North of Ireland Family History Society

Fermanagh Branch


There is free car parking available at the Head Street Car Park at the back of the Tax Office.

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Calendar 2013 - 2014

* Talks that are asterisked take place at 2.15pm at Enniskillen Library in the Seminar Room Upstairs.
* Saturday 21st September‘Beginners Guide to Family History’ (Family Search – Frank McHugh, Census – Karen Ireson, Griffiths Valuation – Revised Books – Mervyn Hazlett Hall and Fermanagh Gold – Viola Wiggins)
* Saturday 19 October“Bound for Botany Bay 1788? – The First Fleet to Australia” – Barbara Wimble, President Botany Bay FHS
* Saturday 16 NovemberFamily History Fair - includes ‘The First World War and its impact in West Ulster’ – Richard Doherty (Killyhevlin Hotel)
* Saturday 18 January 2014‘Maps and Administrative Divisions’ – Frank McHugh
* Saturday 8 February‘Surnames of County Fermanagh’ – Marion Maxwell
Thursday 27 FebruaryResearch Trip to GRONI and PRONI, Belfast – Meet at Enniskillen Library at 8am, return approximately 9.30pm
Saturday 15 MarchResearch Trip to Centre for Migration Studies, Omagh – Meet at Enniskillen Library at 9am, return at 5pm
Saturday 12 April AGM in Fermanagh County Museum, followed by talk on Genealogy resources in the Fermanagh County Museum collection – Sarah McHugh, Museum Manager
Saturday 26 April Talk on ‘The Belmore Estate and Castlecoole’ – Jim Chesnutt, Property Manager, National Trust Fermanagh Properties – this talk takes place at Castlecoole at 3pm
Friday 9 May ‘Maguire History Weekend’ – ‘Researching your Maguire and Maguire-related Family Histories’ – Frank McHugh and Seamas MacAnnaidh. 10 free tickets are available for this event. They must be booked through Enniskillen Castle Museums on 02866 32500002866 325000
Saturday 24 May NIFHS AGM – Larne

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Officers 2013 - 2014

Chairperson: Mervyn Hall

Secretary: Frank McHugh

Treasurer: Kay Campling

Council Representatives: Normally the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

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Please refer enquiries to: E-mail:

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Fermanagh Family History Society

We are a branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society. We do not undertake research, but facilitate and encourage our members to do their own research. We meet in the upstairs Seminar Room in Enniskillen Library from September to May, usually on the third Saturday of the month. We also undertake research trips to various archive centres throughout Ireland in October.

Our mission is to foster an interest in family history, with special reference to families, who have roots in Fermanagh, and their descendants, wherever they may be, as well as promoting access to family history resources in Fermanagh.

Membership fees are as follows:

  - Annual Branch Membership £20

  - Annual Affiliated Branch Membership £20 (for those unable to attend branch meetings)

  - Annual Concessionary Branch Membership £15

  - Annual Joint Branch Membership - £25

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This is a fantastic resource for those searching for their Fermanagh family history. There are over 400 databases. They are freely available. Thanks to Vynette Sage for the all hard work in transcribing the vast majority of these databases. Thanks also to George Armstrong. Thanks to David Johnston for facilitating the searching of these databases.

An important link for Fermanagh family historians is the Griffiths Valuation website. As well as family name and place name searches, you can also look at maps where your ancestors lived. Not easy to interpret, but through comparison with modern maps you are able to look at the location of your ancestors.

PRONI has a great website. Their e-catalogue is excellent. It always amazes me the importance of minor landlords in Fermanagh. I've just been searching for a family in Drumsillagh in the Rossory Parish and looking at Griffiths Valuation it appears that the landlord is a Sir Josiah Hort. Searching on Google and on the PRONI e-catalogue reveals sources available for the Hort family and it appear that there are links with the Caldwell family through marriage with information also available in the Sir John Rylands Library in Manchester, where there is significant archive of information about the Caldwell family.

The Advanced Search facility is available on the Roots Ireland pay site for Fermanagh, as well as other counties. You can search indexes for free, but you need to pay €5 for actual records. By adding the father's and mother's first names and surnames, you are able to narrow down your searches and saving wasting money. You can even use individual letters and build up the name, if you're not sure of the exact spelling.

The Irish Times Ancestor website contains lots of good resources, but I particularly recommend the research wizard.

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Roots Tourism in Fermanagh

Information provided by John B. Cunningham and others for a 2011 Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism leaflet.

Genealogy in Fermanagh.

During the Great Famine of 1845-50 in Ireland, Fermanagh lost between the Census of 1841 and 1851 around 60,000 people or about ⅓ of its population through death, migration or emigration.

There had been emigration before this time but the famine unleashed a flood of migrants and their descendants today, populate, England, Scotland, Wales, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to name some of the principal destinations. Fermanagh’s population continued to drop and at c 55,000 is now one third of what it was. Today, many enthused through the Internet and Family History Societies now like to come to Fermanagh in search of their Roots. There are many examples of illustrious Fermanagh descendants around the world such as Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon and John White, Surgeon General of the First Fleet to Australia but famous or otherwise much can be found out about your Fermanagh ancestors.

Fermanagh County Library - Irish and Local Studies Department, Enniskillen Library. Here you can browse local history publications which often contain graveyard inscriptions, school roll books going back to c 1870, some church records and details of what life in Fermanagh was like before your ancestors left.

Ordnance Survey maps can also be seen here as well as microfilm of local newspapers going back to the early 1800s which can be an important source especially if you have knowledge of significant dates . As signed up members of Fermanagh Library (Free) you can search one of the largest on line database in the World as well as local databases.

The staff are helpful and knowledgeable having dealt with thousands of queries through the years. If they don’t know the answer they probably know of someone who can provide the answer. Contact -Telephone: 028 6632 2886

Genealogists and Tour Guides. There are a number of well qualified genealogist/tour guides in Fermanagh who can do research and provide an informed tour of your ancestral territory. These can be contacted through their guide association or through their chairman John Cunningham at

Enniskillen Townhall has marriage records going back to the mid 1800s and the staff also are knowledgeable and helpful. Taking on a genealogical search anywhere demands prior research. The degree of help you can be given is often directly in proportion to the information you have personally gleaned and the best results are obtained by finding out in advance the Parish or townland of origin of your ancestors.


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