Thanks to the migration of 250,000 Ulster-Scots to North America, as well as many others who travelled to other parts of the world such as New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, there are now millions of people anxious to trace their Ulster-Scots roots. Are you a Barclay, Montgomery, Hamilton, Nevin, Shaw, Blair, Hamill, Cunningham, Ross or one of numerous other Ulster-Scots names? Your ancestors may well have lived in a townland, village or town in North Down and the Ards.

Guide to tracing your roots in the Ards and North Down

You can download this short guide from the North Down Tourism website -
This guide identifies the main sources that can be used to explore family history in North Down and the Ards, and provides the steps you need to find your ancestors.

Begin with the family

Remember to start with your family today. Is there anyone with information on where your family came from? Collect as much information as possible on names, dates and places relating to your family; write it down and begin to plot out the skeleton of a family tree. This will save you time when you visit the archives.

Useful organisations

Thanks to the worldwide web you can access a number of helpful organisations instantly, wherever you are. You may find the following of help:

Ulster Historical Foundation

49 Malone Road, Belfast, BT9 6RY T: (028) 9066 1988
E:, W:

General Register Office Of Northern Ireland

49/55 Chichester Street Belfast, BT1 4HL T: (028) 9025 2000
E:, W:

Linen Hall Library

17 Donegall Square North, Belfast, BT1 5GD T: (028) 9032 1707
E:, W:

Public Record Office Of Northern Ireland

66 Balmoral Avenue, Belfast, BT9 6NY T: (028) 9025 1318
E:, W:

Centre For Migration Studies

Ulster-American Folk Park Castletown, Omagh, Co Tyrone, BT78 5QY
T: (028) 8225 6315, E:, W:


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Image Gallery

Coming from Donaghadee on the coastal road (Whitechurch Road) turn right at Dunover Road. The cemetery is about a mile down on your right.
Off Church Street, in Portaferry’s Conservation Area.
From Newtownards High Street, turn right into Old Cross Street and left into Court Street. Look out for the Old Market Cross on the way.
On top of Church Hill at the north end of Killinchy village with views over Strangford Lough.
The ruined abbey is on the outskirts of Greyabbey village, at the entrance to Rosemount Estate.


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