Derry Genealogy Centre is operated by Heritage and Museum Service of Derry City Council. From 1982 to 2007, as a project of the Inner City Trust, Derry Genealogy Centre created a database of one million records, dating from 1642 to 1922, which were extracted from the major civil and church registers of the city and county of Londonderry (also known as Derry).
This database consists of:
- Pre-1922 civil birth and marriage registers
- The early baptismal, marriage and burial registers of 85 churches (26 Roman Catholic Church, 24 Church of Ireland and 35 Presbyterian)
- Gravestone inscriptions from 117 graveyards plus pre-1910 registers of Derry City Cemetery
- Index to 1901 census returns and to Griffith’s Valuation of 1858/1859
Family history researchers can search, for free, the indexes to this database at www.derry.rootsireland.ie and then purchase, on a pay-per-view basis, any selected record. The search facility is very flexible: for example, if you are searching for the baptism/birth of a child you can narrow the search down by year, range of years, father's first name and by parish of baptism/district of birth. Furthermore, with the ‘Advanced Search’ option you can also filter birth searches to include mother’s name, and marriage searches to include name of spouse and names of parents.
It must be stated, however, that a failure to find any relevant entries in this database doesn't mean that the events you are looking for didn't happen in County Derry. It simply means that they are not recorded in the database (or in Derry Genealogy Centre); for example, they may be recorded in a record source which doesn't survive for the time period of interest or in a source that has not been computerised or, perhaps, in the database of another county.
Visitors and locals alike are welcome, at no charge, to forward any queries they may have concerning their family history to the genealogist, Brian Mitchell, by contacting him in person, by telephone or by email. Brian Mitchell has been involved in local, family and emigration research in the wider Derry area since 1982. He is author of a number of Irish genealogy reference books such as A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland, A Guide to Irish Parish Registers, Irish Passenger Lists 1847-1871, and Genealogy at a glance: Irish Genealogy Research.