Monday 19 February 2018

New County Fermanagh research guide from NIFHS

County Fermanagh in Ireland is an area that keeps yielding surprises for my own family history research. A couple of years back I discovered that a four times great grandfather, William Halliday, was born in Enniskillen (in about 1797); elsewhere, in Magheraculmoney parish, my Morrow family have stories slowly being uncovered, whilst my Mitchell ancestors from Breagho townland in Enniskillen recently yielded one of my biggest DNA successes yet, when it turned out that just about all of the family emigrated to Boston, Massachussetts, in the mid-19th century - with the exception of my two times great gran, who made her way to Scotland!

It is fair to say that Fermanagh is my as yet untapped genealogical frontier. Thankfully, with almost Jedi like insight, the North of Ireland Family History Society seems to have sensed this and produced the perfect research guide to help me out.

Co. Fermanagh is the fifth county based guide in the Researching Your Ancestors in the North of Ireland book series produced by the society. At 49 pages in total, and in full colour throughout, it packs a lot in with regards to maps, background information, and information on those all important resources for ancestral research.

The opening pages priovide a background to Fermanagh's topography and history, including information on the town of Enniskillen and the village of Pettigo, half of which is in fact in Co. Donegal, followed by an overview of some of the 'usual suspects', such as Griffith's Valuation and the Registry of Deeds. The section on 17th, 18th and 19th century census substitutes includes many useful links, followed by information on the census itself, with some limited returns for 1821, 1841 and 1851 surviving, prior to the full returns for 1901 and 1911.

The section on Church Records, listing what records have survived and where to find them, forms the main heart of the book, followed by detailed information on Gravestone Inscriptions, Estates Records and records from the Plantations. Various supplemetary records collections are further discussed, with notable sections on Newspapers, Directories, Grand Jury records, School Records, and Workhouses, followed by a detailed bibliography of Fermanagh based literature. The guide is rounded off with lists of useful contact details and websites to help further with research.

The NIFHS county guides are turning into a very useful library collection if you have forebears from the north of Ireland, with additional guides already available covering Cavan, Monaghan, Tyrone and Londonderry/Derry. The price for each is £6 plus postage.

For further details, visit

 The new Fermanagh guide went on sale at Back To Our Past in Belfast.


For my genealogy guide books, visit, whilst details of my research service are at Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at

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