Friday, 12 December 2014

Northern Irish Petty Sessions Courts records

Following on from news that FindmyPast has completed the addition of petty sessions court registers for the Republic of Ireland to its site, as sourced from the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin (, I've often wondered about the Northern Irish equivalents. Last week, I asked about this at PRONI in Belfast ( I was advised that the catalogue reference number for these is HA/1/1 up to HA/1/117.

Each collection varies in its coverage - HA/1/1 covers Ahoghill from 1918-1936, whilst HA/1/2 is for Antrim 1840-1980, for example. The HA prefix stands for the Ministry of Home Affairs.

I've not had a chance to play with them yet, so have no idea how easy or difficult they may be to use, or whether they might be indexed, but the easiest way to see what is held is to access the Browse function of PRONI's catalogue, and then under the category of H in the alphabetical list choose HA - the HA series will then be displayed in numeric order in list form.

Whilst records for some of my ancestors' areas disappointingly only seem to start from, or survive from, the early 20th century, Belfast looks particularly promising, with records going back to 1850.

Next time I go over, I'll see if I can find out a bit more!


Stuck for a Christmas gift?! I have a series of genealogy books available in the UK, Australia and Canada, on Scottish, Irish and British based subject areas. Further details at Santa approves!

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