Chance for Newtownabbey folk to research their family history

Members from different branches enjoying researching and sharing information in the Randal Gill Library.
Members from different branches enjoying researching and sharing information in the Randal Gill Library.

Newtownabbey residents keen to delve into their family history will have the chance to share ancestry information and knowledge with others at a series of special courses coming to the Valley Business Centre from next month.

The North of Ireland Family History Society, which holds branch meetings throughout Northern Ireland including Newtownabbey have organised a series of Family History courses at their Research Centre & Randal Gill Library at the Church Road business centre over the autumn.

A small non-profit charity depending on the membership subscriptions for their income, they are an organisation of amateur family historians who enjoy coming together to help each other share information and knowledge of how to find about their ancestors and about their lives.

Their monthly branch meetings will commence in September at 10 locations including Newtownabbey.

Courses are run each year at their Research Centre by Society members runs which are open to everyone interested in family history, on a variety of topics and at a reasonable cost.

As the courses are open to the public as well as members, however, they are very popular so booking must be made in advance.

The Autumn 2017 courses will get underway on September 5 with Family Finder 1 (DNA for genealogy).

This will be followed on September 9 with Starting your Genealogy (beginners course) and September 30 when the subject will be Transcription – Method and Benefits.

Courses will continue on October 3 with ‘Family Tree Maker – Basics and Benefits’ and Websites for Genealogy.

Other October courses will be Valuation Records October 10, Family Finder 2 (DNA for genealogy) on October 16, there will be two courses on October 17 - Writing Up Your Family History and Researching Military Ancestors and October 31 will be a ‘Halloween Lock-In’.

November courses get underay with Understanding Heraldry on November 7, followed by It’s All About Me on November 8, Making the Most of Your Autosomal DNA Results on November 11, Emigration to Australia and New Zealand and also The Advantages of Y-DNA on November 14, Using Family Search on November 15, Life in Ulster in the 1830s on November 21 and Land Records on November 22.

Full detail of content, cost and how to book in advance, to avoid disappointment, for the Autumn 2017 series is now available on the North of Ireland Family History Society’s website which can be visited at