Local and family historyHave you ever wanted to look up your family tree but didn't know where to start?
In this section, you can:
- get help tracing historical records
- search burial records
- read about the history of Belfast
- find links to useful family history resources
This can make finding out about your ancestors a long and detailed process. However, the popularity of family history research, both here and around the world, means there are now plenty of places to start!
Getting startedYou can begin your search by speaking to your relatives, especially older relations, and looking through old photographs and other family memorabilia to build up a picture of your family tree.
Ask to see family certificates which can reveal more about your past. For example, a birth certificate will list your mother's maiden name, marriage certificates give the names of both fathers and their professions and death certificates can reveal where a person was living when they died and what their job was.
Show your findings to other family members as you discover them, as it might help jog their memories and reveal new information to help with your research.
You might also want to join a local family history group or enrol in a course so you can share your experiences with others. The Ulster Historical Foundation website and the North of Ireland Family History Society website are ideal starting points, while the Belfast Metropolitan College website contains details of all full-time and part-time course options.
Next stepsOnce you're covered the basics, you will probably need to widen your search to find out more. This may involve looking up historical records of births, deaths and marriages, researching church or parish registers or consulting old burial records.
You can find out more about how to do this by using the links below: