Belfast archive is star of BBC family tree show Who Do You Think You Are?
Northern Ireland's Public Record Office will tonight play a starring role in the latest episode of the BBC's popular Who Do You Think You Are? series.
Countdown host Nick Hewer filmed at the Belfast archive earlier this year as part of his quest to trace the background of his maternal grandfather. The star of The Apprentice will be seen trying to find out how his grandfather, a Catholic, managed to reach the prestigious office of high sheriff in Protestant-dominated 1920s Belfast.
In tonight's episode, the presenter will be seen visiting the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) which is featuring in the long-running programme for the first time.
Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin is using the opportunity to encourage people with an interest in tracing their family tree to make the most of PRONI.
"Back in April the BBC production team visited PRONI to help research the family history of Lord Sugar's aide, Nick Hewer, and this is the first time that PRONI has featured in an episode of Who Do You Think You Are?," she said.
"PRONI have a vast array of all sorts of records which would be of interest to local historians or people researching their family history. All of the records are free to access and some can be accessed at the PRONI website.
"PRONI staff have a wealth of knowledge in regards the information available and are on hand to help members of public access records or in using the viewing machines to see copies of original documents. I would highly recommend a visit to PRONI to anyone who has an interest in both their own family tree and local history."
PRONI also has a series of information leaflets about all aspects of research relating to searching your family history and these can also be found on the PRONI website.