The Ulster Historical Foundation’s biggest project to date has been its contribution to the Irish Genealogical Project (IGP) and the digitisation of key genealogical records. The IGP was established in the late 1980s and the Foundation was chosen as the official Irish Family History Foundation (IFHF) centre for counties Antrim and Down (including the city of Belfast). This project involved the digitising of records relating to family history for these counties.

To date over 2 million records have been digitised. The databases include virtually all pre-1900 Catholic records and civil marriage records from 1845 to 1921 for Antrim and Down as well as many Protestant church records and a range of miscellaneous sources.

Duneane RC register

The Foundation continues to digitise baptisms, marriages and burials to 1930 for parishes in the Catholic diocese of Down and Connor.

Working with BRS Systems, the Foundation pioneered a new online pay-per-view system in 2005, giving greater access to this valuable content to genuine historical researchers through its website. This new facility was subsequently rolled out to other IFHF centres throughout Ireland, leading to the creation of the Roots Ireland website (, now regarded as one of the essential Irish genealogy sites.

The Foundation has assisted a number of other organisations in the digitisation of records and the creation of websites. These have included Ballymoney Museum and the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland, as well as some local community groups.