Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
C/O F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio
200 Newry Road Banbridge Co. Down BT32 3NB Northern Ireland
T: +44 (0)28 4062 3322 E:email@example.com
Banbridge, home to the Star of the County Down, is, relatively speaking, quite a young town. The town grew up around the site where the main road from Belfast to Dublin crossed the Bann over an old bridge situated where the present bridge now stands.
The town owed its success to flax and the linen industry, becoming by 1772 the principal linen producing district in Ireland with a total of 26 bleachgreens along the Bann. Banbridge Genealogy Services was originally set up by Banbridge & District Historical Society which began indexing birth, marriage and death records for the South Down area (Banbridge, Newry & Mourne, Downpatrick) as it was noticed that visitors to the area were coming specifically to trace their ancestors. Records were obtained from the General Register Office and from various churches in the locality, the majority dating from the mid-1800s, though some going back to the late 1700s.
In total there were some 750 000 records indexed involving hundreds of man hours, each record having to be entered manually.