Welcome to our wee site.
Whilst the name of this website is the Maghera and District Genealogical & History Society, it would perhaps be more accurate to say that it covers the South Derry / Londonderry area. The catchment area will, therefore, include Garvagh, Kilrea, Magherafelt, Moneymore, Draperstown, etc..from just south of Dungiven to Lough Neagh (although most records currently will probably be from the Garvagh-Kilrea-Maghera- Tobermore rectangle at the moment).
This website (and the Facebook group) is a platform for the sharing of knowledge, both genealogical and local, because as each generation passes, a little more knowledge gets lost. I hope, through this website, to preserve and pass on this local knowledge. Unlike many genealogical websites ran purely for profit, this is a contributory site. Put simply, this is a site for the amateur genealogist or anyone with an interest in the local area who wants to make this knowledge available to anyone interested.. and this knowledge is freely given… so all input and information submissions are welcome and after verification, will be included on the site!
Naturally, as your genealogical research progresses, it should be apparent that genealogy CAN be expensive. Not all information is available locally or at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) (i.e. FREE information); And if you don’t live in Northern Ireland, access to these records becomes the issue rather than cost. Some records can be obtained from the General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRO) but at a cost. Currently, GRONI are offering access online to Birth, Marriage and Death records for a cost (effectively £2.50 / $3.25 US to see a record). However, if you need to check out quite a few, then these costs can quickly mount up! BMD records can also be obtained at Irishgenealogy and for some records you’ll be able to see the original entry (for most records from about 1875-1922).
Here at this site, we will TRY to save you some money (and time) by listing as many church and other public records from this area as possible. We have spent literally THOUSANDS of hours deciphering and transcribing old church records and other official documents such as the 1831 Census for inclusion on this website. In addition, other sources of genealogical information, such as gravestones have been photographed and, where possible, transcribed. It has been noted that some websites charge €20 (£17 / $18 US) for the information on EACH gravestone. However, will endeavour to provide this kind of information for FREE!
In conclusion, we hope to be able to provide as much information as possible for you to do your own research. However, since this IS an amateur genealogy site, we are limited by both time and financial constraints. The contributors to this site give their time freely to further the research and make knowledge more readily available to the world.
As mentioned earlier, some records cost money (as any of the transcribers will tell you) and, indeed, this website costs the Society money to host, to obtain information and records, etc.. so, if you find some useful information here, or we can help you in any way, we will be happy to help. This website receives no funding from any source except for the kind donations of users like you.. so naturally, all donations to continue the work will be appreciated and put to good use! If you value this site, then please consider making a small donation to help the work continue.
Of course, we CAN (where records exist) do research for you for a fee if that is what you’d like. Message us through the Facebook group to discuss this (although if your ancestors are pre-1800, it is very unlikely that records exist to help).
Please also have a look at our Facebook group (you can join, chat & look at the pictures & articles!) by clicking the link below..