Tourists discover the story of their ancestors

“Who do you think you are?” was the question on everyone lips in Ballymoney Town Hall recently as Ballymoney Museum hosted the second Route Back Home international family history conference.

The four day event attracted 23 delegates from USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and involved lectures, field trips to the Public Record Office NI and local libraries, a book launch and a dinner.

Genealogy tourism is growing in popularity and attracting people from all over the world to Ballymoney. The conference delegates stayed in guesthouses and holiday accommodation in the Borough and all enjoyed discovering more about their ancestral home. The Mayor of Ballymoney, Councillor Evelyne Robinson, welcomed the group to the Borough and a highlight for many was the tour of the Mayor’s Parlour and the Council Chamber.

Ballymoney Museum ensured that experienced genealogy experts were available to help delegates throughout the conference and the visiting lecturers provided advice and support on a variety of research topics. All of the delegates went home with fresh information about their families and new skills to help with their future research. When asked for feedback, delegate’s comments included:

“What can I say - Ballymoney what a great place!”

“I’ve met some wonderful people – a thoroughly enjoyable experience.”

“A once in a lifetime opportunity to walk the streets where my ancestors trod.”

“You have to do this again in 2014 – I’ll be back.”