The Great Parchment Book travels back to Ireland (for a visit!)

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On the 27th and 28th of September, I was able to speak about the Great Parchment Book at the Hunter Conference ‘Plantation Families: People, Records and Resources’ in Belfast and Derry~Londonderry.  The conference was sponsered by the R.J. Hunter Committee and organised by the Ulster Historical Foundation in partnership with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Derry City Council Heritage and Museum Service/Archive and Genealogical Service.

The talks highlighted a wide range of Plantation sources available, from archaeological findings to port books to muster rolls to individual leases, and it was fascinating to see how the information found in the Book fits in with that found in these other sources.  Many of those present had not previously come across the Book or the website and so were very interested in using it in their genealogical research.  Both days of the conference saw packed audiences and the overall event seemed to be a great success.

There was time to visit the Derry Guildhall where I saw the Plantation exhibition, which includes a folio of the Book, and I also took a walk along the City walls.  The area within the walls retains its seventeenth-century layout, so several of the current street names are to be found in the Book, including Butcher Street where my hotel was located.  All in all, it was a great opportunity to tell others about the Great Parchment Book and a chance to finally see some of the places found within it.


The Derry Tower Museum where the second day of talks was held. The museum is located in O’Doherty’s Tower, a modern reconstruction of the medieval original.


An artillery bastion on the wall.


A row of cannons on the wall – Derry’s walls were never breached, thanks in part to these cannons.


The Victorian Guildhall in the sun. The original seventeenth-century Guildhall was destroyed by fire in the nineteenth century.


St Columb’s cathedral, completed in 1633 by William Parrot (he’s also found in the Great Parchment Book!)


The Derry Tower Museum, where the second day of talks was held.  The museum is located in O’Doherty’s Tower, a modern reconstruction of the medieval original.

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