Family history: New Zealand woman seeks information about her ancestors

Marge Ashby nee Heslop.
Marge Ashby nee Heslop.

A woman from New Zealand is hoping Ulster Star readers might be able to help her unlock the secrets of her family’s past.

Margery Ashby nee Heslop has been researching her ancestors for the past 10 years. However, despite searching through online records, visiting the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and contacting the Presbyterian Historical Society, she hasn’t made much progress.

“My father’s name was James. He was born in New Zealand in 1910 and died in 1970,” Margery explained. “His father was William, born in Co Down in 1866 and died in New Zealand in 1928. His father was also called William. He was born in Mullaghdrin, Dromara on March 5, 1838. He married Eliza Jane Tate on August 19, 1864 in Lisburn. She was born, I believe, in 1838 in Ballykeel, Co Armagh.

“I am aware a lot of the records were destroyed in a large fire, but perhaps someone somewhere might have the key. This is my last chance,” she added.

Margery has appealed to anyone who might be able to help her find out more information about her ancestors to email her at