Ancestry

If you've always wondered about your roots, it's time to mix research and pleasure and come to your ancestral homeland for some heritage digging. It may seem like a needle in a haystack when you consider there are 25 million people of Northern Irish descent in the United States and Canada alone. But you'd be amazed what our professionals can find! With luck, you may be able to go directly to your ancestral home on arrival!

Apple Day at Peatlands Park - Traditional Music

Peatlands Park

Co Tyrone

Peatlands Park, close to the southern shores of Lough Neagh, was the first of its type in the British Isles and was specifically established to promote and facilitate peatland awareness and issues.

Grey Abbey 03

Grey Abbey

Co Down

Grey Abbey, a Cistercian Abbey church and its living quarters were founded in 1193 by Affreca wife of John de Courcy, the Anglo-Norman invader of East Ulster.

Stewart Castle -Newtownstewart

Newtownstewart Castle

Co Tyrone

The power of the O’Neill chieftains in Tyrone came to an end in 1607. Defeated in battle by English forces and fearful for their future, Hugh O’Neill and his allies fled Ireland in what has become known as the Flight of the Earls.

Devenish Island, Co.Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

Devenish Island Monastic Site, Co.Fermanagh

Co Fermanagh

Famous for its perfect 12th-century round tower and ruined Augustinian abbey.

Portora Castle

Portora Castle

Co Fermanagh

Portora Castle guards a former crossing point where the river joins Lough Erne. Built in 1613 by Sir William Cole, it consisted of a 3 storey house across the breadth of the bawn which was defended by 4 circular towers.

Crawfordsburn Country Pk02

Crawfordsburn Country Park

Co Down

With two excellent beaches, spectacular scenery and views across Belfast Lough, tranquil walks through peaceful meadows and wooded glens and a stunning waterfall, Crawfordsburn Country Park provides a relaxing natural retreat.

Tullaghoge Fort 2

Tullaghoge Fort

Co Tyrone

Tullaghoge Fort was a royal power centre which came to historical prominence in the 11th Century when it was a dynastic centre for Cerel nEogain (later the O’Neills).

QUOILE1

Quoile Countryside Centre

Co Down

This glorious wetland retreat, located just outside Downpatrick, boasts a variety of beautiful and tranquil woodland and riverside walks. The bird hide overlooking the freshwater lake allows for excellent bird watching opportunities.

Struell Wells, County Down

Struell Wells

Co Down

Struell Wells was built around a stream flowing through a secluded valley. It was a popular place of pilgrimage from the 1600s until the 1840s.

Nendrum Monastic Site

Nendrum Monastic Site

Co Down

Nendrum is thought to have been set up by St Machaoi in the 5th Century and also has links to St Patrick in later sources. The monastery consists of 3 round dry stone walled enclosures, one within the other.

Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle

Co Antrim

For more than 800 years, Carrickfergus Castle has been an imposing monument on the Northern Ireland landscape whether approached by land, sea or air. The castle now houses historical displays as well as cannons from the 17th to the 19th centuries.

©  Crown copyright.  Reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO

Tully Castle

Co Fermanagh

This fortified house and bawn are set on Tully Point and were built for Sir John Hume who occupied the house until 1641 when it was attacked and burned on Christmas Eve by Rory Maguire and the inhabitants massacred. It was not lived in again.

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Navan Fort

Armagh

To the west of Armagh City lies Navan Fort, the ancient “Emain Macha” of Irish history and legend and one of the earliest provincial capital of Ulster. It is a large earthwork on top of a drumlin and is thought to be the site of a pagan sanctuary.

Ballycopeland Windmill01

Ballycopeland Windmill

Co Down

Take a Vitual Tour
Late 18th-century tower mill in use until 1915 and still in working order.

Greencastle Royal Castle

Greencastle Royal Castle

This royal castle, commanding the mouth of Carlingford Lough has an eventful history. It was built in the 13th century, taken by Edward Bruce in 1316, attacked at least twice by the Irish in the late 14th century and maintained as a garrison up to 1590.

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Bellaghy Bawn

Co Londonderry

Built around 1619 by Sir Baptist Jones, Bellaghy Bawn is a fortified house and bawn (the defensive wall surrounding an Irish tower house).

