Mark Gatiss’s journey to Ulster demonstrates just some of the resources that are available for this region. Nicola Morris explains more…
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland and comprises nine counties – Antrim, Armagh, Down, Derry, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal.
Originally the Gaelic stronghold of the island, Ulster was planted by Scottish and English settlers in the 14th and 15th centuries, making it an area distinct from the rest of the island because of its diverse religious and cultural make-up. While Ireland pursued independence from the United Kingdom in the late-19th century, communities in Ulster campaigned to remain within the Union. This resulted in the partition of Ireland in 1922, with the six counties Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone forming Northern Ireland. The counties of Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal remained in what was to become the Republic of Ireland.
Family history researchers should remember that prior to 1922, Ireland was administered as one country. Census returns, vital records and land records are the same for both sides of the border.
However, the location of records may differ depending on which side of the current border your ancestors originated.
Sherlock and Dr Who co-creator Mark Gatiss traced his family back to Ulster in his episode of WDYTYA?