Thursday, 9 November 2017

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council - Ballymoney Ancestry Project - Suspended - now Restored

UPDATE :: November 15 has been restored

A NALIL friend in the USA recently tried to access and received the following message:

This website has been suspended

I'm told that a member of staff from the newish Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council requested that the site be cancelled.

The Ulster Historical Foundation had this to say about the Ballymoney Ancestry project in the past:

"Since 1997, Ballymoney Borough Council has attempted to collect in a single depository the most significant local genealogical resources (such as householders lists, trade directories, hearth rolls etc.) relating to the town of Ballymoney and the villages of the present day borough – Balnamore, Cloughmills, Dervock, Dunloy, Loughguile (or Loughgiel), Rasharkin and Stranocum. The Ulster Historical Foundation was commissioned to compile databases of sources including workhouse records, school registers, estate records, valuation records and will indexes. Background information on these sources was also provided by the Foundation.

These records have been released online in a free, searchable database which holds over 55,000 individual family history records. Ballymoney Ancestry was the first website of its kind in Northern Ireland and was supported by the European Union Building Sustainable Prosperity Fund. Along with a genealogy database, it also provides essential information for everyone planning a family history vacation in the Ballymoney district. The site has attracted people from the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Scotland, England and, of course, Ireland.

The benefits of the website are widespread and Ballymoney Borough Council is extremely satisfied with what has been achieved so far. Not only will it assist visitors with their research into local genealogy archives, it is also expected to lead to an increase in North Antrim tourism. It is hoped that, having had the opportunity to research their ancestry on-line, more and more people will be encouraged to come to the Borough of Ballymoney and walk in the footsteps of their ancestors."

Why is Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council following a different path? Does it have a strategy for genealogy? Which directorate might or might not have assumed responsibility for catering for the needs of those with a particular interest in the subject, especially the diaspora?

A 'genealogy' [or variants] search of the main Council website yields:

Your search did not return any results.

Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council - Culture, Arts and Heritage Strategy 2016-2021 observes inter alia:

What people of Causeway Coast and Glens identified as the cultural assets of the area: Genealogical Resource [one of quite a long list of assets]

There's no mention of a termination of this resource or an evaluation of its role within Cultural Services or Tourism Services. Both of these services are part of the Leisure and Development Directorate [ Current director: Richard Baker].

Perhaps those with an interest in genealogy at home and in the diaspora should convey their feelings and experiences to the director via Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council - or to councillors - or to both. The editors of local newspapers might publish your correspondence: Coleraine Times, Ballymoney and Moyle Times, Ballycastle Chronicle, Ballymoney Chronicle and Coleraine Chronicle.

Local knowledge and support can mean the difference between success and failure in identifying origins as well as speeding up the process; it could also increase the tourism revenue when you consider the descendants of those who emigrated from this northern shore over the centuries.