During the Great Famine of 1845-50 in Ireland, Fermanagh lost between the Census of 1841 and 1851 around 40,000 people or about a quarter 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 & 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.
T: (028) 6632 2886
Fermanagh Family History Society
A branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society.
They are a voluntary nonprofit making organisation encouraging an interest in family history. They hold meetings, maintain a research centre, preserve and publish resources, and organise research visits for society members. Meetings are held on the third Saturday of the month in Enniskillen Library, 2.15pm - 4.15pm
Further information available from the secretary Mr Frank McHugh
Genealogists & 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
Enniskillen Town Hall
Houses the District Registrar’s office for births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships for Fermanagh. Searches can be carried out for births, deaths and marriages from the mid 1800’s.
Fermanagh Genealogy Centre
Within the Enniskillen Castle Museums complex is the Fermanagh Genealogy Centre, established in August 2012. They have operated as a delivery partner for Fermanagh District Council since October 2013.
The charitable group of volunteers run a face to face genealogical advice service on Monday afternoons from 2pm to 4pm on the first floor of the County Museum along with an email enquiry service at firstname.lastname@example.org
Both general and Fermanagh specific family history advice is offered via a free half-hour consultation. Advice is given about what records are available and where they can be accessed for family history research in Fermanagh. Information on local professional researchers can also be provided.
Fermanagh Genealogy Centre volunteers are also engaged in the long term project of sourcing, transcribing and digitising any genealogical resources for Fermanagh with the aim of making them available online, encouraging overseas visitors to explore their Fermanagh roots. Appointments can be made for the consultation service by phoning Fermanagh County Museum on 02866 325000 or emailing the enquiry form to email@example.com