New Local Family History Resource Unveiled

A superb new book is to be launched at Ballymoney Town Hall on Saturday 1st November.

Ballymoney Old Church Graveyard is the new publication by local historian Dorothy Arthur. Members of the public will have the opportunity to purchase a signed copy of the book at the special discounted price of £20. Dorothy will be delighted to meet with those who attend at 2pm.

The book is a culmination of over three years of meticulous research. Dorothy has investigated over 400 gravestones in the Old Church Graveyard, maintained by Ballymoney Borough Council. It is every genealogist’s dream as it contains not only a transcription and photograph of each grave, but also commentaries on the family histories along with family trees.

There is much interest in this long awaited publication, as it will provide a valuable resource for everyone with an interest in the families of the Ballymoney district. Until now, anyone researching the Old Church Graveyard, had access to a map and headstone listing, both held in Ballymoney Museum’s records. However, thanks to Dorothy’s comprehensive research, readers will be able to discover much more information about their ancestors, including where they lived and their occupations. For some of the families, she accumulated so much information that not all could be included, though she is happy for people to get in touch.

So what prompted Dorothy to tackle such a mammoth task? The Ballymoney-born author explains that her interest in family history began at a young age, when she would spend hours pouring over the gravestones in the Old Churchyard where her ancestors are buried. While delving into her own family tree, she acquired knowledge about other Ballymoney families. She decided to publish her research with the hope that she could help others looking for their Ballymoney ancestors.

Dorothy points out that many of the graves are illegible and some only partly readable, and she was required to come up with a number of approaches to try and unlock their secrets. It has been a long road, and many long hours have been spent ploughing through records at the museum, PRONI, and various churches.

The resulting publication is a remarkable achievement and given the high interest in researching family history in this part of the world, the book is sure to be a big hit with both genealogists and local people alike. This could be the perfect present for someone you know this Christmas. Don’t forget, the special discount price is only available on Saturday 1st November at the Town Hall. Refreshments will be provided.
For further information on the book please visit: or email

Copies of the book will be on sale in the Tourist Information Centre, Town Hall, from 1st November, priced £25.

Tel: 028 2766 0230.