Friday, 20 December 2019

PRONI - where everybody knows your name!

Having missed the PRONI user forum meeting last week due to the hectic general election the day before, I visited Belfast yesterday to do a bit of research at PRONI (, which is rapidly competing with the bar from Cheers as the place to bump into folk!

I first bumped into Tunji Lees, who regular readers may remember flagged up the existence of the Scottish WW1 Pension Appeals Tribunal records at the National Records of Scotland a few years back, as catalogued under PT6, and which are now being indexed thanks to funding from the Wellcome Trust (see Tunji is carrying out a surname study of the Lees surname in the north, and was having a lot of fun with the records yesterday!

I also caught up with Martin McDowell from the North of Ireland Family History Society, who is currently working on a Ballycarry DNA project in County Antrim (see, and putting together the talks strand for the next Back To Our Past event in Belfast next February.

The big find for me was discovering a map from 1859 of the northern part of Islandmagee in County Antrim, detailing the townlands there where my lot were based, and making me as happy as the proverbial whatsit...!

A final visit to the Christmas market was enough to recharge my batteries for a few more months.

Happy Christmas to all at PRONI!


Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records at Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

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