Roots Tourism in Fermanagh

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 Ancestry.com 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 enniskillenlibrary@librariesni.org.uk

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 www.erneheritagetours.com or through their chairman John Cunningham at adam4eves@aol.com

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.

John B. Cunningham M.A.

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