Sam Hanna Bell Samuel Beckett John Hewitt Bernard (Barney) Hughes James Joseph Magennis VC Frances Elizabeth Clarke Stewart Parker William Carleton Rosamond Praegar


The Dictionary is a simple searchable list of short biographies, designed for ease of use. It is largely self-explanatory. The following information may however be helpful.

The search fields are:

  • First name

  • Last name

  • Pseudonym

  • Occupation

  • Location

  • Birth year

  • Death year

  • Body text

You can search on any of these fields and any combination of them.

There are several ways to search -

Quick Search - top right of screen. Enter the last name only and select the appropriate person from the results list.

Search on Home Page - below the text. To narrow the results list enter use more than one of the search criteria e.g. all the O'Neills in Belfast.

Search Page - this is the advanced search where the full range of search fields is available.

Advanced search: In this mode the search can be narrowed to select only those names that meet the desired criteria e.g. all the female poets born between 1800 and 1900 associated with County Down, all the engineers in Co Antrim, or all the Thompsons in Belfast.

Three of the search fields Profession, Location and Body Text require more explanation to assist with finding specific groupings of people and with facilitating a wider search of the biographical information for terms not specific to the individual record.


It was realised that this search field could be problematic since, unlike names and dates, occupations come in many different guises. Writers may be writers, authors, biographers, essayists, diarists, novelists, or technical writers. Ministers of religion may be priests, vicars, rectors, bishops, archbishops, cardinals. Physicians may be GPs, cardiologists, paediatricians, surgeons etc. Sportsmen and sportswomen may be athletes in track and field events, rugby players, soccer or gaelic footballers, cricketers, golfers, hockey players. There are others such as in the arts and the legal professions.

In an attempt to simplify the search process, it was decided to merge many of these occupations/callings into single occupations. The following broad descriptors were used.

Actor - both genders

Academic - university professors

Artist - artist, painter, illustrator, commercial artist, engraver etc, excluding sculptor, which has its own descriptor

Athlete - all track and field events

Cleric,..... - all denominations and titles excluding bishop, archbishop and cardinal, each of which has its own descriptor. ‘Cleric' is followed by the denomination e.g Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Methodist, Roman Catholic etc

Judge - all descriptions

Musician - Singer, band leader, instrumentalist, except Harper, all genres

Lawyer - lawyers, solicitors excluding Judge

Physician - GP and hospital doctors and those in the armed forces excluding Surgeon

Politician - all except Prime Minister or Premier

Teacher - first and second level including head teacher, university teaching posts

Surgeons - including armed services posts

Sailor - all ranks

Soldier - all ranks

.....player - cricket, hockey, gaelic football, hurling, rugby, golf, soccer etc

Writer - author, biographer, diarist, novelist, writers of all descriptions excluding journalist and poet, each of which has its own descriptor

Many names have more than one profession e.g there are poets and writers, poets and teachers, architects and engineers etc. Searching for any profession will generate a list of all names with that profession, and any others, in the Dictionary. So the same names may appear on several lists.

Besides these ‘generic' occupations there are many more that can not be classified in this way so it may be hit and miss whether you find matching records. If at first you fail, try another, similar occupation.


Most of the names in the Dictionary are associated with a location in the Province of Ulster. Some could not be assigned to a place and therefore won't be listed in this search field. Apart from this minority, each name is associated with at least one primary location and some with a secondary location.

The primary locations are the nine counties plus Belfast and Londonderry. Entering one of these locations will generate a complete list of the names associated with that location. You can read each entry in turn and page backwards and forwards as desired.

The secondary location is a town or village in one of the nine counties e.g. Poyntzpass, County Armagh. Entering the secondary location (no need to include the primary location) will generate a list of names associated with Poyntzpass.

Body Text

The main body of the biogaphical detail of each person in the database can be searched in a number of ways. This extends the scope of the search to find details additional to those that are specific to the individual e.g. other names (not necessarily in the Dictionary themselves), events mentioned in the text such as famine or wars, locations outside Ulster etc.

The options available are

Exact words: Returns only names where these words are found in the same order eg. 'great famine' in each record

All words:  Returns names where the words are found in any order, whether together of not, in each record

Any words: Returns names where any of the words are found, whether with any of the others or not, in each record.