County Antrim, Northern Ireland

County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is situated in the northeast coast of Ireland. It is bordered by a 13 mile wide channel which separates the Torr Head from the Scottish coast. Major towns are Carrickfergus, Ballymena, Lisburn, Ballycastle, Larne and the city of Belfast. Lough Neagh, the largest of all the lakes in Ireland, is situated in County Antrim.

County Antrimn in Northern Ireland is steeped in the rich history of its Celtic origin. It was originally named Dalriada and was the territory of the O'Neills. Other Gaelic families included the McQuillans and O'Quinns. The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries saw the migration of Scottish settlers, including the McDonnells, Bissels, MacNeills and McAllisters.

Researching Your Ancestors

County Antrim is divided into parishes and these parishes incorporate a number of townlands. Knowing the parish or townland your ancestor came from will greatly assist you in your research.

Parishes and Townlands in County Antrim

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) provides a list of Parishes in County Antrim with a map showing the location of each of these parishes. Each parish is linked to a list of townlands within that parish. A great resource!

A complete list of all the Townlands in County Antrim can also be found on the PRONI website.

Church Records

Church records are of particular value to anyone interested in tracing their family tree. They usually contain the registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, many of which pre-date civil registration. For more information please read the PRONI Guide to Church Records.

The National Library of Ireland has microfilmed, and made freely available, digital images of most Catholic Parish Registers in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The Catholic registers have also been indexed by Findmypast (FMP) and images can be searched and freely downloaded for Parish Baptisms, Parish Marriages and Parish Burials. To learn what parishes and years are covered by the FMP records, see Parish List (Baptisms), Parish List (Marriages) and Parish List (Burials)

Civil Registration

Civil registration of all births, marriages, and deaths in Ireland began in 1864, and the registration of non-Catholic marriages started in 1845. To learn more, consult the Ireland Civil Registration wiki at FamilySearch.

An index of Ireland Civil Registration -including births, 1864-1958, marriages, 1845-1958, and deaths, 1864-1958 - is available online at FamilySearch's Ireland Civil Registration Indexes.

All birth records from 1864 to 100 years ago have been digitized and are free to view and download at IrelandGenealogy.ie. Some of the later marriage and death records can also be downloaded from this site.

The General Register Office, Northern Ireland (GRONI) provides an online service for searching and ordering civil registration records. To search the records online, you must register for an account.

Many civil registrations (as well as church baptisms and marriages) are available online at Emerald Ancestors, Ulster Historical Foundation and/or RootsIreland.ie.

Census Records

The 1901 and 1911 Census of Ireland are available online.

For information about Census records prior to this time, please read PRONI's Leaflet 5: 19th Century Census Records as well as Leaflet 6: 18th and 19th Century Census Substitutes.

Historical Societies in Co Antrim

Land Transactions

Beginning in 1708, land transactions were recorded with the Registry of Deeds in Dublin. Since the registration wasn't mandatory, not all transactions were recorded. However, for those that were, there are deeds of sale, lease agreements, marriage settlements and wills. FamilySearch have digitized transcripts of these transactions and made them available at Deeds, Conveyances and Wills, 1708-1929. Guidance on how to use these online records can be found at the following links:

Steeped in History

Belfast Castle

Belfast Castle is just one of many castles found in County Antrim. The first 'Belfast Castle' was built by the Normans in the late 12th century. On the same site a stone and timber castle was erected in 1611 which became the home of Sir Arthur Chichester, baron of Belfast. It was burned down in 1708. The current Belfast Castle was built in the 1860s.

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Ireland Genealogy Projects

Ireland Genealogy Projects

IGP Archives - Co Antrim

Natural Wonder

Giants Causeway

The Eighth Wonder of the World ... the beautiful rock formations of the Giant's Causeway have become a major part of Ireland's heritage.

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Public Records Office of Northern Ireland

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is the official archive for Northern Ireland. PRONI holds many valuable sources for family history research.

Online resources at PRONI

Visit the PRONI Website to learn about the vast collection of public records in their keeping.


Photo Gallery

Thanks to Jeanne Pratt for kindly contributing these photos to Ireland Genealogy Projects. Please click on photos to enlarge.

Photos of County Antrim contributed by Jeanne Pratt
Photos of County Antrim contributed by Jeanne Pratt
Photos of County Antrim contributed by Jeanne Pratt
Photos of County Antrim contributed by Jeanne Pratt
Photos of County Antrim contributed by Jeanne Pratt
Photos of County Antrim contributed by Jeanne Pratt
Photos of County Antrim contributed by Jeanne Pratt
Photos of County Antrim contributed by Jeanne Pratt