Hillsborough Fort

Hillsborough Fort

Co Down

Take a step back in history and view this 17th century artillery fort, set in beautiful grounds.

Portaferry Castle

Portaferry Castle

Co Down

Portaferry Castle is a 16th Century tower-house, built by the Savage family. It is located on the slope overlooking Portaferry harbour.

Castle Archdale Country Park, Co.Fermanagh

Castle Archdale Country Park

Co Fermanagh

Numerous nature trails, Lough side and woodland walks and cycle trails run throughout this beautiful country park which is located on the shores of lower Lough Erne.

Kilclief

Kilclief Castle

Co Down

Kilclief Castle was built between 1413 and 1441, reputedly by John Sely, bishop of Down. This makes it the earliest datable tower-house in County Down and is often used to date other tower-houses in the County.

Ness Country Park

Ness Country Park

Londonderry/Derry

In the steep, wooded Glen of the Burntollet River, south-west of Derry City, lies Ness Country park. 55 hectares of mixed woodland along with open parkland make up the Park which extends along both sides of the Burntollet River. **Path on East Bank Closed Due to Subsidence.**

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Roe Valley Country Park

Co Londonderry

This scenic and tranquil park on the outskirts of Limavady offers spectacular riverside views and woodland walks along with opportunities for salmon and trout fishing, canoeing, rock climbing and orienteering.

Mountsandel Fort

Mountsandel Fort

Co Londonderry

Mountsandel Wood is the earliest known settlement of man in Ireland dating to between 7600 and 7900BC.
Flint tools were found here, indicating that Stone Age hunters camped here to fish salmon in the natural weir.

Redburn

Redburn Country Park

Belfast

Redburn Country Park is set on an escarpment above Belfast Lough. There are 7km of pathways and energetic visitors climbing to the top of the escarpment will be rewarded with spectacular views of Belfast and the south Antrim hills.

Inch Abbey, County Down

Inch Abbey

Co Down

Located on the north bank of the Quoile River, Inch Abbey was founded by John de Courcy in atonement for his destruction of Erenagah Abbey.

Londonderry  Walls - Landscape

Historic Walls of Derry

Londonderry/Derry

Londonderry/Derry is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and is one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe. A walk around the walls reveals a city crammed full of history, heritage, interest and a vibrant cultural scene.

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Dundrum Castle

Co Down

Believed to have been built in or around 1177, Dundrum Castle was built by John De Courcy as part of his coastal defence after he invaded Ulster. Dundrum Castle is located on a wooded hill north-west of Dundrum village near Newcastle.

Scrabo Tower and Country Park

Scrabo Tower and Country Park

Co Down

Scrabo Country Park is centred at the top of Scrabo Hill near Newtownards and boasts incredible views over Strangford Lough and the surrounding countryside.

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Dunluce Castle

Co Antrim

Magnificent cliff top castle

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Immigration & Emigration

Anniversaries

  • 50th 1963-2013
    Louis MacNeice died 3rd Sep 1963

    Fiftieth anniversary of the death of one of Northern Ireland’s greatest poets. Born in Belfast in 1907 MacNeice was part of the generation of Thirties poets including W.H. Auden and Stephen Spender.
    The Ulster History Circle has erected a Blue Plaque on the house of his birth, 2 Brookhill Avenue, Belfast (Cliftonville Road, Belfast). 
    The poet is also associated with St. Nicholas's Church, Carrickfergus - where his father was rector from 1908 to 1931.
  • 100th 1913-2013
    Woodrow Wilson becomes President 1913-1921
    The 28th President of the United States, Wilson’s paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from Strabane, County Tyrone in 1807. You can visit the whitewashed Wilson Ancestral Homestead today.

Did You Know?

Ancestry Links

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
(www.proni.gov.uk)

www.ni-libraries.net
www.ulsterscotsagency.com 
www.ancestryireland.com
www.nationalarchives.ie
www.askaboutireland.ie
www.historyfromheadstones.com
www.discovereverafter.com
www.rjhuntercollection.com
www.placenamesni.org