County Antrim Belfast Northern Ireland, ca. 1890

Researching Ulster Scots Ancestors

March 18, 2023 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET
Access materials starting March 10
Judith Lucey
Rhonda R. McClure
Eileen Curley Pironti
Members Save 10%

The Scots-Irish have been migrating from Northern Ireland to the United States and Canada since the early 18th century. As with any genealogical research, there are challenges to researching your Ulster Scots ancestors—finding their exact origins, sifting through common names, working through record loss—but there is a way forward! This online conference aims to provide you with the historical context, record overview, and research strategies to not only make real headway in your family history research, but also provide you with a better understanding of your ancestors’ daily life. This conference will focus on the nine counties within the Ulster Province (Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Donegal, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, Monaghan, and Tyrone).

Class 1: A Brief History of Northern Ireland and the Scots-Irish Migration to America
Presented by Judy Lucey

Understanding how your ancestor’s life fits into a greater context is critical to understanding their motivations, daily experience, and may shed light on new avenues of research. This first class will provide a brief history of Northern Ireland, the Ulster Scots, and offer an overview of key waves of migration to America.


Class 2: Determining Origins: Using American Records
Presented by Eileen Pironti

Before we can make the leap across the pond and dive into the records in Northern Ireland, we must first know exactly where our ancestors came from—beyond the county. There are several types of American records that can lead us to this information. This class will review both common—and less common—records that can assist you in making that leap.


Class 3: Records in Northern Ireland: Religious Records
Presented by Rhonda R. McClure

Church records and parish registers are an essential resource for anyone researching Irish ancestry. This class will review the records and resources available for Protestant, Catholic, and Presbyterian ancestors living in Northern Ireland. We will look at what records exist, what they contain, how to locate them, and how to apply them to your family history research.


Class 4: Records in Northern Ireland: Landed Estates
Presented by Rhonda R. McClure

Estate records can provide an incredible amount of information on both for land-owning ancestors and tenants. Because these records aren’t in a single location, not always digitized, and seldom indexed, they are frequently overlooked by genealogists. In this class we will demonstrate how to navigate and leverage these important records.


Class 5: Researching in Northern Ireland
Presented by Judy Lucey

This final class will review additional—often overlooked—records from Northern Ireland, provide an overview of key repositories, and offer advice on how to plan a research trip to your ancestral homeland.

Research and Library Services
Judith Lucey
New England
Areas of expertise: Irish genealogy, the Atlantic Canadian Provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, and New England.
Research and Library Services
Rhonda R. McClure
Immigration and Naturalization
Genealogical Software
Areas of expertise: Immigration and naturalization, late 19th and early 20th century urban research, missionaries.
Books and Journals
Eileen Curley Pironti
Eileen graduated with a B.A. from Saint Anselm College, and received an M.S. from American University.