New Diploma Helps Moya Trace Her Family Tree
Like many of us, Moya Buchanan knew very little about her ancestors until she embarked upon Ulster’s new part time diploma in Belfast Social and Cultural History.
Over the past two years she has uncovered a wealth of information that has thrown a whole new light on her family’s roots.
“I was always interested in tracing my family history – but didn’t really know how to go about it,” explains Moya.
“My own father died when I was very young, so I knew virtually nothing about my paternal ancestors – but after completing the diploma I now have a huge file of fascinating information about my ancestors and where they lived.
“I discovered that my great grandfather, who came originally from Kilmore, County Down, moved to Belfast in the early 1800s and opened a shoemaker’s shop on Tomb Street.
“In those days Tomb Street was a thriving part of the city, with all the hustle and bustle of the passing trade from the nearby docks. He would have seen a lot of hardship and poverty in those days as well – living through the Famine – and he would have seen the emigrants leave their homes and loved ones behind as they boarded ships bound for America.
“When I walk through the streets of Belfast now, I see things from a whole new perspective – and I imagine the sights my great grandfather would have witnessed all those years ago.”
Moya is one of 21 students graduating with a diploma in Belfast Social and Cultural History today. The group are creating a little bit of history themselves as they are the first students to complete the course, which was established in 2007.
“I would really recommend this diploma to anyone with an interest in Belfast’s varied history and culture,” says Moya.
“I am amazed by how much I have learned and how many friendships I have made along the way. I am delighted to be graduating today, although I will be very sad to leave my studies behind.”
For more information visit the Graduation website, www.ulster.ac.uk/summergraduation2009/