The competitions are the brainchild of member Anne Johnston (B1241), who has administered them since their inception in 2005.
Originally intended to be annual but for practical reasons biennial, the competition is run by the Belfast Branch for all Members of the Society and the judges are the three Belfast Branch Officers and one independent outsider. Initially the prizes were £50, £30 and £20 but they have since been doubled, with the Branch and the Society paying half each.
The assessment is split evenly between the genealogical content and the quality of the presentation.
More than half of the entries have been published in North Irish Roots. The volume, number and page references of the leading articles are given below. “C” denotes Commendation and “HC” denotes High Commendation.
2016 – My Family Odyssey
2014 – Occupations in My Family
2012 – Life in my Townland through the Eyes of my Ancestors
2010 – My Eight Great-Grandparents
2008 – Memories
2006 – My Family History Research
Vol. 19.1, pp. 17-20