This is an email received via the Irish Genealogical Society to my query as to how successful research would be on the Lusk surname in 17th Century Ireland, specifically in Ulster.
Dear Mr Lusk
Thank you for your preliminary evaluation enquiry and payment of £20 Sterling received 7 August 2006.
We enclose an extract from a family history research profile for the surname Lusk.
Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths only became obligatory in Ireland in 1864 (Protestant marriages 1845-). Before these dates one is dependent for information on church registers and these registers are imperfectly kept and almost invariably unindexed.
We have rough surname indexes for all parishes in Ireland based on the tithe survey listing farmers c.1830 and valuation of all properties c.1860. I have checked these for all parishes in Co. Antrim and find that in the valuation of all properties c.1861-2 there were 27 properties occupied by individuals named Lusk with more than half of these were in the barony of Upper Dunluce in the northern part of the county.
One of the parishes in that barony where there was some concentration of your distinctive surname was the parish of Ballymoney and I enclose a search assessment for that parish.
No official records of emigration from the British Isles survive before 1890 and no passenger lists whatever before 1800.
If you want background information about the whole process of emigration from this province to America I would recommend you acquire a copy of the first volume in our Historical Series, R J Dickson's Ulster Emigration to Colonial America, 1718-1775. The price is £14.95 Stg., plus about £5.00 Stg. for postage and packing.
A high proportion of the Irish who emigrated to America before the War of Independence were Presbyterians from this northern province of Ulster. Unfortunately partly because of the discrimination that they suffered here as Dissenters very few Presbyterian churches have registers of baptisms and marriages dating back before 1800.
The Foundation holds recordings of pre-1900 gravestone inscriptions for Co. Antrim and we could utilize these for the purpose of a search.
In case you want to commission an in-depth search from the Foundation or join our Guild in order to publicise your research interests I include details of our services and charges:
We attach a free information pack (links to website) including information about the services and publications provided by the Ulster Historical Foundation and Guild and also a search registration form.
Method of payment: It is in everyone's interest if payment can be made by credit card (see payment section of registration form). There is a registration fee of £25 (which covers administrative and postage expenses) on each family search and clients select a budget for our researcher to work within. The minimum budget is £90 (only a modest amount of work and information can be expected for this expenditure). A full search based on a specific location will require expenditure of at least £175. Additionally, VAT @ 17.5% is chargeable on searches commissioned by clients resident in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. For cash flow purposes we require an advance of £50 of the research budget, plus the £25 registration fee before work can start on a search.
If you want to publicise your research interests you might consider joining the Ulster Genealogical and Historical Guild (information available from our website www.ancestryireland.com). This is managed like a book club and a research cooperative. The membership register has passed the 10,000 mark. It aims to prevent duplication of research effort and to bring together people with similar interests. Subscribers receive two annual publications: Familia - Ulster Genealogical Review which contains articles about Irish history and genealogy and the Directory of Irish Family History Research which is the most complete and up-to-date record of Irish genealogical research in progress. Subscribers are also offered the option of having their research interests (as contained in the Directory) placed on UHF's Internet homepage. With an estimated 40-45 million people browsing or 'surfing' the Internet each day, your interests will be publicised to a worldwide audience through membership of the Guild. Our website is presently enjoying approximately 30,000 ‘hits’ monthly.
Guild members now enjoy unlimited access to an ever-expanding range of online genealogical databases. Over 500,000 genealogical records are currently available with new records being added on a regular basis. Members are also entitled to purchase credit for our gravestone inscriptions database www.historyfromheadstones.com at half price and receive a privileged rate of access to our new database of over 1,500,000 birth, death and marriage records for Cos. Antrim, Down and the city of Belfast.