I have recently begun attempting to trace back my family history and learn a bit more about where I came from. There were a few things I already knew, my grandmother on my mothers side came from a Church of Ireland family and married my RC grandfather, not the done thing in 1950's Derry! My grandfather's surname was Doherty so I definitely have "native" Irish blood, and not only that but local blood!
On the other side I have also just discovered that I probably have Presbyterian ancestors (I'm guessing from Scotland due to my surname) who settled in Inishowen, County Donegal sometime before 1740 and then for some reason at a later date they decided to convert to Roman Catholicism which again, wasn't really the done thing. On this side I also know that at one stage someone went to America and possibly, very strangely actually came back years later. I have been told also that a relative (the youngest in the house) around the start of the 20th century went to America and was murdered by the Italian mafia. I always knew I was definitely at least quarter prod but had suspicions my Scottish ancestors may have been Presbyterian.
I obtained this information from various sources, the 1901 and 1911 census results online, the national military archives online and parish records.
What I would like to ask is this; where can I find out more, perhaps from earlier census results or emigration records? Where, if possible, could I view immigration records from Scotland? And where I might find further general information (preferably free). Also, does anyone know anything about the Earl of Shaftesbury? His name is on the deeds to our land. It was handed back to my family in 1922 but I know that the current Earl of Shaftesbury actually still owns Lough Neagh.
I find this a very interesting subject, has anyone else been successful in tracking their own family history? Any shocks or new revelations?