The main repository for Belfast is the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, or PRONI. Created at the time of the partition, it holds not only State records but a large collection of private records such as church and estate records. It can be a bit intimidating when you first begin your research. After everyone obtained their Visitor's Pass (reader's ticket), we were given an orientation, or more like a history lesson by Dr. Desmond McCabe, archivist and historian. Des is quite clear about genealogists being historians first...in order to research our ancestors we must understand the historical context of the time and place where they lived. It was quite a full day!
Personally, Deb Johnston and I had lunch with Valerie, a relative I'll be heading out to visit next weekend in Enniskillen. It was great to meet her and share some family information. Valerie is my 3rd cousin 1x removed.
Another bonus was that Deb Thalner and I had dinner with my 3rd cousin, Andrew Moag and his son Connor. We had all met on a previous trip so it was a great time to catch up.
I found leases for all the land of Dunlogan. The printer did not want to work-it took a bit of coaching to get it going, the internet was slowing down this AM so a bit frustrating while researching the Drapers paper I started off with bang but things happen. I learn to buy the print card before you try to print and have a secondary backup project while you wait for the pull. They never did call my number. They cannot keep your pull so will send over the pull over tomorrow. I found an original letter sent from Margaret McCloskey to family in PA. A brief look into her life and I found it interesting.
Marion and Bob
Again, thank you, Donna, for arranging for a wonderful orientation program, followed by personalized assistance. We spent the day becoming familiar with the PRONI procedures and placing our initial orders, which included three family wills. We look forward to digging more deeply into resources in the coming days.
Sara and Karen
Had a great day at Proni today. Des started our day off with an engaging history lesson on the evolution of records and record keeping. The information gave us a new ideas. We found a few good leads to chase and left Proni feeling optimistic about tomorrows search.
Today was a busy day at PRONI researching records from the past. I initially thought we were going for Peroni or maybe a Perogi but that was not the case. After a brisk walk we arrived at the repository and had a great introduction to the important work being conducted for our genealogists and historians.
Pat and Bill
Invited the group to an early pub dinner on Wednesday at McHugh's...the oldest pub in Belfast. It's on the walk home from PRONI, just across from "The Big Fish."