To mark the Foundation’s sixtieth anniversary we organised a special one-off family and local history day held at PRONI on Saturday, 13 May 2017. The programme was devised by the Foundation along with three other partner organisations, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the Federation for Ulster Local Studies and the North of Ireland Family History Society.

This event was aimed at anyone interested in finding out more about their ancestors or the local area where they live. The programme sought to demonstrate that family and local history go together like hand in glove. Many of the sources used and the research techniques employed for studying family and local history are the same, and an interest in one can lead to a growing involvement in the other.

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The presentations focused on historical sources that are becoming easier to access, especially through their increasing availability on the internet, as well as introducing beginners to the collections held in the Public Record Office and other local archives.

The keynote speaker was Joe Mahon of UTV’s Lesser Spotted Ulster television programme, who enthralled the audience with his informative, humorous and thought provoking introduction to the day. Other speakers included: Gillian Hunt, Janet Hancock, Roddy Hegarty, John Dooher, Rose Mary Murphy, Brian Mitchell, plus a panel discussion involving Valerie Adams, Dr Brian Lambkin, Dr William Roulston and Ann Robinson, facilitated by Fintan Mullan.