Mark Gatiss’s jour­ney to Ul­ster demon­strates just some of the re­sources that are avail­able for this re­gion. Ni­cola Mor­ris ex­plains more…

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - ULSTER ANCESTORS -

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?

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