Sunday, 9 March 2014

PRONI guide to Northern Irish school records holdings

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland ( has added a major new guide to its website detailing the National Schools that existed in each parish in the north of Ireland, and the accession number for any relevant collections as held by the archive in Belfast.

The following is a summary description:

This document provides an easy means of establishing which particular schools operated within any parish in Northern Ireland since 1831. The index includes the name of schools, arranged by parish, alternative names for schools where applicable, the county in which they are situated, PRONI collection reference number (all beginning with prefix SCH), along with additional notes if part of a collection is held elsewhere e.g. on microfilm. With the SCH reference number, users can browse the descriptions of any SCH collection via our online catalogue, to determine what records exist for a particular school. This PDF document is fully word-searchable- click ‘Ctrl and F’ to search by school name, parish or county. The original paper records of over 1,500 national schools in Northern Ireland, mainly from the 1860s to the 1940s, are accessible onsite in our Reading Room.

To access the document visit

Nice one!

NB: Do heed the advice above - I tried to find the records for my old primary school in Carrickfergus, the Model Primary, but it did not appear under the listings for Carrickfergus - a keyword search, however, soon found it, listed under the parish of St. Nicholas.

(With thanks to Gavin McMahon)


Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

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