Family Research Visit to Belfast June 2016

I’ve written this up quite a while after we actually visited, as family things got in the way, but it was a very useful visit and might be of help if you’re considering researching your own Belfast family history.

We took the car and went by ferry, straight into Belfast harbour. We splashed out, staying two nights at the famous Europa Hotel in town, recommended!

Apart from catching up and taking trips out to Portrush and other spots along the coast, I had some specific research in mind that took me to the Belfast Central Library Newspaper archive.

This research was for two reasons; firstly to fill in some gaps around family events in Belfast during the Troubles, and also as primary research for the novel I’m (still) writing, And The Buntings Flew. The novel is based in 1970s Belfast and those of you who have read my blog posts will know that it’s at least partly autobiographical.

My research at the newspaper archive bore some fruit, and was a blast from the past, as the records are nearly all stored on microfiche, which I haven’t used since the early 1990s.  There’s a modest fee to print out pages (10p a sheet I think) and it was incredibly useful, and the staff very helpful.

This success was tinged with sadness and uncertainty; the Troubles left very few families untouched, and I now have to contemplate and investigate the new information I uncovered.

Despite any unease I felt while reading through the microfiches from 1975 and 76, they did offer, for a writer, a wonderful window on the past. I was particularly interested in the world news, and closer to home, the adverts; in 1975 the Northern Ireland government had members warning that if the UK voted to join the EEC (Common Market, and we did), that it would grow from a trade agreement to a federation of European states with a  loss of UK sovereignty, which was a very topical read!

I’ll be posting some more about some of the information I found in the archive library, but for now, I just wanted to post some pictures from our trip of the wonderful places to visit in Belfast and the rest of County Antrim.

I’m also pleased to relate that I brought back lots of Thompsons Tea and vegetable roll, both Northern Irish treasures that I wrote about in my article lauding the Foods of Ulster!

 

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Welcome to Jennifer!

“Only connect!” (E.M. Forster)

Detail from Giant's Causeway copyright M. McGoverne

This is a follow-up post to last week’s Filling In Some Gaps post; it’s just to say thank you to Jennifer, who is my great uncle William’s great-granddaughter; it’s beyond me to work out the actual relationship, but I think it’s second cousin removed once or twice!

But more importantly than degrees of relationship, it’s been great to meet a fellow descendant of Old William and Annie, and one who’s also interested in our family history; it’s times like this that make the work of tracing your family history and blogging about it so worthwhile!

Not only have both of our family trees been expanded by the meeting, we’ve made a new connection from an old one, and I am so happy that we have, as I know my cousin Barbs is – it’s an exciting chasing down of historical info, but its wonderful to meet great people and find out you’re related!

Margaret

Jamisons of the Giant’s Causeway – Nevin’s Blog

One of the first really good leads I had on my journey to trace back the Jamisons, when faced with a dearth of real information, was a fabulous post by Nevin Taggart in his blog NALIL (North Antrim Local Interest List), a local history, culture and genealogy site with a wealth of fantastic info. The post is here: Jamisons of the Giant’s Causeway

NALIL is a great place to start your own search for all things North Antrim, or just for a great read!

Many thanks to Nevin

Family Garage, Shore Road, Belfast

shoreroadgarageMany thanks to the Belfast forum, where this wonderful picture was posted; it shows most of the family home and garage, which were situated on Shore Road, North Belfast, alas demolished in the 1980’s. Fred and Eliza Jamison moved their young family here from Lisburn in the 1950s’ and Fred set up business as Loughside garage, living in the adjacent house. Apart from the trams, this is how I remember the house and garage when I lived there during the early 1970’s.

This is a wonderful picture and really helped me re-establish details which had become a bit hazy. If you own the copyright to this picture of if you have any more of it, please do let me know!

Margaret x

Oswald Hewer Jamison – born in England?

I’m following up a possible lead from Nevin from NALIL, who has found an entry for an Oswald Hewer (as a surname rather than a middle name), born 1895, in Wigton, Cumbria. The birth date fits with my grandfather’s brother’s estimated birth.

Barbara and I are chasing up this lead – Oswald’s mother was English we believe, and it may be that the reason we haven’t located William and Annie’s marriage certificate is because they wen’t married in Ulster? Oswald hewer isn’t a common name, and it may be that he was given Annie’s surname as a middle name, or maybe there’s some other story?

Watch this space…..

Margaret

http://www.jamisonsonline.co.uk/

North Antrim Local interest List – Link to Jamison History

http://nalil.blogspot.com/search?q=jamisons

This is a great blog and this post in particular was intstrumental in Barbara and I starting our Jamison/Purcell/Huer family quest!

Many thanks to Nevin for the post and for his invaluable assistance since in putting us in touch with various people who have helped us piece the past together.

Margaret x

http://www.jamisonsonline.co.uk

Visit to Antrim June 2009

From: 6th July 2009

Our visit to Antrim a few weeks ago was fantastic, and we managed to get to quite a few places associated with the Jamisons, including Bushmills, Giant’s Causeway (including the school there) and Belfast.

I hope to be sent a picture from the Causeway school from the period when our grandfather and his siblings attended; as soon as I get anything I’ll share it here!

Margaret

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