Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions page, a quick guide to some of the questions you may have about joining the North of Ireland Family History Society.

  • What is the difference between a Virtual Member and a Branch Member of the Society?

    Virtual members are not affiliated to a specific branch.

    Any member can attend the talks given by all branches but only branch members will receive direct notifications of meetings and other activities in their branch.

  • What is a Joint Membership?

    Two people who live at the same address and apply at the same time may join as Joint Members, paying less than the cost of two individual memberships.

    Joint members will receive all the benefits of individual membership but will receive only one copy of the Society Journal, North Irish Roots between them.

  • How do I make a Joint Membership Application?

    The Primary Member should select Joint Membership on the Join the Society page and follow the prompts.

    The Primary Member will add the details for both of the Joint Members.

    You need to supply a different email address for each of the members.

    Once the Primary Member has checked out and paid online for the membership, each member will have their own account.




  • How can I pay my Membership Fee?

    If you join online, you can pay by credit or debit card.

    If you wish to join offline and pay by cheque or cash, please contact the Secretary of the branch you wish to join via our Contact Page.

  • How do I renew my membership?

    Current members will receive an email prior to your membership expiring on 31st August. 

    Renewal is automatic if you previously joined or renewed online via the website. If you paid by debit or credit card, you do not need to do anything, providing your payment details are up to date. If your card has expired, you can log in and update your card details (a reminder will be sent if necessary). If you paid by cheque or cash, you will need to send the payment to the Society.

    If you joined the Society, or renewed offline (ie you filled out a paper membership form), you can renew online when you receive the reminder that your membership is due to expire.

    If your membership expired before the current year, you will not receive a reminder but you can still renew online by logging into your account with your email address and selecting Renew Now. 

  • What is my Membership Fee used for?

    The annual membership fee is set each year by Society Council.

    Fees are treated as donations to the Society, and are used to pay ongoing costs such as insurance and rental of the Research Centre.

    If you have elected to join a branch, some of your fee will go to the Branch’s operating costs such as speakers’ fees and room hire.

  • Can I join the Society for part of a year?

    Our membership is a yearly membership from 1st September until 31 August.

    Anyone joining from 1st May will be enrolled until 31st August the following year.

  • Will I receive a notification to say that my application to join the Society was successful?

    Yes, your payment and membership details will be confirmed by email.

    If you do not receive confirmation of an application made more than 7 days ago, check your Spam/Junk mailbox folders, and if an acknowledgement is not found there, please contact Membership Enquiries via our Contact Page.

  • If I join the Society, will I get access to online records?

    As a member, you will be able to log in to the Members’ Area of our website to access indexes to transcriptions and other records.

    Our main collection of publications and records are held at our Research Centre in Newtownabbey and if you cannot get there, you can request a Look Up.

    Some branches also have records related to their local area.

    Our new Members’ Area will be available in due course. Until then, log in to the Members’ Area on our old website using the login details you were sent in 2023. If you have joined the Society since January 2024, please contact Membership Enquiries via our Contact Page.

  • When are the North Irish Roots Journals published?

    North Irish Roots is posted to all our current members usually in the spring and the autumn. Back issues are available through JSTOR.

  • Who do I contact if I have other questions about membership?

    Please refer to the Contacts page on our website to find the relevant person to get in touch with.

    If you are a branch member or wish to know more about a particular branch, please contact the branch secretary.

  • I have joined the Society but I can’t log in to my account. Help!

    Check that you have entered your username or email address correctly.
    Your username is your membership number beginning with the letter M. If it contains 0 – this is a number, not a letter.
    If you are sure you have entered everything correctly and you still can’t get access, reset your password by clicking on “Lost Password” (just under the Log in panel).

    Please note that, for security reasons, the membership team does not have access to your password.

  • I am a member and my personal details have changed - how do I let you know?

    Log in to your account and edit Profile. You can change any of your details and our records will be updated.

  • Can I join a branch if I originally signed up as a virtual member or can I change the branch I chose?

    Yes – sign into your account and go to Account Settings.

    You can:
    change from a virtual member to a branch member
    change the branch you originally signed up to
    remove yourself from a branch and become a virtual member

    Please note these changes are limited to one per year.

    Until September 2024, please contact Membership Enquiries via our Contact Page to arrange to change from a Virtual Member to a Branch Member.

  • I am unable to log in to the Members' Area of the website.

    We are currently completing our new website and the Members’ Area will be available in due course.

    You can still log in to the Members’ Area of the “old” website, using the Username and Password which were sent to you in 2023.

    If you have joined the Society or renewed your membership since January 2024, you will need to request the login details from Membership Enquiries via our Contact Page.

  • I have forgotten my login password or I want to change it. What do I do?

    If you have forgotten your password, click on “Lost Password” at the bottom of the Login page.
    To change your password, log in to your account and click on “Change Password”