, to understand how townlands and parishes fit together. And finally to write. It’s through the process of writing that new questions will come to mind. These are all things that I have written or spoken about in the past.
Not everyone found the information they hoped for today, but it was still an opportunity to learn about some new resources.
If you are thinking of traveling to Ireland to research keep these things in mind. You need to know the specific locality of your ancestors in Ireland. Read all you can about the locality to find out what as happening when your ancestors were there. Learn about the history or the area. Keep an open mind about the types of records that might provide information.