When visiting Belfast for genealogical research, the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland is the primary research facility. Yesterday was spent becoming familiar with the Archive and today was a day to dig in. It's important to stay focused on your research question and not get distracted. Remember it's time and place...where was your ancestor at a particular time and then, what records are available to answer your research question.
At about 12:30, those that were interested walked (or took a taxi) to the Linen Hall Library. The Linen Hall Library is the oldest library in Belfast, founded in 1788. It has an excellent collection of genealogies as well as reference books covering Ireland, England and the US. In addition, they have a card index for the Belfast Newsletter from 1801-1863. I was lucky enough to find a reference to one of my Moag relatives in 1844 in the index! The Library is located just across from the Belfast City Hall.
A few of us had time to go back to PRONI to finish up working on manuscripts we had ordered in the morning.
Here are today's comments.
From Pat T...
Reflections on travels with Donna
A few days ago, one of our research group asked Bill and me why we were traveling to Ireland again with Donna Moughty, since this is our third research trip to Ireland. “Don’t you know your way to the Archives? Why don’t you just go on your own?” We both laughed and pointed out we could wander in to the library and archive by ourselves, but we wouldn’t get the special treatment that we get when we visit those places with Donna. Also, she has the experience about all the best Irish genealogy archives and libraries and usually can arrange for us to meet the archivists and the keepers of the knowledge, which we couldn’t do if we came on our own. Traveling with Donna, we don’t have to figure out where to stay, we always get good suggestions for transportation, and dinner and fun stuff to do, we always learn something from her podcasts and zoom meetings, and we can spend time with people who actually like to hear about YOUR family research success stories. Oh, and because I always make progress toward solving my Great Family Mystery. That’s why this is our third Irish research trip with Donna.
[Pat, thanks for your kind comments. It's always fun to have you and Bill on the trip.]
Another great day. After spending the morning searching records at PRONI, it was a nice change up to research in The Linen Hall Library. We found a few "bits" to follow, so that was great and the library's antiquity was an added bonus!
I finally had some luck today, found my great grandmother's sister and her husbands' baptism records and their marriage records. She turned Catholic for him, so I found their records in the catholic parish records. I tracked them down thru the Ancestry UK records. I enjoyed the Linen Hall library and the tea and scones in the restaurant.
I really enjoyed going to the Linen Hall Library today. They have so many interesting genealogical resources there. The young woman working behind the counter was very helpful in providing access to information about a possible ancestor. She also provided me with the street directories for Belfast and Ulster from the 1830s and 1840s. If anyone is interested, the street directory books are located behind the desk. You have to ask the librarian for them. If you didn't go to the Linen Hall Library today, you may want to go before the end of the week.
[Thanks for the tip, Ellen]