CIGO announces that the General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI) is the sixth (2012) recipient of its Award for Excellence in Genealogy

At the 2012 AGM of CIGO in the National Library of Ireland on Wednesday 14th November, it was announced that the General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI) is the sixth (2012) recipient of its Award for Excellence in Genealogy.

The formal presentation of the certificate commemorating the Award took place in GRONI, on Thursday 20th December 2012. The Award was presented by Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister Sammy Wilson to Northern Ireland’s Registrar General, Dr Norman Caven, in the presence of the GRONI staff, a number of representatives of CIGO and guests.

In making the Award, CIGO recognised that GRONI completed its digitisation of all Birth, Marriage and Death records for the six counties of Northern Ireland in 2011. This allowed for new and more informative indexes to be created which can be searched on computer within the Public Search Room (PSR) in Belfast. A new PSR was then set up with 22 positions for researchers. This new computerised system is extremely user-friendly and allows for many varieties of searches of the indexes including ‘wildcard’ searches.

Currently, GRONI is working towards creating a new online access service to its records to start in 2014, the tendering for which is under consideration.

At the event Sammy Wilson said: “I am pleased to be able to present the award to Dr Caven and his staff in recognition for the hard work undertaken in bringing the organisation through a modernisation programme of reform. The benefits of this modernisation will provide a first class service to the people of Northern Ireland when undertaking family history and genealogy research.

“As we all move forward in this digital era it is important that government services keep up to date and meet the demand and expectations from our customers. Through this modernisation programme there has been significant improvement in the research facilities available with a new and modern Public Search Room facilitating up to 22 researchers at any one time.

“The digitisation of eight million paper records has allowed for new and more informative indexes to be created. Together with the improved facilities those researching their family history or those researching genealogy will no longer have to endure a lengthy wait – the new computerised records will enable faster, more accurate information enabling the identification of the correct registration.”

The Department of Finance’s Press Release about the event can be seen here.

Click here for photographs of the presentation.