Irish Family History Foundation [IFHF]

The Irish Family History Foundation is the co-ordinating body for a network of government approved genealogical research centres in the Republic of Ireland (Eire) and in Northern Ireland.  The IFHF has genealogy centres based in most counties throughout the entire island of Ireland. The centres covering Northern Ireland and Co. Donegal are:  Derry ~ Londonderry Genealogy Service [formerly Derry Genealogy Centre],  Donegal Ancestry, Armagh Ancestry,  Irish World [which covers Fermanagh and Tyrone] and the Ulster Historical Foundation [which covers Antrim and Down].

Between them, these centres have computerised millions of Irish genealogical records including church records, census returns and gravestone inscriptions. Perhaps most important are the civil records of marriages which have been computerised for all of the counties in Northern Ireland. Their databases also include a good, but not always complete, coverage of civil birth records.

Until recently only some of the counties had made their records available online. Now, the databases of all the counties mentioned above [plus others for the rest of Ireland] are available at rootireland.ie. Here you can search databases of birth, marriage and death records covering all the counties of Ireland for which records have been made available. You can either select all of the counties as one database, or you can select one county and concentrate on it.

Note that the following centres, as well as having their records online at the IFHF [ORS] website, have separate websites - Ulster Historical Foundation [Antrim and Down.], Irish World [Tyrone and Fermanagh] and  Donegal Ancestry.

Usually if I want to access the Ulster Historical Foundation databases I go directly to their website. Note that you can also go direct to the Derry Genealogy section of the rootireland.ie website. I have provided a separate link directly to the Derry Genealogy section of the Rootireland website. Because my website concentrates on Co. Londonderry and North & Mid Antrim these are two websites that I would visit most frequently.

The IFHF databases are best for marriages and births. Here is an example of searches for a marriage and the subsequent births on the Derry Genealogy section of the Rootsireland.ie website. Note that this example was created a number of years ago and the screenshots used are to some extent different from what you will see on the website today. Websites are continually changing but the general principles of searching remain much the same. The other main difference is that, now, the initial part of the search is no longer free.


Copyright 2012 W. Macafee.