60 Years of Ulster Historical Foundation

What do BBC chat show host Graham Norton, Eurovision song contest winner Linda Martin and moon-walking astronaut Colonel Jim Irwin, have in common? They all had their family history uncovered by the Ulster Historical Foundation

The Foundation, established in 1956, is marking its Diamond Anniversary with a special concert on Saturday, 04 February 2017, to celebrate its work over sixty years.

In that time the Foundation has helped thousands of people to trace their Ulster roots, not least, Graham Norton (mid-Antrim roots), Linda Martin (Little Italy in Belfast), and Colonel Jim Irwin of the Apollo 15 mission (Pomeroy, County Tyrone).

Entitled The Northern Muse, the concert will feature music and words in celebration of the first 60 years of the Ulster Historical Foundation, providing a tuneful and entertaining survey of northern music-making and writing across the years through an evening of melody and memories from the nine counties of Ulster.

Hosted by Northern Irish actor, director and playwright Dan Gordon, best known for his role in the BBC Northern Ireland sitcom Give My Head Peace and accompanied by performers such as Carrickfergus born Mezzo-Soprano Carolyn Dobbin (pictured); world renowned composer and performer Philip Hammond ( at piano); and the effervescent string ensemble that is the Arco String Quartet this anniversary concert will be a highly enjoyable and entertaining evening.

The programme will also feature accomplished musicians, Nigel Boullier, Geordie McAdam and Dianna Boullier. Nigel Boullier is best known for his seminal study of the country fiddle traditions of County Down in Handed Down: Country Fiddling and Dancing in East and Central County Down which was published by Ulster Historical Foundation in 2012.

The Foundation is a quite unique organisation with no other similar body in the United Kingdom or Ireland. Established in 1956, the Foundation is a registered charity and self-sustaining not-for-profit organisation, providing genealogical and historical research services, publishing services, hosting history events and delivering community education programmes.

A leading publisher of history, its back catalogue ranges from George Best will not be playing today to The Belfast Blitz and from Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors to its most recent title, A History of St George’s Church Belfast: Two Centuries of faith, Worship and Music. The Foundation is known internationally, especially for its leading role in family and local history.

The sixty anniversary concert will be held in the First Presbyterian Church, 41 Rosemary Street, Belfast, BT1 1QB at 7:30pm on Saturday the 4th February 2017. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the Central Hall.

This is a fundraising event in support of the work of the Ulster Historical Foundation.

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